Tuesday, October 30, 2007

if ever he would leave us

The great Robert Goulet has died of pulmonary fibrosis. He was always one of my favorite radio guests. He never broke character but still seemed to understand the inherent campiness of his appearance on the morning shows I produced back then. At WAVA, Don & Mike would pre-promote the next appearance of "Goulet on the Zoo" more than most other guest bookings. Each year the largest and best Christmas card I received was postmarked in Las Vegas and bore a return address that said "ROGO & ROVE." The card always had a new photo of Robert and his wife Vera on the front.

During my time at KLOS, we would put on old-fashioned radio plays. At first it was just "A Christmas Carol." Later we expanded it to "The War of the Worlds" one Halloween and two episodes of "The Witch's Tale" the next year. Our most ambitious effort was probably the production of "The Wizard of Oz" we did one Easter. Dwight Yoakam was the first celebrity to sign up. He knew right away that he wanted to play the Cowardly Lion. Mark & Brian wanted to play the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow but neither wanted to sing, especially since they would be compared to Dwight. I had the idea to get them a stunt double, somebody who was a consummate professional yet would get the joke. We didn't tell the audience about it in advance. The listeners were expecting to hear Brian sing "If I Only Had a Brain" and Mark sing "If I Only Had a Heart" but instead they heard the robust voice of Robert Goulet both times. You can see Mr. Goulet in the center of the cast photo below.

The Wizard of Oz radio play - April 17, 1998 - (left to right): Mary Oppermann, Tom Mazur, Lisa Boisse, Jess Harnell, Alan Young, Sandra Gould, Robert Goulet, Dwight Yoakam, Peter Scolari, Brian Phelps, Sheena Easton, Mark Thompson, Frank Murphy

I still hear Robert Goulet's voice every night singing the theme song to "Jimmy Kimmel Live." My deepest sympathy goes to Vera and the rest of his family.

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Blogger alicia said...

Robert Goulet had a relative (brother? cousin?) with whom I worked in downtown Los Angeles between 1978 and 1980....this guy had an impressive speaking voice. This was when I worked for Occidental Life Insurance (before Transamerica obliterated their name). Every year we did a Christmas chorale and one year we did a live radio play - lots of fun. Radio really used to be much more fun than it is now. I'm glad I got out of it when I did (about the time I decided to marry my husband). But sometimes I really miss what it has been and could still be.


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