Shoulda Died Young: A WNF Free-For-All

by WE’RE NOT FUNNY
edited by ANDREW HICKS

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER
So Elton John was seriously a genius for the first half of the ’70s. Then he put out the godawful “Crocodile Rock,” became a cartoon character, started writing almost exclusively for cartoon characters, almost went bankrupt because he spends some stupid amount on fresh flowers and now is just an aged celebrity more famous for being out of the closet than anything he’s actually done over the last 15 to 20 years.

ANDREW HICKS
That gets me thinking, who are some pop culture stars who would’ve had more respectable careers had they died early? Would Gallagher have become a revered cult comedian had he been assassinated in 1985?

BUDDAH ESKEW
I thought Gallagher drowned in a freak melon juice accident in 2002.

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER
I think a lot of rock stars will fit under here. Does anyone revere anything the Rolling Stones or The Who have put out in the last 30 years? Those are pretty easy targets, though.

ANDREW HICKS
I think “Beast of Burden” is 31 years old, so you’re probably right.

Brando, after he should've been long-dead

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER
I’m gonna go with Marlon Brando. By the time he went toes up, he was just a crazy fat man who spent the majority of his time on his private island. Let’s say he actually died during the making of Apocalypse Now. Sure he’d be remembered as being a bit strange, but that would be far, far outweighed by his career as an actor. On top of that, Apocalypse Now (which already has a mythic quality to it) goes to a whole new level in the history of film.

LINDSAY HARTLEY
Michael Jackson. I woulda loved to have seen one of the mommas of the little boys he touched just slit his throat.

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER
MJ is another way-too-easy target, though. If I’m going pop stars of the ’80s, I’d say Madonna. I know Ray of Light and Music are solid works, but what if she had died in 1989 after putting out Like a Prayer? She goes out with possibly her most ambitious album and becomes the <a href="John Cazale of pop music. More importantly if she croaks in 1989, she avoids all the drama of Dennis Rodman, Jose Canseco and Alex Rodriguez. The Kabbalah nonsense never comes up. Her marriage to Guy Ritchie and the subsequently horrid film Swept Away never happen. No one makes any jokes about how muscled up she’s become.

ANDREW HICKS
A Madonna who dies in 1989 is still a Madonna who starred in Shanghai Surprise.

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER
Well… no career is perfect. Except John Cazale’s, as he can’t help that Francis Ford Coppola raped his corpse by putting footage of him into Godfather III.

ANNE GARDNER
Hmmmm… let’s see… I’ma go with Mariah Carey. I mean, really, must she have a nervous breakdown every 18 months? Control-freak or not, she should have stayed married to Tommy, kept her fabulously successful career (and body) and gone the way of so many other “over-pressured” millionaires and managed the strain with an unreasonable amount of drugs.

Hot cartoon feline-on-pill-popping pop star action

LINDSAY HARTLEY
Paula Abdul. Loved her when I was younger. Now I’m embarrassed that I ever danced around my living room to “Opposites Attract.”

ANDREW HICKS
I heard MC Skat Kat died eight times prior to recording his rap verse on “Opposites Attract.”

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER
And there’s my number one answer. Forget Brando dying during the making of Apocalypse Now, let’s kill Coppola’s ass instead. The man who directed The Conversation, The Godfather and Apocalypse Now also directed Jack, a film starring Robin Williams as a young boy who ages much faster than everyone else. Ouch! Seriously, fuck this guy where he breathes. He has disgraced himself over the last 30 years with most of his directorial “efforts.”

ANDREW HICKS
The people behind Epic Movie and Date Movie and all that bullshit should do a People Oddly Aging Forward And Backward Movie.

ANNE GARDNER
Jenna Jameson. Oh Jenna, how the mighty have fallen. From sex goddess and empress of porn to ridden-hard-and-put-away-wet crack addict. She might still die young, but not young enough to have preserved her image.

SCOTTY HARRIS
Hitler. If it weren’t for that whole World War II/Holocaust thing, he would have gone down as a great leader. If he would have died around 1938, he’d be more universally liked. Not that everything he did was good up to that point, but really anytime before like September 1, 1939, would have been acceptable.

"LBJ" is Spanish for "The BJ"

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER
Okay, so Hitler is clearly a joke, but I would make the argument for Lyndon Johnson. It would be hard to pinpoint a date, but his domestic policies would have made him one of the all-time great presidents. He let some people talk him into Vietnam, and once he got in he couldn’t find a way out.

