The Chuckle's obit

Dateline: Wed 16 Jun 2010

Did anyone else notice a letter to the editor this past week, lamenting the disappearance of the Chuckle from the Indianapolis Star?

Reader Richard K. Egan lamented, "Thank you for keeping the daily prayer, but where oh where has the chuckle gone? I have missed it for weeks. Please, in this time of world turmoil, we all need a grin or two each day. Thank you for being The Star."

I also received an email this week, asking about the state of the chuckle.

Here is what exec editor Dennis Ryerson has to say about that:

"We were getting increasing complaints about it. Items like this would show up: Now that women have broken the glass ceiling, who's going to clean up that mess?

"As I explain in my Sunday column, (upcoming, so here is your teaser) that's not funny, and it's a slap against women who have worked so hard to get on an equal standing with men in the workplace and other endeavors. For that one, we were able to find a sub, but it became more and more difficult to the point that it just wasn't worth it. I'm getting about a complaint a day, which in the scheme of things isn't much. Some readers are okay when I explain it as I've done for you, but some tell us we need to lighten up and not be so politically correct, a term I despise because I do think we need to be sensitive."

I asked him where Chuckle came from and how long it had run:

"It was a syndicated feature. I don't know how long it ran here. Few papers run the thing anymore."

I say this calls for an obituary. Please feel free to submit your old was Chuckle, how did it die, was it in hospice, is it going to be with the Lord, how many survivors, is its nickname "the thing" etc?

Chuckle deserves this. Services, cremation or burial, the whole bit.




Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I'm not a huge fan of Mr. Milz, but this was a smart move. Some Gannett changes make the paper a little more current.

The prayer can go, too. It might cause Marilyn Quayle to have a stroke, but that won't matter.

We've gotten rid of Eugene's hateful political vendettas. The chuckle was, frankly, unsophisticated 20 years ago. Now it's just hick.

2010-06-17 11:02:10

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Huh? Hick is our middle name here in the Hoosier Heartland!

2010-06-17 12:45:13

hendy [Member] said:

Charles "Chuckle" Guffaw 1931-2010

Born in a pub near the Essex House, Chuckle Guffaw was the son of Hamilton 'Ham' Guffaw and Rita Snowflake. A 35th Degree Mason, Guffaw was also known as the 24/7 go-to man for humor, that gave him the nickname "Daily Chuckle". A Shriner, Chuckles lead the US Shriner Clown Drill Team for forty years. Guffaw was a special agent for the Illuminati, the Bilderberg Group, and lived at 42 Hauptsnicker Lane with his surviving wife, Lupe. Also surviving are sons Ima (Steely), Lucias, Bunny, and daughters Sil E., Runcy, and Gigglee.

A memorial service and drill team exhibition will be held across from his occasional offices at 333 N Pennsylvania (note that it's one half of 666 N Pennsylvania). Memorial contributions can be made to Central State Hospital Potter's Cemetery Fund, where Chuckles will be interred and forgotten.


2010-06-17 13:21:39

ruthholl [Member] said:

Hendy, that is one hell of an obit.
C'mon, the rest of you...let's get with it.
Altho Hendy may have come as close to Chuckles perfection as any mortal can expect...must be that living in Morgan County that does it.

2010-06-17 15:32:51

hendy [Member] said:

Morgan County is not the Peoples Republic of Monroe County, where I keep my abode by the pool. Easy mistake to make.

2010-06-17 17:40:44

ruthholl [Member] said:

I need another lap. I mean, nap.
Morgan County equals Martinsville! F--- yeah!

2010-06-17 20:37:20

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Hendy, that's priceless.

My dad is a Shriner. He was in a scooter patrol until he reached 78, and they kindly told him he needed to, uh, retire. He kept bumping into other scooter drivers in the parades, and he giggled like a schoolboy. He gave his Fez to me--the whole Masonic thing means a lot to him, but not one thing to me, Hiram Ibiff and all. Evidently, old geezer Shriners have a mandatory retirement age: the earlier of--85 or your inability to down three Gin Rickeys before the parade. Dad never could hold his booze. Two beers and he needs a lap. Er, nap.

