Yesterday, while most people were mourning the loss of the great Mickey Rooney, another star fell up to heaven: John Pinette.
On AOL he was listed as "Seinfeld actor." I had to be honest, I didn't even know John was in Seinfeld. Turns out, he was in the final episode. And, sadly, most in this world will remember him as the fat guy in the last episode of Seinfeld.
But to his legions of fans, John Pinette was a stand up comic genius. He was a large, baby faced wonder who made us laugh until we tore a muscle. His love of food came as a surprise to no one, John was a large fellow and he didn't shy away from it. Salad was anathema to him, a big theme in his "I'm STARVIN'" tour.
John made it okay for fluffy people to find humor in him and in themselves. And he made it okay for non-fluffies to laugh as well. His story telling was masterful, and we knew exactly what he was talking about because most of us had been there. (Who, among us fluffies, likes the idea of going down a water slide in our swim suits?)
For me, John pointed out a part of life that resonated with me: Standing in line. He could work himself and his audience into a frenzy talking about the stupid things people do when they are ahead of us in line. His furious shriek, "GET OUT OF THE LINE!" echoes in my head every day.
|Very well said.|
John had other, classic, catchphrases I'm sure we've all heard: "I say, NAY NAY!" is one of the best and it works when someone suggests something stupid. Click on the video to the left to check out one of his best specials. His moments talking about working out with a trainer might be the best work any comedian has ever done.
The first time I saw John on TV, however, was when the comedy channel aired his uber famous bit about eating at a Chinese buffet. For the last twenty years my husband and I will find reasons to mimic his high pitched faux Chinese accent and yell "YOU GO NOW!" at each other. Check out the video below, recorded years ago, before he'd started dieting.
John was working on his health in recent years. The last special I saw him do he'd lost quite a bit of weight and was actually talking about exercise as something he did on a regular basis. So it was really sad to learn he'd passed away on Saturday, probably from liver and heart disease.
He was very much an inspiration to me because he made the small things about being big funny. I loved him, and I will miss him. I want this post to be a salute to one of the very best, very funniest men to ever walk this earth. Farewell, John. you were gone too soon, but I will never stand in line without thinking about you yelling at the people in front.