Episode 48: What Can We Learn from the Lives of Dead Celebrities?

Apr 26, 2022 | Podcast Episode

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Who knew that you could meet some of your best guests in an elevator in LA? That’s what happened here when I met the hosts of Famous and Gravy. Michael and Amit told me their show was about analyzing the lives of dead celebrities. Death and pop culture? Yes sir. We love that here at SSFYL. Michael Osbourne is with us today! He is a climate scientist (yes, he answers whether we are doomed or not) but also a bit of a podcast connoisseur.

Celebrities give us the gift of a fairly visible life, which comes with a trove of publicly available information that allows us to look at their life as a full picture. Supplied with all that data, Michael and Amit use Famous and Gravy to look at the more holistic life of a dead celebrity, beyond just their fame, and determine what excites, drives, or disappoints them – as the hosts and as beings. This podcast is not just about celebrities and their lives but rather the choices we make as human beings.

Episode Highlights:

  • How Michael got into podcast and audio producing and how Famous & Gravy came to be
  • Analyzing and learning from a celebrities journey and what we can take away from them
  • Fame bias and celebrity narratives
  • The admire and desire factor
  • The criteria Michael and Amit have for analyzing celebrities on Famous & Gravy and how that can be applied to our lives
  • Fun Famous & Gravy games and segments

Mentioned in this episode:
​​Don’t Say You ‘Can’t Imagine’ the Grief of Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones. Ask Them to Tell You Their Stories (article)

Connect with Michael:

Tune in to Famous & Gravy on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts


Transcripts (Please Note: This transcript was computer-generated so please be mindful of errors):
[00:02:50] Gianna: I’m really happy to be talking to you now. We had a pre-interview the other day. That was amazing. I feel like we could [00:03:00] talk all day long just because of a, the content is amazing and we like to talk and I mean, like not for nothing, like, we’re both funny. So yeah.

[00:03:09] Michael: Now the pressure’s on to be funny, but yeah. Oh yes. I’ll let you tell me, Mike, you need to shut up so we can get on to other things.

[00:03:18] Gianna: no. Yeah. So, yeah. So do you prefer Michael

[00:03:20] Michael: or Mike? I’ve been going by Michael lately. I’m you know, Mike is such a common name that I’ve had a tendency to acquire nicknames my whole life. So my last name is Osborne people sometimes call, call me Ozzie. When I went to college I had more of a Texas accent, so I got the nickname texts.
And then my dad has a whole series of long complicated nicknames for me. So

[00:03:42] Gianna: I think nicknames are

[00:03:43] Michael: fun. Yeah, I did too. But I’ve been like wrestling with, am I Mike or Michael? What do I do I identify with these days? And I think Michael, it’s like more of a. Name, and I think I’ve I’ve I prefer Michael, but I really don’t give a shit.
So if you call me Mike, I’m not [00:04:00] like that, that.

[00:04:02] Gianna: Okay. Yeah, I think, no, I, I, I like Michael. I like, I think that has a nice, a nice, like a prestige to it almost. Ooh, okay. Yeah. No nicknames are fun. I think, I think it’s always nice. Like, so obviously my name is Giana. If you’re listening and you don’t know that, hi, I’m Giana.

And it’s like people either right off the bat start calling me G or they just never do, or they always just stick to Giana. Like it’s always like a. Specific thing. Like, it’s not like, oh, you form into G and like a few years, it’s like people that meet me are like right away. Like, is it okay if I call you G I feel like I should just call you G I’m like, yeah.

Like whatever you want. And then I have some friends that call me Gigi. I get G money. Like, I mean, a ton of things.

[00:04:40] Michael: So is pretty good. I might use tree money if
[00:04:42] Gianna: that’s okay. Yeah. I’m going to go for it. I had my, my former boss used to call me that. So like in meetings, he’d be like, do you money? What do you got?
[00:04:52] Michael: Wow, that really does put it on the spot when you say it.

[00:04:55] Gianna: aside from awesome podcast, or aside from funnyman, [00:05:00] aside from prestigious, Michael, you, my friend are also a Stanford PhD climate scientist, which would, I just would not think, but reveal that information. And your fourth year at Stanford, you started an environmental show.

So an environmental podcast that you also have that still running to this day.

[00:05:18] Michael: Correct. Yeah. Generation Anthropocene. It’s a mouthful, but it’s still going to this

[00:05:22] Gianna: day. And then at Stanford, you also built out a podcast incubator. So you kind of know what you’re doing in this whole podcast space.
And you had a second show, raw data. that, that lasted around three years at Stanford. You said, what was that one?

[00:05:34] Michael: Yeah, that one, I created it around 2015 is when we started raw data. And that was when, so I had kind of had two lives at Stanford. I was a graduate student. And then after I finished my PhD, the university hired me for that podcast incubator and it was along the way that I created raw data.

I did three seasons at Stanford, but around the time I left California to come home to Austin, Texas PRX approached us and said, we’d like to do a fourth season and we’ll, we’ll [00:06:00] help fund it. And I said, great. So that one isn’t gone necessarily, but it’s definitely are nice and I don’t have plans to resurrect it.
So that was the second show.

[00:06:10] Gianna: are you working in the climate scientist space now as well?

[00:06:14] Michael: Not really. I mean, these days I am a full-time audio producer and creative consultant. That’s how I make a living. I do kind of keep one foot in the water with climate and environmental issues.
I am not an active researcher or scientist anymore. So to the extent that I’m still involved with environmental sciences, it’s all around the podcast.
So while

[00:06:37] Gianna: we have a climate scientist on the line, I’m going to ask you a very simple question. Are we doomed?

[00:06:42] Michael: Yes. Okay. Was there more or yeah, yeah. I mean, yeah, we are. And you know, I mean, I actually, honestly, part of the reason I keep the podcast going is because I have a lot of fear and a lot of confusion about what it’s all going to mean for me, from ads, for [00:07:00] society and so forth.
And I think, you know, it’s like with any podcasts it’s sorta like with this one, like the best way to get clarity on that is to talk it out. I’d rather talk about my fears than just have them sort of hover in the background and stay inside my mind. That’s not a good place.

[00:07:15] Gianna: as we always say on this podcast, you have to feel it to heal it.
I’m not exactly sure that we can just heal climate change by talking about it, but certainly good to raise awareness for it. So yeah, I mean, it’s one of those things I don’t know too much about, but I just think. That it’s probably not good where we are.

[00:07:33] Michael: I think that’s a fair take home. And I think that maybe that’s all you got to know in a way it’s like, it’s, it’s a big, messy problem and we’ve got to do something about it and hopefully we’ll get there.

You know, I don’t know, I, it’s easy to be self-righteous about the climate problem and to like make it the most important thing in, in life and in society. And I get that and there’s a lot of people out there doing that the same time we all got to live our lives and we all, you know, what I care more about is, is people.

So [00:08:00] I dunno, I go back and forth with these questions a lot. But yeah, to answer your question, Dan, I didn’t see him, like, can I say one more thing about the doomed thing? Just because it comes up, it comes up a lot. I feel like there is some space between. Everything is just fine and we’re all fucked, right?

Like there’s some, there’s some something in between there where just probably where we’re gonna land. And I guess that’s really what I’m interested in is like, what, what is the not necessarily end of the world scenario, but the things that I should care about that I need to keep caring

[00:08:34] Gianna: about, but that’s not sexy.
Right. So we only hear about the we’re fucked part of it. Yeah, that’s right. That’s the narrative that gets perpetuated. And then the people that are on the other end of the spectrum are like, no, you’re completely wrong. Even though they may not be wrong in some sense, but it’s like the way that it’s sensationalized is probably wrong, I think kind of like the push

[00:08:53] Michael: and pull, I think that’s exactly right.
I think it’s a complicated story. Part of the reason I’ve gone on to develop other [00:09:00] podcasts is because I, I find that one actually the hardest to talk about in some ways. And so I’m like looking for ways to, to learn lessons from other topics that may be, I can pour it back into the climate discussion because it’s such an intractable problem.

