Monday, August 20, 2012

The Next World and Welcome to It

This may mean nothing except to those of a certain age, but William Windom has passed. He was the star of one of my favorite 60s sitcoms, My World and Welcome To It. A rare slice of erudition among a torrent of sitcom silliness, it lasted two seasons, won two Emmies (one of them for Windom's acting), and was summarily cancelled. The show was based on the stories and cartoons of the great James Thurber, and featured animated segments mixed with the live action.

60s sitcoms were famously pitched to appeal to the 12-year-old mind, but I turned 12 in 1969, the year MW&WTI debuted, and I loved it more than any other  –with the possible exception of The Addams Family (1964-66) also based on the work of a New Yorker cartoonist. Windom's show led me to Thurber's writings, which I gobbled up forthwith, along with those of our other great American humorists, Twain and Vonnegut.

Mr. Windom had a successful career, with many other TV roles (including Commodore Decker on Star Trek), and a one-man stage show based on Thurber's work. Condolences to friends and family.

Condolences likewise go out today for director Tony Scott, who helmed True Romance, one of my all-time favorite movies.

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