RIP Pat McCormick

[UPDATE]

So, yeah.  Apparently Pat McCormick didn’t die.  He’s very much alive and kicking in his secluded home in the Pacific Northwest.  Apparently, he sent word to his son, through his wife, that he had died in order to cut off communication with his son.  Yeah.

The things I said below are all still true and, I don’t believe, can be erased.  Of course, what went on in the family should remain in the family and I have no desire for any details, but this certainly does put a weird tint on someone who certainly influenced me.

I wanted to update this post because it gets a fair amount of traffic on this site, but I’m going to leave the original post up because, when I wrote it, I was speaking from the heart.  I hope Pat McCormick lives a full and healthy life and whatever went on between members of the family get resolved.

[ORIGINAL]

Very saddened to read the news that Pat McCormick passed away in late October. Along with the rest of the kids growing up in the Bay Area during that time, I knew all the words to his daily ‘Charley & Humphrey’ bits on KTVU Channel 2.

“Glue, I need Glue”

“A Honeybee just landed on my back leg. Now, if we sit real still, he’ll fly away.”
“How about if I kick him off?” 

“You get seasick when you get near the bathtub!”

“I apologize for poking you in the nose!”

Pat’s two handed, doing both voices, style was a major influence on my love of puppetry just as much as Jim Henson was. My Uncle Interloper shorts draw direct inspiration from Charley & Humphrey. In fact, I’d say I learned the fine art of doing a take to the camera from Charley’s exasperated takes when dealing with Humphrey.

It’s a shame that there’s only a handful of the Bits & Pieces stuff that survives online. I wrote to KTVU years ago asking for copies and they said most of it had been taped over. Such a shame. To their credit, they have uploaded some earlier Charley & Humphrey PSAs (that were a little before my time) to their YouTube, but of the classics: Coast Guard, Bees, Pussyfoot is a Bully to Humphrey and Borrowing Without Asking, only the last two remain (at least on YouTube).

This link contains a good (and last known) interview with Pat. Seems he was burnt out by the end and slipped into a well deserved retirement. I, for one, will continue to remember Charley Horse and Humphrey T. Hambone and will attempt to create in their style.

Thanks Pat.

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