[00:09:15] Gianna: Well, this is such a great segue because you find that. Difficult to talk about. So you wanted something lighter and more fun. So you went with death?

[00:09:27] Michael: Yes. I think that’s easier than I did. Yeah, I guess that’s true. I hadn’t thought of it like that way. When you say it like that, you’re right. I did go the harder route.

[00:09:41] Gianna: No, but I love that you did, like, this is what we need. We need people to be talking about it more and I’m so happy that you and your goal has it did.
And that’s why I was so happy to have you on to talk about your newest venture, famous and gravy, because it does make depth fun. We’re looking and analyzing the deaths in the lives of celebrities [00:10:00] and learning from it. You and I talked about like how we are in this phase. I think of everyone has it better.
Then we do. Everyone knows what they’re doing. Everyone is more successful. Everyone’s got it all figured out. But at the end of the day, and a lot of that is because of like this social media world that we’re on, right. Where people curate this perfect world for them. Yeah, of what they look like, what they’re doing, where they’re traveling, where they’re going.
We don’t see the shit. We don’t see the behind the scenes. We don’t see the hard work. We don’t see the, the tough days. Although there has been a movement of people trying to share that more, but like at the end of the day, nobody knows what the hell they’re doing. Yeah. This podcast that you’re doing is kind of like, okay, let’s look at these celebrities.
So we may have all looked up to, or may have thought they, you know, achieve so much in their life. And you know, I’m sitting here on my couch thinking I achieve nothing, but let’s peel it back a little bit and let’s see some of the, the difficulty they may have had and what else they’ve gone through in their life and what [00:11:00] lessons we can learn from it.
So it’s, it’s a really great show. You have a lot of fun segments throughout it. And just the conversation that you and Ahmed have. I mean, you can tell that you guys are friends. You, you have fun with it, you laugh, but you respectfully disagree with each other, which brings up some really great conversations.
And one of your most recent episodes talking about Neil Armstrong who walked on the moon and I think Ahmed was like, yeah, no, I’m not sure. Like, I would want that life. But dude, you get to walk

[00:11:27] Michael: on the fucking moon. Moon. Yeah.

[00:11:31] Gianna: I had to like replay that moment several times. Cause I was laughing so hard with the intensity that you said it, like, you could tell you were like screaming at him.
Like how dare you say you don’t want this. So tell me about how right you were as if it was like your life. You’re like, how dare you say that to me? Tell me a little bit about how you guys came up with this show and what it’s been like for you so far. Yeah,

[00:11:53] Michael: I mean, so it, so I’m at, and I became friends 10 or 12 years ago, something like that.
When I was still in [00:12:00] California, in grad school, he was at Wikipedia at the time or actually Wikimedia, which is the umbrella organization for Wikipedia. And it was around the time that social media was kind of on the rise and Ahmed. He was, we got into a conversation one night over drinks, where he was talking about how, the way we are marking celebrity death in the age of social media is kind of weird.
Like when somebody dies, there’s this grand outpouring, you see it all over Facebook and Twitter and so forth. And then like next week it’s gone. It’s just this big ephemeral flash. And so he had, he noted something about like the way we were as a society, grieving celebrities. So he started keeping this list of people who had died and he started playing this game, this dead alive game.
Which you and I can play. I told you a little bit about

[00:12:49] Gianna: that. Yes, we’ll be in, that’s a little fun segment we have at the end of the episode. So stay

[00:12:53] Michael: tuned. Okay. Yeah, we’ll get the dead alive later. Anyway. So that kind of began a conversation between the two [00:13:00] of us about just how, like weird it is, how we are processing and looking at celebrity death.

And they just social media. So. Um, And I kept in touch. We were, he was dating a gal. Who’s good friends with my wife. They ended up breaking up, but at night state friends, actually, we all stayed friends. And and he was, he, I mean, I don’t even exactly know how to describe my friendship with him other than he’s always got a surprising take.

Like every conversation we fall into, I just don’t know where he’s coming from. And he’s, he’s somebody it’s a great friendship that way in that, like, I’m always just surprised what his analysis is of a situation or a person or whatever. Somewhere in 2020, you know, when COVID was really at, it’s kind of, when we were like in maximum quarantine I reached out to them like, you know, we should try and make this dead alive game into a podcast.

I don’t know what that looks like, but let’s, let’s see if we can come up with something. And over [00:14:00] the course of a year, we developed famous and gravy and, you know, basically you, you laid it out pretty well. There’s a series of categories and questions where we look at a recently deceased celebrity’s life.
And it all kind of leads up to this big question, what I want that life or not. So, you know, we workshop that for a year and then released in late 20, 21.

[00:14:18] Gianna: And it’s been going pretty well so far

[00:14:20] Michael: so far. Yeah. I mean, you know, I’m sure this is your experience with podcasting too, but it’s getting received really well.
We’re getting a lot of positive feedback, you know, friends are, and, and people we don’t know are saying. Connecting with some of what you’re trying to do here. This is funny, but it’s also, you know, sort of meaningful. It’s a little bit subversive that way. But then it’s also like for me, and I think I’m at would say the same thing, like really rewarding to have these conversations.
I have been able to put my finger on some things I care about that I didn’t realize. I cared about. So

[00:14:53] Gianna: that’s what I want to dive into. Like, what are some of the lessons that you’ve taken away from this, or, or something that you’ve learned about [00:15:00] life through it, which, listen, we’ve all learned something about life in the last two years.
And if you haven’t then like you’re doing something fucking wrong because you were given a enough time to sit there and think about it and be like, everything completely changed. Like you had to basically revamp the way you thought about the world, because we were confronted with this thing. We never thought we would ever have to deal with.
And then being confronted with so much death and so much bad news and so much hard times that like, if you didn’t reevaluate things and there’s a psychological problem and we can get into that at another time. So, so like for you and going through everything that we did with COVID and the pandemic and the, you know, political issues that we had, and then also having this podcast and looking at life and death differently, I mean, you have to be walking through this experience with.
Light bulb

[00:15:47] Michael: moments. A few. Yeah, for sure. Enemy. It’s a, it’s a work in progress. The first thing I’ve learned is that I want to die with about $10 million. I don’t think I want, I don’t think which is a lot. Right. That’s a lot more than I got right [00:16:00] now. But I don’t need more than that. That there’s something in that $10 million give or take a few million dollars zone that sounds about right.
That, okay.

[00:16:08] Gianna: Well, let’s talk about this. Do you want to die with the 10 million in your bank account so that it is left behind to your children and your family and friends, or would you rather be left behind with zero knowing that you spent that $10 million on the experiences that you could have with your family?

[00:16:29] Michael: Fuck. I haven’t thought about this before. Okay. I think the answer is I want to die around 10 million and I don’t actually like if it’s 1 million, that’s fine. It’s not

[00:16:40] Gianna: so modest.

[00:16:42] Michael: It’s not that I necessarily want to have, you know, a big bank account on my death bed. What I want is to, is to have an amount that, where I don’t worry about it that much anymore, but I also don’t want to have so much that it fucks with my head.

You know, that I do think that there is a level of wealth [00:17:00] that, you know, is corrupting and, and that the questions come up. And how much can you trust strangers and how much, that your ability to have healthy relationships with other people? I think crosses a threshold at some point that I’ve, ballparked around 10 million.

