Greetings from the Death Trilogy Commissioner.
In 1977, what has become known as the holy grail of celebrity death trilogies took place:
Aug. 16, 1977
Aug. 19, 1977
Aug. 22, 1977
Many people attempted to add Bing Crosby to this list, but der Bingster checked out on Oct. 14, 1977. This sort of amateur death trilogy mongering led to a group of wise shamans to bequeath to me the title of "Death Trilogy Commissioner."
They gave me a life-long quest: Monitor all celebrity death trilogies to certify them as such and to determine if any meet or surpass the 1977 holy grail. I alone was given the power to monitor these important tasks.
Few rules govern this process: Deaths must take place in succession and within seven days of each other. Also, it is the sole determination of the Death Trilogy Commissioner whether any given person is even qualified to be included in a given death trilogy.
There have been many great contenders in recent years. Who can forget the great Johnny Cash, John Ritter and Warren Zevon death trilogy from 2003? Also impressive was the Don Knotts/Darren McGavin/Heath Ledger trilogy from January 2008.
Now, with the passing of three important celebrities in the past 72 hours, many people have begun to discuss the importance of this death trilogy. I have decided to make two rulings.
First, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson do indeed qualify as a death trilogy.
Second, as to the question of whether this death trilogy surpasses the holy grail: I have given this much consideration. Certainly, each of the parties surpasses Mr. Cabot. This can be said about many death trilogies in recent years, however. And Mr. Jackson, it can be argued, surpasses Groucho Marx in certain circles. However, the formidable Mr. Presley continues to anchor the holy grail of death trilogies and I must rule the current combination does not surpass the 1977 trio.
We are grateful to Mr. McMahon, Ms. Fawcett and Mr. Jackson for their incredible effort. It is indeed a close call.
Now, the Death Trilogy Commissioner is ever vigilant and will watch for the next seven days to see if a new contestant could be added to the mix, knocking out Mr. McMahon. A new statement might be forthcoming at that time.
Celebrities, you are on the clock!