Burt Reynolds died yesterday. He was something like 82 years old which is a decent innings in anyone’s book.
I don’t think, in the greater scheme of celebrity deaths, it was a massive shock because he’s been looking old and frail for quite a while now. I remember seeing him on an episode of Fast and Loose when they recreated the Trans-Am from the Smokey & The Bandit movies, and they wanted his signature on the glove box. He did not look like a well man, even then. As you watched him approach the gate you would be forgiven for thinking that it’d be a miracle if he made it all the way back up his drive to his house.
For me, Burt Reynolds is the person who first showed me that you could stick out-takes in the end credits of your movies. Something that a lot of movies do nowadays but I’m fairly sure he was one of the first stars to do that. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Cannonball Run and Cannonball Run 2 are awesome, but they’re so much better for the little nuggets of insanity as the credits roll, almost all of which feature Reynolds in some capacity.
And Burt Reynolds is responsible for providing me with one of my favourite phrases that no-one ever really understands. I mean, that’s primarily because I use it entirely out of context and because it’s a throw-away line in Cannonball Run 2 but “Boy, Nun, Boy, Nun” has long been abused by me when even there is a male, female, male, female seating arrangement. Or standing arrangement. Anywhere there is a male, female, male, female order it’s boy, nun, boy, nun. It’s that simple. And I’m not even using it as an excuse to sit next to an early 80’s Marilu Henner.
But I would if I could!
I do have to admit, though, that when a star dies nowadays I do think about what things will then be shown on television as a tribute. Series 21 of Chucklevision, for example, was released back onto BBC iPlayer when Barry Chuckle died. I’m hoping we get a decent run of Burt Reynolds films – it goes without saying that they should show the Bandit movies (although maybe not 3 because… meh) but they should definitely pop Cannonball Run on again (original and sequel ideally).
It’s just a shame it takes the death of a star to do that.