And yeah, of course I want to, you know, be able to leave something for my wife and kids or whoever, whoever my heirs are. So yeah, one of the categories we have on the show is net worth and I’ve discovered 10 million. And my ballpark rough numbers, a comfortable

[00:17:27] Gianna: spot. Yeah. It seems like, it seems like, can we go halvsies maybe we say we spend 5 million on the experiences with the family friends, and then we leave them with 5 million as well.

[00:17:36] Michael: That sounds comfortable. Yeah. I’m good with that. I mean 10 million. I don’t have to think about it too much. Yeah.

[00:17:43] Gianna: We have a family motto here. That my, my mother-in-law always used to say is you can’t take it. Yeah. You know, like it’s, it’s not going to be etched in your headstone, what your net worth was, and you’re not going to be able to bring that shit to heaven.
So you can’t take it with, you might as well spend it here might as well have fun. And we apply that as [00:18:00] much as we can to experiences and not, you know, material items, because like, what the hell does that mean at the scheme of things? And again, like we saw in the pandemic material items meant nothing but the experiences that you had and that you were able to look back upon and, you know, that’s kind of why we’re living the life that we are now and traveling and getting all this in while we can, because who knows what tomorrow brings.
And it’s like what? You’re going to stockpile all your money. And I understand there’s a responsible way to go about it because of course you don’t want to spend that 10 million and then like, oh shit, I still have 20 years left of my life. What do I do now? Right. So it’s all, it’s all a gamble. It’s all trying to just like figure out some strategy and how you can live your best life and protect your friends and family too, because there’s totally something to be said about not leaving your wife with.

[00:18:42] Michael: but of course, a hundred percent. I mean, I think that, you know, I guess the reason I came out of the gate saying, you know, what have I learned about myself? I went about to $10 million. I don’t really have that conversation anywhere else. I don’t really talk about like, what is a comfortable amount of money?
what, and that’s frankly, a ceiling number, right. I’m saying I don’t need [00:19:00] anything more than that. You know, I money like grief, like climate, like sex, you know, is one of those things that it’s not easy to have a conversation about sometimes. Yeah. So that category has been helpful that way.
I had I’d say something else about what I’ve learned doing the show thus far. We don’t have a great category for evaluating friendship. You know, and what are the quality of somebody’s friendship? What is the quality of somebody’s friendship? You can kind of deduce it here and there. And one of the things I’ve found, and this has definitely been true.
Since becoming a father like post parenthood, is that the older I get the harder it is to make new friends. And that kinda sucks. Right. So whenever I see somebody who is making friendships later in life, that’s like a super desirable quality to me. And, and I think, I think I kinda sorta knew that before we started the podcast, but that lesson has been really hammered home for me.
That it’s just something I want in life is to stay, you know, relational wealth [00:20:00] connected to people.

[00:20:01] Gianna: Right. Okay. So two things, one I would like to consider myself, your friend. So congratulations. You have done it.

[00:20:09] Michael: Yeah. I’ll slate a new fantastic. Yes. Today, today is a win.

[00:20:12] Gianna: But the number two. So is that something you’re saying that you’re seeing, like, as you’re evaluating these celebrity lives, you’re seeing like the friendships that they’re building.
And like what they’re able to sustain.

[00:20:23] Michael: You know, look, we only know so much about celebrity lives. I, I do try and do my homework for this show. I’ll read biographies. I’ll watch documentaries. I’ll go down Wikipedia, rabbit holes and scoured the fun. Oh, they’re so fun. They’re so fun. And you discover all kinds of like trivial shit.
That’s just delightful.

[00:20:42] Gianna: One of my favorite pastimes is like, after watching a show then like Wikipedia and the shit out of the characters, or like if it’s a documentary or, or like a based on type of thing, like, I need to know like the real thing, I’m actually, I’m watching the show about the Lakers. I forgot what it’s called, but the one on HBO, [00:21:00] I’m having a hard time, like not ruining the story for myself, because I want to know like everything and, and about all the characters and like, wait, what, the way this happened.
Was that really real? Or was that just them, especially when it’s like this blend of real and entertainment,

[00:21:12] Michael: I’m totally with you on that. I’m trying to think. I there’s a recent example of that. That was like a true story that I couldn’t believe that I was doing the same thing, like trying to guard myself against anyway.
I mean, you know, I guess I’m at, and I would both, and I, I know I can cop to the fact that. Can only know so much about a celebrity’s life and that and that there’s going to be some information out there that’s not trustworthy. And that it’s, it’s one directional, right? They don’t know who I am and everything.
You know, learning I’m, I’m projecting, I’m mapping on certain things. I’m making assumptions.

[00:21:46] Gianna: I think cam can’t really do interviews for this

[00:21:48] Michael: show. I can’t really do it. That’s one, what’s one, one of the, one of the things that is off the table, unfortunately with gravy. But you know, so, so you try and piece it together where you [00:22:00] can write and biographies are sometimes good for this.
For whatever reason. The example that’s leaping to mind is the Joan Rivers episode. We did, we made a friend really late in life and the way the friendship is described and the biography is just like fucking hilarious and really cool. And really, tells me something about who she is and what she’s all about, that she still opened a friendship late in life and that can still find a kind of kindred spirit.
So yeah, I mean, I forgot what the question was.

[00:22:28] Gianna: the friendships later in life. Like, is that something that you’ve seen throughout the episodes and throughout the the people that you’ve analyzed? Yeah. I

[00:22:35] Michael: mean, another example that leaps to mind. Thank you for reminding me another example that leaps to mind is Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie were really good friends.
And there’s two people who I would not have. Hung out together and

[00:22:49] Gianna: you’re right. And so, and celebrity deaths that does come out. I had that most recently with Taylor Hawkins the drummer for the foo fighters, because I mentioned him a lot in an episode I did recently because [00:23:00] he’s from Laguna beach and me currently living in Laguna beach.
It’s been very apparent. I mean, there were like Memorial circles. There were flags hanging from a lot of houses there. I mean, even just being like shopping in a random boutique, like people were talking about him. So I went kind of down that rabbit hole as well. And I saw that one of the people who had posted and had a lot to say about it was John Stamos.
I just wouldn’t picture the two of them being friends. And it just made me really sad for John Stamos because they seem to be very close with Taylor Hawkins. We all know how close it was like a brother relationship with Bob Saget. And I mean, this guy has, has lost a lot of close friends in a short amount, amount of time.
And it’s just very sad. so I see what you’re saying. Now you see like these weird friendships kind of come out or like people that you wouldn’t have usually put together. And in terms of, when the death comes out in their, their, their airing, their grievances

[00:23:52] Michael: about it. Yeah.
That’s a hundred percent. And, and I think you know, part of it, I mean, well, you know, one of the things I think about on the show, and I [00:24:00] don’t know if this is this is related to what we’re talking about or not, but the show did kind of begin with a theory of celebrity for me. I mean, this is a little philosophical, but the idea is that society, anoints people to be famous, right.
We, as a culture say, there is something about you that, that we admire that we desire. Maybe you’re good looking, maybe you’re smart. Maybe you’re really funny. Maybe you’re great at sports. Maybe you’re a good orator, a great writer, whatever it may be. And so, you know, one of the things I think we’re trying to do on the show is it.
I mean another way of putting that as to say that celebrities for better or worse are our heroes. You know, we put them on a pedestal. And so one of the thoughts that’s been in my mind around all that is that, is that sort of specific to a given time period, did somebody become famous in the seventies or in the eighties because of the cultural context of the seventies and eighties.
And now that that they’re Ted can let’s look back at those quote unquote heroic qualities [00:25:00] and try and get at, are those still with us? Do we still admire them for that? How did they get there with those quiet and therefore, what can we learn about their journey and what, if anything, can we bring into our own lives?
And I’d put the ability to make friendships as, as one of those.

