Monday Trivia IV

What do these people all have in common? Fred Astaire, Jim Backus, Charles Bronson, Blake Edwards, Jim Henson, Bob Hope, Geronimo, Stonewall Jackson, Jack LaLanne,* Franz Lizst, Brittany Murphy, Charles Nelson Reilly, Oral Roberts, Paul Tsongas, and Harriet Tubman.

(This list is not exhaustive.)

* Who once slapped me on the ass — hard — at a UC Santa Barbara alumni function. None of the others on this list, however, have done this.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. I’m saddened to learn that Oral Roberts never slapped you on the ass. I’m sure it would have been a life-changing experience.

    I’m fixated on Brittany Murphy’s inclusion here, which makes me think it has more to do with her untimely demise than her oeuvre. A second look at the list also makes me pay more attention to Jim Henson for the same reason. Am I getting close here, or am I professionally biased?

      • Fair enough. I’m just loath to monopolize your comment section.

        So, I know Henson and Murphy both died of pneumonia. I assume, given the age of most of the others on this list, they did, too. I’m having trouble coming up with a med mal connection, given Harriet Tubman and Geronimo.

        • Nope, that’s as far as it goes. The category is “famous people whose primary cause of death is listed as ‘pneumonia’ on their death certificates.”

          Michael Jackson doesn’t count because that was a drug-induced heart failure.

          I’m reminded of the scene from The Commitments:”Oy, ‘e almost got electrocuted to death like that guy from the Who.” “No, he drowned in his own vomit.” “Ugh. And Janis Joplin.” “Yeah, that was vomit too.” “Jimi Hendrix?” “Vomit.”

          • Yeah, but including Dr. Sagan would have made me too sad. He died too young and was such a bright light for clear thinking, science, and hopeful humanism.

            Of course, he never slapped me on the ass, either, so I was kind of sad to see the news about Jack LaLanne too.

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