If you enjoy this post, please retweet it.
As I start this post, it’s 1:33 pm on October 7, 2021, so this post has been on hold for quite some time. It’s not quite the type of post I publish here, but screw it.
There are still some stories trickling in regarding the recent death of comedian, Norm MacDonald, and the specific message of one story sent me down an internet rabbit hole. I asked myself, “During my lifetime, what was the most significant local celebrity death for the Washington, DC area?” My answer: Glen Brenner, sportscaster with WUSA (a CBS affiliate).
On this day 30 years ago, January 14, 1992, DC lost the most popular broadcaster in the area at the time. Glen died of a brain tumor at only 44 years old. He had run the Marine Corps Marathon just over two months prior, fell ill, and never really recovered.
It took about a week for local stations to stop covering the story, with networks interviewing broadcasters from rival networks. I remember his best friend (though I forget his name; Gordon, maybe, but not Gordon Peterson) then on the ABC affiliate, breaking down in tears as he said a public, posthumous goodbye. Steve Buckhantz of the relatively new Channel 5 (not yet a Fox affiliate) had the last one I saw in which he said (paraphrasing from memory), “This will probably be the last we discuss this on air, but it’s unlikely we’ll ever forget him.” I certainly never did. I remember some of his broadcasts. When he reported that the Boston Marathon demanded Rosie Ruiz return her medal for having cheated to win it, he said matter-of-factly (paraphrasing), “in a great showing of humility and sportsmanship, she said . . . no.”
I don’t think his humor would translate 100% into today’s world, but some of it was timeless, and even as a child in the late 70s, I got the jokes.