[00:25:16] Gianna: That’s fair. I, and I think that this world of celebrity is so much more complicated than it’s aired to be. You know, we’ve hear celebrities that have come out and been public about that in recent years and saying like, I’m so lonely, this is miserable.
I have no real friends. So yes, being able to make friends later in life at a time when they already are celebrity and it’s hard to trust people is, is admirable. And also just being able to look at how they’ve handled certain things in their life, knowing how difficult it can be being in this world.
Like, of course there’s the stardom and the money and the access to things, but there’s also a lot of difficulty with that world. So I think there’s, there’s lessons in how. [00:26:00] We can handle it based on how they handled it with a lot more weight on their shoulders and a lot more pressure in terms of analyzing their every move.

[00:26:11] Michael: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and to be clear, like, I don’t want to be famous. I think if I want to be famous, I want to be podcast famous, like voice famous, but I don’t, I don’t want my face in my likeness out there. I don’t want to be recognized on the streets.

[00:26:24] Gianna: That’s fair. I think after this episode, we both are going to be famous.
I think we’re headed. I think it’s, yeah. It’s certainly going to go viral and be huge

[00:26:33] Michael: G money. You and me? We’re going there. Yeah.

[00:26:38] Gianna: And Mike, Michael. Yeah,

[00:26:42] Michael: I’m going to have to pick a nickname if I’m going to be famous. Yeah, so, I mean, I think I, I, fame does not in itself look desirable for all of the sort of like obvious reasons, the loss of privacy, the inability to, you know, walk into a room and, and not know our people, you know, if they [00:27:00] recognize you and therefore, like, can you trust your fellow human being?
Or do they have ulterior motives and, and approach that that on its face looks pretty terrible to me. Yeah,

[00:27:09] Gianna: especially in the world of grief, I could imagine it would be fucking terrible because I’ve seen it happen to others where a celebrity loses somebody in their life. They’re clearly grieving is clearly a tough time.
They’re only human, right? That doesn’t PR their level of stardom does not protect them for the heinous world that they’re about to enter in terms of grief. And again, as their, every move is analyzed, people take it upon themselves to say what is right and what is not. So three weeks later, they’re out to dinner with a friend.
It’s the first time I’ve actually pulled themselves up off of the couch and got out of the house and brush their hair and even showered. And then they’re like caught with one picture smiling and all of a sudden the media is all over them for not grieving enough or not being sad enough or so-and-so out on the town mere weeks after losing blah, blah, blah.
Like in [00:28:00] that I can’t, I like actually, like I’m getting like a physical, visceral reaction because I can’t imagine. Having that pressure put on you in that time. Like, I know the pressure I put on myself and saying to myself, okay, it’s been three weeks. It’s been six months. It’s been a year. Like, you need to get your shit together.
Let alone. The entire world putting that on me or this fear of I’m going to be the cover of people magazine. If I try to go out and do something for myself. So like that is a whole other layer of what you have to go through and grieve as a celebrity.

[00:28:36] Michael: Yeah. I mean, I hadn’t quite thought about it in that way before, but I do think that one of the consequences of fame is that it’s, you’re not necessarily in control of your own story anymore.
Right. That once you become famous, like other people are saying who you are and what you’re about and how you’re supposed to feel. And then you apply that specifically to grief. One of the most difficult emotions, you know, we can [00:29:00] reckoned with and like, oh, that just sounds awful. You know, to be told how to feel and to be told how you’re supposed to feel.
Yeah. I, I, I agree. And I think that’s one of the reasons fame, well, you know, it doesn’t look all that attractive to me at the same time. You know, I do think that it’s sort of like saying a second ago you know, celebrities have something to teach us about who we are, what our values are and, and what we aspire to.
So, you know, I, I think like when you see somebody, cause I mean, that’s the thing is we write these little stories in our head of who they are and what they’re all about. And we’re absolutely doing that unashamedly on the podcast. But, but, but at the end of the day, we don’t know, you know, it’s just, it’s one directional.
And I don’t know, I think we try and have a healthy attitude around the boundaries of that. One of the rules we have on the show is that celebrities need to be dead at least a year. Before we, before we considered doing

[00:29:54] Gianna: that. Why did you implement. I, I

[00:29:56] Michael: mean, it’s a little bit, you know, after the fact, but it just feels [00:30:00] like too soon to do somebody, you know, I think part of it.
So our rule is this. They have to have been dead at least a year, but no more than 10 years. And the reason for that window is that after a year, I feel like it’s okay to talk about it. Talk about them in their lives with candor and honesty and, you know, warts and all right, like we’re going to really have a place, a clean look at it all.
After 10 years, I feel like they’re kind of in the history books and they’re more or less forgotten. Not always, I mean, these are ballpark figures, We want them to be dead, but not too dead, but dead enough. And so a year to 10 years feels like about the right zone for us.

[00:30:38] Gianna: So, okay. The first thing that comes to my mind, when you say you have the 10 year limit is just how rapidly society has been moving in terms of. What’s acceptable. What’s not the growth realizing things. I mean, it’s like, shit, you go back and look at some of these TV shows from like the sixties and seventies.
And you’re like, this would never fly today. This would never be okay. So it’s [00:31:00] like to go back and analyze somebody from like a past time. May not necessarily be a fair edit because it’s just a totally different world now.

[00:31:09] Michael: Yeah. I mean, so one example, like we have tried and thought about having, you know, an episode around Hugh Hefner, right.
Don’t have a complicated figure now, right. Post me too movement. And, you know, would you classify him as a pornographer? That’s debatable. I think some people would say yes. Some people would say no, but certainly like his championing of, you know, massage in it. Some people would look at that as maybe enlightened, sexuality, some people would say this is, fucking sexist and that that’s all there is to.
Yeah. And so he’s somebody who, I don’t think we heard that much about it when he died, but now a few years later we have a really different narrative to write about him. That’s just one example. You know what I mean?

[00:31:53] Gianna: That was in the last 10 years. Right. Are you going to do an episode on him? We tried.

[00:31:57] Michael: It’s on the cutting room floor right now.
We [00:32:00] might, I think we might. But you know, I mean, we, we, we try to swing for the fences here. Like I, I want to be ballsy about who we talking about episode. Yeah. We might have to do it and we might have to do it. But because

[00:32:13] Gianna: it is, I mean, he is such a prolific figure, but it really is the thing that I’ve always looked at.
I’m like, how is this allowed? Like, why is he getting so many passes? Why is this. Normal when it comes to his little bubble of a world, I don’t quite understand. Yeah. And,
[00:32:32] Michael: and, you know, I, I would like to thank Ahmed and I could have a, you know, eyes wide open conversation about that kind

[00:32:40] Gianna: of stuff. One could do it.
It would be you. Oh,

[00:32:44] Michael: I mean, I, you know, I, I will say this, like, we have a long recognized male bias on the show and I’ve had to think about this quite a bit because the more I think about it, like society. Selects for men to be more famous [00:33:00] than women historically. And that’s not a, I’m not saying it’s a good thing.
I’m just saying it’s the truth. If you look at, if you look at Hollywood actors, you know, men tend to have longer careers than women. If you look at politicians, there tend to be more male politicians than a female politicians. If you look at sports, I mean, it’s almost exclusively male, obviously not.
There’s a lot of very important women athletes, but overwhelmingly, it’s sort of like

[00:33:24] Gianna: the whole thing go down with the NCAA this year and how they are treated and everything with soccer and totally

