Sunday, June 5, 2016

RIP - Alan Young, 1919-2016

Alan Young
     It's no secret that I adore Old Time Radio.  Alan Young was one of the last living legends of the era, and one of the few people public enough to still talked about it.  Yes, he is known mainly to the populace as a whole for Mr. Ed which brought him fame, but is not what I admire him most for.  I adore his turn as lovable Alan on the Alan Young Radio Show.  Running on various stations from 1944-1947 and 1949, it also starred the fabulous Jim Backus as Hubert Updike III which would eventually evolve into iconic Thurston Howell III on the television classic Gilligan's Island.

Alan Young (on Left)
     Alan Young plays a lovable twenty-something who is trying to make his way in the world, earn a little money, and marry his best gal, Betty.  Of course, Hubert Updike III, rich and snobby, also wants Betty.  And he has the money, power, and connections that poor Alan could never compete with - not that he didn't try.  Alan is the basic 'Every Man', that everyone can relate too.  Playing off Jim Backus and other supporting actors brilliantly, Young played the part to perfection.
Jim Backus
     The Alan Young Show is timeless.   Lacking many contemporary references, it's very easy to listen to today.  You rout for Alan.  You want him to do well.  You need him to get the job and get the girl because it's what you want for yourself.  And it's just too easy to hate the snooty and rich Hubert Updike III.  Every time the show plays on Radio Classics Sirius XM channel 148 I tune in.  Greg Bell, host of the channel, conducted an amazing interview with Alan Young a few years ago which is played periodically, including this most recent week in honor of his passing.  I love how Young still seemed so funny at his age.  It's amazing!
     And so I thank Alan Young for his amazing contributions.  While most only remember you as Wilbur, to me, you will always be simply this - Alan Young.
     So join me in listening to the wonderful talent that is - Alan Young

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