Gary Coleman

Friday May 28th, 2010 – Lake Villa, IL

Gary Coleman is dead, and I’m glad to hear it. Just like I was glad when I’d heard about Michael Jackson’s death, maybe the guy can finally find peace. I thought I was Mr. Lucky but he’s always had me beat. I’m glad his torturous run is over. The guy had it very tough.

Here’s a perfect example of proof that fame and fortune are both fleeting and not in any way guaranteed to provide happiness. I have to believe he had a freakish existence for the majority of his life, and whatever free ride he had because of his cuteness wore off fast.

The kid had to overcome being born black, with bad kidneys, was adopted by people in Zion, IL who allegedly misappropriated his funds, was estranged from them for years, and had to live the majority of his life being 4’8” tall and having to hear idiots en masse get in his face every single day and repeat his catch phrase “Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout Willis?”

I’m surprised the poor bastard didn’t go on a killing spree twenty years ago. Time after time he was caught on TV and made fun of, whether he was a security guard or having an incident with someone who probably got in his face. I always felt sorry for the guy. I still do. He should have had a wonderful life, but instead he had to be a source of mockery.

I remember seeing him interviewed on some talk show, and I wanted to cry. He told of his life and troubles, and admitted he didn’t have a lot of friends and my heart went out to the guy right there. I would have been his friend, and not because he was famous. Even in school I always tried to buddy up to the kids who were outcasts. Loneliness is pure hell.

I have a lot of comedian friends who don’t associate with a lot of other comics. I always seem to ‘buddy up with the strays’, and much of the reason for that is I can understand the mindset they’re in. I’ve been there too, and in many ways I never left. There’s a lot of hurt in there, and if someone can at least be a good listener there’s no better friend anywhere.

Gary Coleman wasn’t an idiot. Not by a long shot. He was a smart guy, trapped in a tiny body with bad kidneys and puffy cheeks that old ladies wanted to pinch when he was ten. Then, he wasn’t ten anymore and all hell broke loose. Life is hard enough without having to navigate adulthood from where that guy started. Former successes don’t help for long.

His fame was gone and I’m sure his fortune followed quickly. According to the article I read, he was still estranged from his parents at the time of his death. I’m not sure if those were his adoptive parents or not, and it’s none of my business. I do know about how that feels though, and no matter who it is, something had to happen to cause the estrangement.

If there was a dented can Hall of Fame, Gary Coleman would be in it. My heart goes out to him and I wish him nothing but peace, hope, happiness and relief. The freak show of a life he’s had to star in for a lot longer than Diff’rent Strokes lasted is finally over, and I’m sending any good vibe I can muster his way. If there is life after death, hopefully he’s on a lounge chair right about now, sipping a cool one and getting a massage. He’s earned it.


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