[00:33:29] Michael: right. So like overall fame is biased towards men in a way that. Yeah, that has made us uncomfortable on the show at times.
And the other thing is like, we’re two dudes, right? So we’re two dudes hashing this out. We had this idea at some point I really want to follow up on this of inviting a third person on and kind of have a rotating. Okay, wait, we’ll figure out, we will figure out an opportunity to do this.
Right. Anyway, whatever. Yeah. Yeah. So

[00:33:57] Gianna: to your, to your point of this, of [00:34:00] how you know, culture loves to put male up onto the celebrity spectrum, I absolutely found that in terms of researching for this episode. So another little fun segment we’re going to play at the end I was looking up celebrities that have died in 2021 and in the entire list.
Two to three women and it was all men. And I’m like, you’re going to tell me that not one, like, no, there’s no more female celebrities, but basically I think it was whoever made the list. It was on the today show of saying that like these people that are male had a higher, like notoriety than any of these other female that had passed away.
So they like, they clearly beat out females to be on this list. Yeah. It’s

[00:34:40] Michael: fucked up. It’s not right. And and you know, I I’d like to think we’re moving in a better direction with all this, but if you look at, you know, if you’re just populating the database of people who have passed away who have name recognition on the street, you know, overall there is this male bias.
From, you know, again, I think it’s, it’s just the legacy. [00:35:00] Hopefully we’ll get beyond that as this society.

[00:35:02] Gianna: Right. I want to pivot a little bit to your personal relationship with grief. You have shared with me that you feel you’re, you’re one of the lucky ones so far that you don’t have a very, of course you’ve experienced it.
Of course there have been deaths in your life. Of course, you’ve been close to people who have had significant deaths in your life, but you don’t feel that you’ve had something significant enough or have a relationship to say, Hey, this has really impacted me this way. But one that stuck with you is a friend that experienced the unthinkable and lost a child to, to cancer.
And you had a specific moment with him in, in a quote that he said, so can you share that with us?

[00:35:40] Michael: I actually called him. Before this interview today, just cause I wanted to check in with them. It’s a really close friend I made when I lived in California and his son was diagnosed with cancer when his son was two and there was 18 months of helacious chemotherapy.
And then, and then he died and this was, decades ago. My friends a lot [00:36:00] older than I am. This is one of the wisest guys. I know. He said a lot of things to me w one of the things, and maybe the single most important, I remember saying, you know, so I’m a father too.
And I remember saying to him I cannot imagine, I cannot imagine losing a child, especially at that age. And he said, yeah, that’s right. You cannot imagine losing a child at this age because it is unthinkable and you’ll never be able to get there. So don’t even try, don’t even try. You’re going to drive yourself crazy.
Trying to imagine what it’s like. And no matter what you come up with, you’ll still never get there. Which was comforting in a way. I mean, I, it, it gave, I felt like he gave me a pass. It was like, okay, I don’t have to lay it. Wake at night, imagining the unthinkable. I don’t know, it was a reminder that like, whatever anybody’s going through grief or any other difficult emotion, like you can be adjacent to it.
You can be right next to it, but it’s it that that’s as close as you get, you know? And all you can do is hold somebody’s hand. You can’t actually [00:37:00] tell them what to do with their emotions. You know, what. So

[00:37:03] Gianna: is, this is a good story to talk about for a little bit, because it’s actually in the news this week.
One of the powerhouses in the grief space is Rebecca Sofer. She’s the co-founder of modern loss. She’s absolutely phenomenal. She wrote a book, she has another one coming out. I actually recently spoke with her. She’s going to be on a so sorry for your loss podcast. In a couple of weeks around the timing of her second book coming out, she wrote an article for time magazine this week, and she’s so poignant and in her words her whole thing, and I’ll certainly link to this article in the show notes.
Her whole thing was, we need to stop saying, I can’t imagine, and this isn’t a knock to you because I’m certainly guilty of this too. It is so like knee jerk reaction to say, I just can’t imagine. I just can’t imagine because we can’t write w we, we certainly can’t imagine having gone through that. There’s also an as she points out in this article, it’s not that we can’t imagine it’s that we don’t want.
It’s like, we don’t even want to put ourselves there. And and I, I totally [00:38:00] feel that. I mean, I say it to her. I said it to her in the interview probably, or I had to stop myself. I, I find myself having to stop myself with these things all the time. She lost her mother and then four years later, she lost her father.
Both were sudden I’ve gone through the sudden loss of a father. I literally can’t imagine having that happen again to my mother, for people that have lost children as your friend did, I cannot imagine. And it’s true. What I’m saying is I don’t want to imagine that I literally can’t let my head go there because it will be so sad.
It will be so painful for me to even think about it. And that’s what we’re saying to these people is what you’re going through is a pain that I don’t want to be a part of, even though that’s not really what we’re saying. It’s like, that’s how it’s coming off. And the article, I just want to read a quote that, that she had said here.
And she says quote, talking to someone about my grief would have helped immeasurably. And I can’t imagine felt like the [00:39:00] opposite of an invitation. It felt like a warning don’t even try to share. I won’t get it, but if my grief was too hard for me and it was too hard for others, what was I supposed to do with it?

[00:39:10] Michael: quote, that’s really interesting. Cause I, cause I do feel like that phrase, I can’t imagine, it seems like it can be taken a couple of ways. It can be taken by the way you’re talking about it here, which is like, I can’t imagine. don’t ask me to try. Right. Which means I’m not going to get involved.
but, but I wonder if it’s, if it’s distinct from saying, but if you want me to, I’m willing to try, you know, because I think that And so I, so I don’t know. I wonder if there’s a hard and fast rule around how, how to interpret that phrase, you know what I mean? You, you

[00:39:47] Gianna: bring up a great point in this word rule.
So as much as I love Rebecca, and I think it’s entirely fair and everything that she’s saying, I am so careful of [00:40:00] ever saying, don’t do this. Don’t say that. I mean, I certainly talk about things on my podcast when I can offer explanation. But as far as social media, where there’s like a quick glimpse of something, I really hesitate to do that because I feel that when you start setting rules, quote, as you just said around grief, you’re scaring off people from doing anything.
So we get into this phase of, don’t say this, don’t say that, don’t say this don’t you really can’t say that people don’t want to say anything because they’re scared that everything’s just going to be. the article is fabulous. Again, I really encourage anybody to read it because she at least offers a window into like, why this may not be the best thing to say.
And if you are going to say it, then, you know, the ups of like, I invite you to allow me to try, or, you know, I want to sit with you. So maybe that I can imagine or understand a little bit more what you’re going through. And one of the biggest things is storytelling say, you know, I don’t, I can’t imagine what this is, but like, invite me to understand who your person was a [00:41:00] little bit more, or invite me to understand what the pain is that you’re feeling like, give me the S the story, because that a is what really keeps our person alive.
And B what helps the person who is grieving to feel like we can connect a little bit more, because it is so isolating. You feel so alone.

[00:41:17] Michael: You know, I, I said a second ago, Carl is my friend’s name in California. I said he he’s, he’s given. He’s one of the wisest guys. I know. And I just get a lot from our friendship and from our conversation.
I guess about a year ago, one of my best friends growing up, his son got diagnosed with leukemia and right now he seems to be doing okay with it, but like fucking terrifying, right. He’s nine years old at the time. I want to say. So, so I knew I had to call up my friend and, and, and say something, but before I did, I called Carl I’m like, I got a buddy, he’s got cancer.
You know, I’m about to put in this phone call. Is there any suggestions for me? And Carl, Carl said that one of the most helpful things for him was when people [00:42:00] call him would say, I want to be there for you. I don’t know how I have no idea what this looks like. Which I think is kind of related to what we were just talking about, that the sort of, I can’t imagine, but I’m willing to try and, you know, and like, because I, I, something else that kind of goes along with that for me, And again, my experience, my direct experience with grief is fairly limited.
I’ve been very lucky in that I have not lost people super close to me in some traumatic way. There’s, there’s people who have died, but it’s, you know, I feel like thus far in life, I’ve been one of the lucky ones, but I also think that one of the things you can, that one of the traps you can fall into when you call somebody else up and say, I want to help.
I want to be there for you. As all of a sudden you’ve placed the burden on them to figure out how you’re going to be helpful, you know, like how you’re going to help them. And they often don’t know.

