Yearning For Erma… “Art Fern”… Lewis… Andy… Dennis et al

May01/ 2019


Yearning For Erma… Here’s Johnny… Lewis… Andy… Dennis et al


Someone posted a legendary Erma Bombeck column on Facebook this week. It was a “Smell More Roses” admonition that one would think “Everyone” can benefit from. – Link – Erma Bombeck

I was struck with the quandary of:  What is there in America today for which EVERYONE can and will agree on / enjoy / benefit from.

I thought of other Erma Bombeck-types from by-gone days that EVERYONE (or almost EVERYONE) enjoyed and that somehow linked us as a national community.

Erma… Ann Landers… Lewis Grizzard… Hints From Heloise… Dear Abby… Andy Rooney… Johnny Carson… Bill Cosby (BEFORE we knew about…) … and, around the Triangle, The N&O’s Dennis Rogers.

The list is a very long one if we include numerous local radio / TV / newspaper personalities of their “ilk” of my short list above.

Back in the Day… every community had “A Somebody that Everybody Likes” … at least as much / little as we really knew about’em.  Right Greg Fishel?

These were journo-entertainers in various media “platforms” that seemed to touch a common chord in – if not all – certainly in a MUCH higher % of humankind than any ten of the current version of them. “Ten” ??… howsabout “Any”.


RELAX… This is NOT a“If all You People would just share MY socio-cultural-political POV we would not be neck-deep in the apocalyptic quicksand our country is stuck in…”.

I am soooo beyond trying to Save Western Civilization. Rather, I see myself as the opening act for the orchestra on The HMS Titanic preparing to play Nearer My God To Thee as yet another “Unsinkable Civilization” sinks.


In some corner of Purgatory… the Romans, Babylonians, Egyptians, Minoans, Atlantians (why not?), Mayans, etc etc are laffin’ their butts off at our arrogance.

Maybe Arrogance is what we all do share. “Arrogance” that America Is Indestructible no matter how hard we try to destroy it?

I don’t hide my POV (Duh!) although I am endeavoring to no longer flaunt “IT” on this page.

Twitter? Now THAT is a whole ‘nother issue. On Twitter I take the rubber tips off the arrows and aim for vital organs… . but not here.

Whether you support Donald Trump or the 20+ folks all trying very loudly to convince you that they HATE TRUMP more than the other 19+ folks do… I like to think most of us collectively enjoyed Erma Bombeck… Lewis Grizzard… Johnny (and Andy’s) monologues… et al.  No?

There are still humorists… commentators… pundits… today that are “popular” and considered “very successful”. “Very successful” in America 2019 means bazillion of “Likes” and/or “Follows”. But which – if any- truly “cross-over” our differences?

When I was pondering whether to make this website hard-core BobLee’s Political Rant du Jour; I reasoned that 63,000,000 followers would be aplenty.  Like Roy Williams’ “How many golf balls does one guy need?”

I decided Not To BECAUSE… it would mean I would have to be in a combative mindset most of the time. Life’s too short…

Begging the question of  How many Follows / Likes would Erma Bombeck have today?

If Erma Bombeck was still “being Erma Bombeck” would her columns cross-over the ever-widening socio-cultural chasm that divides America?  Or…back in 1973 did Erma mention “watermelon” in a column … OMG!!!

Would you and “That jackass in Accounting that actually voted for ______” sit in the company break room these days and share laughs over Erma’s latest domestic frustrations?Tea Time Movie

At Thanksgiving… Could you and your sister’s no-account / know-it-all 3rd husband find common ground in Johnny Carson’s “Take the Fork in the Road at The Slawson Cut-off”?

As I compose this, the ONLY one I can think of is Frank Caliendo. WHO? The guy that does impressions of Jon Gruden, Mike Ditka etc. on one of the NFL Sunday shows.


I know “a very smart man” who truly believes America took the poison pill with The Fairness Doctrine.  YIKES!

Many say Social Media has been our Cup of Hemlock.  … Some Say The World Will End in Fire… Some Say in Ice…. either will suffice.

Did we ever truly recover from “Adam” leaving Bonanza?


Would anyone who even tried to develop “cross-over” appeal be “Kate Smith-ed”?

If Seinfeld’s Show About Nothing was starting today… would it HAVE to have an obvious socio-cultural direction… Elaine would be a Muslim Lesbian… George and Kramer would be “life partners”… and “Newman” would shoot up The Diner with an AK-47 wearing a MAGA cap. … sigh.

A 2019 version of Sanford & Son would have Aunt Esther replaced by “Aunt Maxine” forever screaming that she won the Georgia gubernatorial election. OUCH!

Without doing a really deep Google dive… I have no clue what the “politics” was of these by-gone entertainers – Erma et al… or their sexual preferences. On the latter issue, I appreciate that “being outed” was very controversial until this millennium… unless one was Liberace. Just ask Rock Hudson.

Recall the first decade or so of Saturday Night Live… Belushi, Murray, Axroyd, Chase, Ratner, Curtin… then Murphy, Piscopo, Carvey, Myers, Morris…

Didn’t you and “that Jackass in Accounting” and “her know-it-all 3rd husband” find common ground on Monday morning recounting SNL skits?

I haven’t watched SNL in AT LEAST 10 years. I haven’t watched Late Night / Tonight With (Anybody) in AT LEAST eight years.


Before this turns into one of those sappy “Yearn For The Good Ol’ Days” baby boomer laments that dominated Facebook for so many years… … …

Indeed, Societal Evolution Is Like A Shark… which has to keep moving (evolving) to survive. We cannot simply pick a point and say “Let’s Keep It Just Like This”.

I see that already with “Twinkle & Scooter” up in Madison. In just 15 months I’ve seen them evolve so much and each stage has it’s “aaahhhhh” moments of extreme cuteness. “Talking” is coming very soon. Can you say “I Love Granddaddy Soooo Much?”

Hard to imagine there could be a “brat stage” down the road… much less “rebellious teen agers” or WORSE !!! Alas, stopping their evolution on “the day they discovered their toes” would have been a real shame.

Grandchildren grow older (and we do too)… Newspapers join Dinosaurs in History’s tar pit… Societies Evolve… etc etc etc …. And somewhere…

Dennis Rogers finds an artichoke that looks like Millard Fillmore.


OK… go ahead and “comment” with your choice of popular humorists – pundits – commentators that – IYO – are non-partisan. … That you and your know-it-all idiot brother-in-law both enjoy.

I can’t promise I won’t guffaw when your choices are so ridiculously partisan its hard to imagine you thought otherwise.

Now… As the icy waters of the North Atlantic splash across our unsinkable decks…

Maestro… Strike Up The Band (Skip The Ad) …. LINK


A Lot More BobLeeSays Columns … LINK


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