LINDSAY HARTLEY
OH BLOODY HELL. FUCKING SEAN PENN?! Fuck THAT guy! You never go full-retard! Shit, man!

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER
Gonna disagree with Penn. He’s won two Oscars in the last five or six years. You may not like him, but his place in film history has been greatly elevated over the last decade. And say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism. At least it’s an ethos.

LINDSAY HARTLEY
Until he went full-retard. WTF has he done since? All The King’s Men? Pffttt. That was only good because of Jude Law.

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER
No, he’s done Mystic River and Milk since then, two roles for which he won Academy Awards. I Am Sam has gotta be 10 years ago.

LINDSAY HARTLEY
Well, then I guess he needs to die NOW, eh?

WOO
Travolta should have died before having made Battlefield Earth.

ANNE GARDNER
C’mon, you know you loved Travolta in Michael.

WOO
That was pre-Battlefield, I’m sure.

ANNE GARDNER
Yep… you’re right… son of a bitch…

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER
Travolta is a joke right now, but he has shown the ability to make a big comeback in the past.

WOO
You know who shoulda went out on top? I can’t believe no one thought of it until now. O.J. MOTHERFUCKING SIMPSON.

One hour each day, Mark "Gator" Rogowski is allowed to half-pipe in the prison yard.

SCOTTY HARRIS
You guys won’t know about this guy as much as I do most likely, but Mark “Gator” Rogowski was as much a part of the ’80s skateboarding boom as Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen or Tony Hawk. Then, in 1991, he raped and killed a girl and confessed. He’s seven years away from his next parole hearing. If he’d died anytime before March 1991, he would have had a spot in skateboarding history as a legend who died too soon. O.J. didn’t confess and got away with it, making millions off of the book. Gator talked to his born-again Christian friend, who convinced him to confess to the police. Moral of the story: Born-again Christians will convince you to ruin your life.

ANDREW HICKS
Woo, do you think it would have been a better career legacy move for O.J. M.F. Simpson to die before he killed his wife, or after he got away with it?

WOO
Before. And his son killed her.

INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER: So Elton John was seriously a genius for the first half of the ’70s. Then he put out the godawful “Crocodile Rock,” became a cartoon character, started writing almost exclusively for cartoon characters, almost went bankrupt because he spends some stupid amount on fresh flowers and now is just an aged celebrity more famous for being out of the closet than anything he’s actually done over the last 15 to 20 years.
ANDREW HICKS: That gets me thinking, who are some pop culture stars who would’ve had more respectable careers had they died early? Would Gallagher have become a revered cult comedian had he been assassinated in 1985?
BUDDAH ESKEW: I thought Gallager drowned in a freak melon juice accident in 2002.
INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER: I think a lot of rock stars will fit under here. Does anyone revere anything the Rolling Stones or The Who have put out in the last 30 years? Those are pretty easy targets, though.
ANDREW HICKS: I think “Beast of Burden” is 31 years old, so you’re probably right.
INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER: I’m gonna go with Marlon Brando. By the time he went toes up, he was just a crazy fat man who spent the majority of his time on his private island. Let’s say he actually died during the making of Apocalypse Now. Sure he’d be remembered as being a bit strange, but that would be far, far outweighed by his career as an actor. On top of that, Apocalypse Now (which already has a mythic quality to it) goes to a whole new level in the history of film.
LINDSAY HARTLEY: Michael Jackson. I woulda loved to have seen one of the mommas of the little boys he touched just slit his throat.
INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER: MJ is another way-too-easy target, though. If I’m going pop stars of the ’80s, I’d say Madonna. I know Ray of Light and Music are solid works, but what if she had died in 1989 after putting out Like a Prayer? She goes out with possibly her most ambitious album and becomes the John Cazale of pop music. More importantly if she croaks in 1989, she avoids all the drama of Dennis Rodman, Jose Canseco and Alex Rodriguez. The Kabbalah nonsense never comes up. Her marriage to Guy Ritchie and the subsequently horrid film Swept Away never happen. No one makes any jokes about how muscled up she’s become.
ANDREW HICKS: A Madonna who dies in 1989 is still a Madonna who starred in Shanghai Surprise.
INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER: Well… no career is perfect. Except John Cazale’s, as he can’t help that Francis Ford Coppola raped his corpse by putting footage of him into Godfather III.
ANNE GARDNER: Hmmmm… let’s see… I’ma go with Mariah Carey. I mean, really, *must* she have a nervous breakdown every 18 months? Control-freak or not, she should have stayed married to Tommy, kept her fabulously successful career (and body) and gone the way of so many other “over-pressured” millionaires and managed the strain with an unreasonable amount of drugs.
LINDSAY HARTLEY: Paula Abdul. Loved her when I was younger. Now I’m embarrassed that I ever danced around my living room to “Opposites Attract.”
ANDREW HICKS: I heard MC Skat Kat died eight times prior to recording his rap verse on “Opposites Attract.”
INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER: And there’s my number one answer. Forget Brando dying during the making of Apocalypse Now, let’s kill Coppola’s ass instead. The man who directed The Conversation, The Godfather and Apocalypse Now also directed Jack, a film starring Robin Williams as a young boy who ages much faster than everyone else. Ouch! Seriously, fuck this guy where he breathes. He has disgraced himself over the last 30 years with most of his directorial “efforts.”
ANDREW HICKS: The people behind Epic Movie and Date Movie and all that bullshit should do a People Oddly Aging Forward And Backward Movie.
ANNE GARDNER: Jenna Jameson. Oh Jenna, how the mighty have fallen. From sex goddess and empress of porn to ridden-hard-and-put-away-wet crack addict. She might still die young, but not young enough to have preserved her image.
SCOTTY HARRIS: Hitler. If it weren’t for that whole World War II/Holocaust thing, he would have gone down as a great leader. If he would have died around 1938, he’d be more universally liked. Not that everything he did was good up to that point, but really anytime before like September 1, 1939, would have been acceptable.
INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER: Okay, so Hitler is clearly a joke, but I would make the argument for Lyndon Johnson. It would be hard to pinpoint a date, but his domestic policies would have made him one of the all-time great presidents. He let some people talk him into Vietnam, and once he got in he couldn’t find a way out.
LINDSAY HARTLEY: OH BLOODY HELL. FUCKING SEAN PENN?! Fuck THAT guy! You never go full retard! Shit, man!
INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER: Gonna disagree with Penn. He’s won two Oscars in the last five or six years. You may not like him, but his place in film history has been greatly elevated over the last decade. And say what you will about the tenets of National Socialism. At least it’s an ethos.
LINDSAY HARTLEY: Until he went full retard. WTF has he done since? All The King’s Men? Pffttt. That was only good because of Jude Law.
INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER: No, he’s done Mystic River and Milk since then, two roles for which he won Academy Awards. I am Sam has gotta be 10 years ago.
ANDREW HICKS: Eight.
LINDSAY HARTLEY: Well, then I guess he needs to die NOW, eh?
WOO: Travolta should have died before having made Battlefield Earth.
ANNE GARDNER: C’mon, you know you loved Travolta in Michael.
WOO: That was pre-Battlefield, I’m sure.
ANNE GARDNER: Yep… you’re right… son of a bitch…
INSCRUTABLE JEFFREY TROTTER: Travolta is a joke right now, but he has shown the ability to make a big comeback in the past.
WOO: You know who shoulda went out on top? I can’t believe no one thought of it until now. O.J. MOTHERFUCKING SIMPSON.
SCOTTY HARRIS: You guys won’t know about this guy as much as I do most likely, but Mark “Gator” Rogowski was as much a part of the ’80s skateboarding boom as Steve Caballero, Rodney Mullen or Tony Hawk. Then, in 1991, he raped and killed a girl and confessed. He’s seven years away from his next parole hearing. If he’d died anytime before March 1991, he would have had a spot in skateboarding history as a legend who died too soon. OJ didn’t confess and got away with it, making millions off of the book. Gator talked to his born again Christian friend who convinced him to confess to the police. Moral of the story: Born again Christians will convince you to ruin your life.
ANDREW HICKS: Woo, do you think it would have been a better career legacy move for O.J. M.F. Simpson to die before he killed his wife, or after he got away with it?
WOO: Before. And his son killed her.

One Comment to “Shoulda Died Young: A WNF Free-For-All”

  1. Poor Gallagher, but on the other hand, watermelons everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief.

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