[00:42:50] Michael: Right, right. I mean, there’s nothing, I can’t cure my friend’s son’s cancer, you know, like there’s there’s, I can w what I can, and can I do [00:43:00] it was really limited.
I bring all this up because because to me it’s it’s I still don’t know if somebody’s. If somebody is dealing with something really hard and they’ve, they’ve lost somebody close to them. I think every conversation is going to begin that way. I want to be there for you. I don’t know how I don’t want to get in the way, but in as much as, as, as I can be with you with whatever you’re going through you know, but let me be as nearby as, as makes sense.

[00:43:26] Gianna: Yeah. Yeah. And that, that, that’s all it really is. We talk about all the time on the show about how really it just comes down to simplicity. I think there’s so much pressure on it has to be right. It has to be this. You have to analyze X, Y, and Z to figure out what’s going to work for this person when it does just need to be.
I don’t know the best thing to do, but I want to be here for you. So if you think of it or if there’s a way that I can, I’m going to do that I’m just going to sit here with you and share this with you in any way that I possibly.
[00:43:51] Michael: Yeah. And they’re afraid to talk about it if that’s where you want to go, you know, I mean, that’s cause that’s the thing is we’re scared of other people’s pain, you know, ultimately we’re totally turned like don’t come [00:44:00] at me with that.
I don’t know how to answer it

[00:44:01] Gianna: because it’s like, it’s contagious. Like, and that’s part of, that’s one of the things that she talked about in the article too, and it’s true. I mean, I have a hard time imagining what it’s like for others to lose a child because of there’s some fear to me that it could possibly happen to me.
That’s right. You know, and it’s, as I’ve learned, there is no a friend of mine Karuna, Meda. She has a great Instagram on grief too. It’s that thing about grief. She talks a lot about there’s no chips, there’s it. You don’t use up enough chips. It’s not once you’ve hit three deaths, that’s it. That’s all you’re going to experience in your life.
Once you hit three bad things that happen, that’s it. You’re good. You’re cruising for the rest of your life. You know? So just because I lost my dad, I lost my mother-in-law. I lost a friend I’m not done. I mean, it could strike at any time. So it’s like, I’m scared to even imagine. ’cause, I don’t want to invite it into my life, which just is not, it’s not true.
That’s not how the universe works, but that’s just how we think of it.

[00:44:56] Michael: Well, and to your point about story and the importance of [00:45:00] story you know, I do think that like the human condition is one where some level of denial is always sort of operating and is always possible and maybe even necessary for our storytelling brain to do what it does.
You know what I mean? Like it’s, it’s it’s, it’s so, you know, but, but too many things that don’t get looked at and that, that bubble of denial bubbling beneath the subconscious surface can erupt you know, yeah.

[00:45:30] Gianna: The, the last thing I want to say on that is by you doing what your you do, which I think is great.
Like we just talked about of the, like, I don’t know what to do, but I want to be here for you. You’re inviting. Them to lean on you. I am a person that you can lean on. So in those times when you’re feeling it, please call me, please know that I’m, I’m willing to be here.
For you through this. So,

[00:45:53] Michael: yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:45:56] Gianna: All right. So we have two fun segments that we’re going to do at the end of [00:46:00] this. I mean, you know, fun, I mean, death so far we’re going to play around of dead or alive, which is a super cool app that Michael and Ahmed are in beta with, for famous and gravy.
And I am also going to do a lightning round of a few celebrities that passed in 2021. And all of the end of the episodes like they do on famous and gravy. Michael is going to tell us whether or not he would want their life.

[00:46:22] Michael: Oh, wow. Okay. I’m going to be on the spot for it.

[00:46:24] Gianna: this is certainly an abridged version. And I would say to all of the listeners, you cannot hold Michael’s feet to the fire when it comes to his answers, because these are going to be off of, we’ve been talking about Wikipedia so much. This, this, this episode is not sponsored by Wikipedia, but it should be.
Because you guys obviously go through like extensive research. As you were saying, you, you watch movies, you watch documentaries, you, you read biographies. This analysis is going to contain one opening sentence from Wikipedia. So that’s all your. Okay. Wow. Which I think is, is similar to you guys also analyze the obituary, which I freaking love.
I think that’s hysterical. it’s so fascinating to see [00:47:00] what gets highlighted in someone’s obituary. So the first

[00:47:04] Michael: line,

[00:47:05] Gianna: yeah, the first line. So yeah, kind of like that first line. And it’s the similar here?
Like what is, what is about their life made it to the first line of their Wikipedia page?

[00:47:14] Michael: Yeah. I didn’t even realize that was the thing I should have. I mean, I kind of heard people talk about the first line of their obituary, but now that I’ve now I pay attention to it and anytime anybody dies, I try and be like, Hmm, where am I in that?
Did they get it right?

[00:47:27] Gianna: We’ll do this first and then we’ll go into the dead or alive. Okay. Okay. Lightning round, Michael Osborne. Would he want the celebrity’s life number one? Our dear Betty White.

[00:47:39] Michael: Oh yeah, I know. Yeah. I think that’s a, that’s a, I mean, I’m curious to know about the net worth and the love and marriage and, and so forth.
I wanna, you know, look at it closely, but. How could you not, I mean, no, just the attitude she had the humor alone. I mean, since a humor alone is [00:48:00] is enough. And I, I also think that, you know what I said earlier about the friendship thing, I see that, you know, without knowing enough, I definitely see that with

[00:48:08] Gianna: her.
Yeah. And certainly the adoration that she had from the whole community in, in entertainment was just, I don’t think anybody could say a bad word about her, but her one line and Wikipedia is an American actress and comedian, a pioneer of early television with a career spanning seven decades who white was noted for her vast work in entertainment industry and being one of the first women to work both in front of and behind the camera.
She was 99 years old famously just shy of 100,

[00:48:37] Michael: like a few weeks, wasn’t it?

[00:48:39] Gianna: Yeah. Like we should paraded her down the streets if she hit 100 and it was just a shame that she never got that operative. I

[00:48:46] Michael: think we’ll we’ll do her on their show at some point. There’s no question about it. Absolutely. Excellent

[00:48:50] Gianna: candidate.
Yes. Yes. Okay. So we got a yes for Betty White, number two, prince Philip, prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh was the husband [00:49:00] of queen Elizabeth to now I have something to say about that as such. He was the concert of the British Monarch from her a session as queen on February 6th, 1952, until his death in 2021, making him the longest serving concert in history.
He was 99.

[00:49:15] Michael: I think this is probably a very clear, no, for me, I think royalty looks a little bit like indentured servitude that I think that that the function you’re supposed to perform in society and the, the, the way that your whole life is written. For you before you’re even born looks terrible. I I’m sure the perks are amazing.
I’m sure there’s great conversations and good parties to be had. I’ll I’ll pass I’ll I’ll say no.

[00:49:43] Gianna: Yeah. So the thing I love about this one is literally the first line. He was the husband of queen Elizabeth. Like that’s what he’s known for that state. It doesn’t matter what you achieved in your life. Your partner is always going to out shine.