But I digress...

2010-06-17 21:29:06

NoMoreRefills [unverified] said:

Can we retire references to Mr. Milz? Enough already. It's a slap at women, insinuating that we can impugn someone's manhood by equating him with his wife. It's also a slap at Mary Milz. Whatever you think of her work as a reporter for Channel 13, let's keep it separate from Dennis Ryerson's deeds, especially now that they no longer are a couple. If you want to slam Ryerson, man up and name him directly. Sheesh.

2010-06-17 21:32:19

Tell The Truth [Member] said:


2010-06-18 05:52:07

hendy [Member] said:

Apparently I missed something by not watching TV. So much the better.

C'mon you retired obit writers. Your turn. Time to put the -30- tag up one more time, with your tongue firmly in your cheek(y).

2010-06-18 10:11:25

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

You didn't miss much, hendy. Refill thinks I needed to man up and slam Dennis directly. So here goes:

Dennis and Ms. Milz both are sloppy reporters. It makes sense he'd be a less-than-good editor.

But even a blind squirrel can find an acorn once in a while. The chuckle was lame. The prayer is, too, but, where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

I still don't wax poetic for the Pulliam days.

2010-06-18 11:25:07

hendy [Member] said:

My mother once said that the Indpls Star was better than a cup of coffee to get her going in the morning. I think it might have been bile, actually. She believed that the Pulliams were the near-perfect representation of WASP aristocracy. Varvel continues the tradition, minus perhaps 40 I.Q. points.

They're too easy a target. Sorry. The gentlemanly thing to do would be to ignore the prattle and boorishness, the scent of ill-wind, and carry on.

2010-06-19 08:49:18

Roberta X [unverified] said:

I disagree. Not about the Star's editorial inclinations under the Pulliams (since I'm all libertarianish, I agreed with them possibly half the time and suffered boiling of the blood the other 70 percent*) but at least the paper had a consistent editorial policy and solid reporting off the opinion page. These days, the paper has neither. Understaffed, underfunded and with a shaky aim at the mushy middle of public opinion, the paper is still the cheapest source of newsprint cut into a useful size.
* You did get an extra 20% of opinion from them. At least.

2010-06-19 14:16:41

hendy [Member] said:

You're right about the consistency: bad.

In the Pulliam days, it was as WASP-ish as one could get. It helped spawn the excellent journalism found in the Indianapolis Recorder. It was the status quo, an evil aristocratic mindset.

There were a few good writers. I remember Tom Keating, Ed Shaunessey (sp?), Ruth, and a handful of others. Then there were the editorial writers from the very bowels of hell. Mindlessly conservative to the edges of the dimwits of the John Birch Society....The Star went kicking and screaming into each new decade.

The most recent disingenuous editorial administration wouldn't know a story if it hit them on the side of the head. The IBJ, barely idling in first gear, gets more on a single Saturday than The Star does all week.

Yeah, I write an occasional Viewpoint for the IBJ. And as I'm not a huge fan of Daniels and his lapdog, perhaps I'll not be writing there any more. So much the better. They still make the current overworked/underpaid staff in the newsroom look pretty bad. Oh, right-- most of them came from The Star.

The Star is a shell of itself, of what it once was (size-wise), and none of what it could have become. No wonder you can't find a human under age 25 that subscribes to a newspaper anymore. This is the legacy: not very much.

2010-06-19 22:18:22

Dan Shame [unverified] said:

Wow. Some of these comments & Ryerson's rationale confirm the uptight, power tripping status of the PC'd. Membership renewed.

"Offensive" in our hyper-clatched culcha is seemingly more recreational than real; more import than export.

Technology aside, considering the aforementioned UT factor & Cronkiting of the profession, the decline of print journalism is little surprise. It is Rather, a Dan shame.

2010-06-27 20:20:17

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