[00:49:55] Michael: You could walk on the moon and you could have walked

[00:49:58] Gianna: on the moon. No, nothing that would, that would [00:50:00] be maybe third paragraph that would be like D block of your obituary.
Hard pass for prince Philip. Number three, Dustin diamond. He was an American actor in standup comedian, best known for his role as Samuel screech powers throughout saved by the bell franchise. He was 44. So that was the, that was the first sentence of it. I will say if we’re going to do a little bit more analysis, he had some, I mean, obviously being screech on saved by the bell was not the most coveted character to have played.
Had some scandal after his career with a sex tape. And also because of. Who didn’t demand a screech sex date.

[00:50:38] Michael: They each had a sex tape. This is the first time learning about this on this far in life without. Okay.

[00:50:46] Gianna: You’re welcome. Yeah. And also was arrested for I believe it was a allude act in a movie theater and also like a possession of a knife of some sorts.
So some, some controversy around him, but you know, the star power that that [00:51:00] cast held in the nineties was really quite.

[00:51:03] Michael: Wow, you are totally in my wheelhouse right now. This is like, this is the kind of person we love to talk about on the show. I so I’m just going to weigh it out real quick, rapid fire.
I think that that’s a kind of great form of celebrity in a way that the, the, the nerd on eighties and nineties TV show. Oh, but boy, the criminal record and the the sex tape and the lewd acts does to me speak to a kind of inner hole that never gets filled and also age 44. That just doesn’t sound good.

[00:51:36] Gianna: So it was tough. Yeah, he was, he was diagnosed like in January of last year with stage four lung cancer and was gone within like four weeks, whole, which is how awful.

[00:51:46] Michael: Yeah. Holy cow. but this is closer. Like, I, I, at least I can, I can start to piece together. Some of the, the case for, I think there is a case for saying yes to this life.
I think given the information I’m working with right now, I’m [00:52:00] going to go no, but like, I don’t know, 44 very exciting years. Probably not, but I don’t know. I don’t want a boring life. You know, I’m looking for whatever I’m doing, whatever else I’m doing in life, it’s gotta be eventful. And so to be screech and then to be involved in a sec state, I’m going to go

[00:52:24] Gianna: oh my gosh. I wish you could’ve seen Michael’s face just now as he like really does. Oh, the, the head-on the eyes were like going, like

[00:52:36] Michael: I just want to think it through, but now that we’ve talked it out, I think it’s a, no, I think it’s a no,

[00:52:40] Gianna: sure. Yeah, no, but I love to use E this is the type of panelization that you do on the show too famous and gravy is like, Hmm. Okay. That, those troubles that he had post-career or telling me like, something was off for him to go into that if something wasn’t quite fulfilling or whatever it was, but yes.
Okay. So we have a. No, no, [00:53:00]

[00:53:00] Michael: I think I, I think in that last 45 seconds of talking it out, I landed on a much more resolved to know. Okay.

[00:53:09] Gianna: Okay. Number four, Willie Garson. He was an American actor appeared in over 75 films and more than 300 TV episodes. He was known best for playing Stanford. Blatch on the HBO series, sex and the city and all the related films that came after that.
He was also in the USA network series, white collar for five years, romantic comedy called little Manhattan and a reboot of Hawaii five.

[00:53:33] Michael: Oh, oh, wow. So I don’t know who this person is. I don’t,

[00:53:39] Gianna: I was gonna say you don’t watch sex in the city. Yeah. He was like, Carrie’s gay best friend.
He was bald. He was always like very fashionable. Yes.

[00:53:47] Michael: I don’t know. I don’t know if I have enough data, data here to weigh in. I think, I mean, I kind of like the B list, you know, level of this, you know, and I feel like those are some really interesting shows and [00:54:00] you know, if one thing I’m after in life is.
Variety and a variable reward and getting involved in different new and interesting projects. This sounds pretty good.

[00:54:11] Gianna: Yeah, I agree.

[00:54:11] Michael: And my memory of, of this man is that he’s a sort of confident bald man, and that there’s like a look in the eye of a self-acceptance and self-assuredness so based on very little information, I’m going to go yes.
On this one. Yeah, I

[00:54:27] Gianna: think so too. I think you’re right with a B list thing. And he was a part of an incredible franchise. He was like a beloved character on it. And then to see that he appeared in 75 other films in 300 TV episodes. I mean, that’s like a successful career. And as far as I know, there’s no, there’s no sex tape.
So I mean, and
[00:54:44] Michael: even if there was, maybe it was good, but yeah, I don’t, I don’t want. I don’t want to judge. So I, that I I’m going to go yes. On that
[00:54:52] Gianna: one. All right. Yes, we’re really Garson next one. Larry King. Larry King. I mean, does he need, [00:55:00] oh, okay. American television and radio host, whose awards included two Peabodys and Emmy and 10 cable ACE awards over his career.
He hosted 50,000 interviews. He was 87.

[00:55:13] Michael: So. So everything you said in that first line, very, very desirable, very, very attractive. I love as you do dialogue, I love conversations. I love meeting new people and learning their stories. My memory is that he has a very, very checkered marriage record. Like I think he was married nine times or something you could be, right?
Yeah. Something like that. It’s as I recall, many marriages, which I’m at, and I have a lot of conversations about that on the show. I mean, this is one of our categories. How many marriages, how many children, what is the nature of those relationships? So it’s funny, we’ve encountered a lot of people on famous and gravy who.
Like revered as public figures and their ability to interact with strangers is great or sort of weak [00:56:00] ties. But how, what is the quality of their, you know, intimate relationships? I have some questions here with Larry King.

[00:56:07] Gianna: Pause real quick. I just pulled up the Wikipedia again to count and yes, there were seven marriages,

[00:56:12] Michael: the seven marriages.
Okay. Yeah, I thought it was, I thought it was quite a few. I, you know, I, I want to know more, I want to know more here because I think like, I want to know why those marriages failed. There is a part of me that you know, was it infidelity? Was it abuse? Was it emotional distance? Was it boredom?
Boredom? Yeah. I mean, and you know, certainly there’s nothing wrong with getting married a lot, but. Say I do. And it’s like till death do us part and you only kind of sorta mean it. I don’t know. Seven marriages is a little bit problematic for me. There’s something going on there, God, but I really liked the life as an interviewer and as a odd, and that’s a tough one.
That’s a tough one. G money. I am gonna, I’m [00:57:00] gonna go. My wife has probably listening to this podcast, so I’m going to go. No,
but know that there’s some desirability

[00:57:09] Gianna: yeah. Additional research that would need to be done to really come to a concrete thesis conclusion on here. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Okay. And I don’t remember specifically, but I feel like there was some controversy around him at some point,

[00:57:23] Michael: was there some, like, it might’ve been a

[00:57:25] Gianna: me too thing or it might’ve been something that went on in his interviews or like how he handled something or whatever.
But I mean, when you host 50,000 of them, I can’t imagine that they’re all going to go. Perfect. But

[00:57:36] Michael: yeah, I mean, some of those old school broadcasters, especially men, like they have not great reputations behind the scenes. So I’d be curious to know if he was more of a sleaze bucket than we knew. I don’t know, but like that would require some investors.

[00:57:50] Gianna: Right, right. Okay. Our final one is Tanya Roberts, who off the bat. I didn’t know who she was, but I do remember her death. And I wonder if you do [00:58:00] too, because there was a little bit of controversy around that. So she was an American actress, producer and model. She is best known for playing Julie Rogers and the final season of the television series Charlie’s angels.
She was Stacy Sutton in the James Bond film of a view to a kill and Sheena in the Beastmaster. And she also had a stint on that seventies show. She was 65 years old. So here’s what happened with her. She developed some form of sepsis. She went into the hospital and it was falsely released that she had passed her.
Oh, so this is why we don’t trust the media. This is why we don’t trust Twitter. When these things happen. I mean, isn’t there like one fake death a year that happens on Twitter. It was put out that she had passed away. You know, the, the Memorial was poor in only for her publicist to then come back and say, wait, wait, wait, wait.
She is still alive. She is still with us. And then the rollercoaster kept going because she did then pass only a few days [00:59:00] later at which then everybody was like, wait, is it for real this time? So I didn’t remember her, but I did remember this happening.

[00:59:06] Michael: Oh, wow. Wow. Do I want that life? Okay. So get pretty

[00:59:11] Gianna: bad-ass characters to have

[00:59:13] Michael: played pretty bad-ass characters.
I mean, bond Charlie’s angels Beastmaster I’m impressed. I And I, now I’m beginning to put a little bit of a face to this person to Tanya Roberts. That’s her name, but I don’t really, I don’t remember off the top, but I bet like if I were to see a picture younger, Michael would immediately remember.

[00:59:32] Gianna: I mean, she was only 65, which is fairly young. It seems that she had a lot of health complications. It seems to be battled hepatitis C. And that’s why she had gotten like a urinary tract infection, which then spiraled into sepsis and spiraled into other things. So. Despite maybe being like a young sex symbol, it seems that maybe later in her years, her health wasn’t quite quite great and something she’d probably struggled

[00:59:53] Michael: with.
Well, and that’s where I have the most curiosity is the second act, right? I mean, it’s certainly a lot of people who become [01:00:00] famous and who we look at on famous and gravy or like super-duper and attractive and they’re, you know, twenties and thirties and so forth. I really like when there’s a second act, one of the, one of the best ones that we discovered on the show was Shirley temple.
Who I knew as a child actress, I had no idea she had this life as a diplomat that blew me away. But, and there’s, there’s other examples of, of somebody who became famous for one thing. And then they got to a point in their life where like the second chapter of my life has to be about something else so that the, so I have some real questions and curiosity there about Tanya Roberts.
The other thing that I would say is we do try to look at the nature of the death. Not because it matters. Like how much, how much does it influence your interpretation of somebody’s life? If they died suddenly if they died alone, if they died in pain, if it was drawn out over many years, visit degenerative disease, you know, w we try and be honest about that because we have so much fear of how we’re all [01:01:00] going to die.
Right. Th that’s a weird one where it’s reported that you’re dead and then it comes out you’re not dead. Right. And then you are dead. I don’t know if that would sway me much one way or the other. I think I’m going to go. I think I’m going to, I’m inclined to say yes to Tanya Roberts only because those are some really great pop culture touchdowns there.
You know, like those are, it’s kinda, it’s a similar deal where it’s like, these are these sound like fun projects and, and would have been an exciting time, you know, to be a sex symbol. Although, again, I’m very curious, What, what the second act was, if there was one, you know, how did she spend her later years?

[01:01:37] Gianna: All right. That’s all we have. That was fun. That was, that was good. A lot of good conversation around those

[01:01:44] Michael: fun to talk about dead celebrities.

[01:01:46] Gianna: So fun. Yeah.

[01:01:47] Michael: So do you want to play dead or alive? I would love to. Okay. I’ve got our beta app up. And so I’ll ask at some of these people, if you need a hint, let me know because we’ve had to go kind of obscure. [01:02:00] Yeah. All right. Known.

[01:02:03] Gianna: Never heard of him. Okay. I’m going to go with,

[01:02:08] Michael: he is alive. He is 93 years old. He’s an Uber liberal sort of a public intellectual figure.
Ricky lake

[01:02:16] Gianna: alive.

[01:02:17] Michael: Correct? She was 53 years old. She was quite young. Stan Lee dead, you know? Yes.

[01:02:22] Gianna: Bruce Lee, like the karate or type revise. My answer. Spider vehicle.

[01:02:28] Michael: Yes. Marvel comics. That’s right. Stan Stanley Marvel comics. Publisher. What’d you say? I said dead. Correct. He died in 2018. Ooh. Okay. John Fogarty, do you know who he is?
I don’t

[01:02:41] Gianna: know who he is. You know, the band

[01:02:43] Michael: Creedence, Clearwater revival. So he is the lead singer for them.

[01:02:47] Gianna: I’m going to go with.

[01:02:49] Michael: I’m afraid. He’s still with us at 76 years old. I said, I’m afraid. I’m glad. I’m happy. I’m happy to report. Okay. I got one more [01:03:00] Dudley, Moore,

[01:03:00] Gianna: Dudley Moore. You

[01:03:02] Michael: remember him from

[01:03:03] Gianna: a name is familiar,

[01:03:05] Michael: is a little short British actor.
He was in a movie called crazy people are Thur. He’s kind of a funny guy. Dead. Yeah. We lost him in 2002. R Lee Ermey you probably need a hint on this one. Do you ever see full metal jacket? No. the character kind of became bigger than the movie is a drill Sergeant who yelled at people throughout the movie.
And it was kind of like a caricature. Okay. Doesn’t matter. 2018. I was going to say, dad, I’m sorry to cut you off.

[01:03:33] Gianna: Priscilla

[01:03:34] Michael: Presley,

[01:03:35] Gianna: I want to say alive.

[01:03:36] Michael: She is still with us. She is

[01:03:38] Gianna: still with us. I’m sorry to report.

[01:03:42] Michael: No, I’m happy to report. I had no idea who this person was.
Chick Corea, a jazz pianist.
[01:03:48] Gianna: I’m going to say dead.

[01:03:49] Michael: Yeah. Died in 2021. This is something buddy. Okay. Kenny G okay. I got one more. Palae the soccer player alive. He is still with us at 81 years old. [01:04:00] So
[01:04:02] Gianna: that’s better. Can listeners access

[01:04:05] Michael: that?
Yeah, we’re working on it now. I mean, we still got to work out some of the kinks with the app, but yeah, dinner, I think the URL is just dinner. It’s a public app or what do you call it? A web-based game kind of like

[01:04:20] Gianna: it’s like on, yeah. So I, I will put that in the show notes. Let me, Sally. Yeah. It’s, it’s fun to play.
I mean, if you just had fun now, you’ll know, but my husband and I even pulled it up at dinner last night. It’s a good conversation piece. You should play it with friends. So yeah. Well,

[01:04:33] Michael: thank you for, thank you for applauding the effort with that alive. And again, I mean, there was this whole game that actually started the podcast without me.
Yeah. It brings it full

[01:04:42] Gianna: circle. Anything that you would like to say before we close out any final thoughts on grief? Anything that we should know about famous and gravy, anything we should know that you guys have.

[01:04:52] Michael: I don’t think so. I think, you know, we covered a lot of ground and it’s a really, I, I guess I just want to say how impressed I am with what you’re doing.
[01:05:00] I love that in the podcast space that people are, are saying, there’s some shit we got to talk about and let’s figure out a way to do it. And I just think it’s such an important area for experimentation and for dialogue. And, you know, you don’t have to have it all sorted out. But you know, let’s talk and see where it goes.
And I feel like you’re doing that. And and it, I don’t know, it’s been a lot of fun talking, so thanks for inviting

[01:05:21] Gianna: me on the show. Thank you. I appreciate that so much. I’m so happy to have you here. And, and I agree. I mean, I think you guys are doing the same and saying, let’s talk about death a little bit more on, and maybe in this fun and creative way.
So I, I applaud what you and Ahmed are doing and, and definitely would recommend our listeners to go check it out famous and gravy, Michael, as born. Thank you so much for being here.

[01:05:40] Michael: This has been fun


All The Skies

There’s no magic pill that can take away the pain of grief
But there are some pretty, little things that can help