People who kept things light until the end

People who kept things light until the end

Charles Gussman

1. “And now for a final word from our sponsor—.” Charles Gussman

Charles Gussman was a television writer, especially known for naming and writing pilot episode of the famous show “Days of Our Lives”. Later on he joked “the big guys loved it because it didn’t mean a thing”. Mr. Gussman had always said he wanted his last words to be memorable. When his daughter reminded him of this wish when his death approached, he slowly lifted his oxygen mask and whispered, “and now for a final word from our sponsor… ”


2. “Now is not the time for making new enemies.” – Voltaire

François-Marie Arouet, better known simply by his pen name, Voltaire was a famous French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit and criticism of Christianity. Despite being born in 1694 he was known to advocate against many widespread practices of the time. Some of his “controversial” beliefs included the abolishment of slavery, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and separation of church and state. On his death bed when asked by a priest whether he renounced Satan and all his promises he replied “now is not the time for making new enemies”.

William Claude Dukenfield

3. “I’m looking for loopholes.” – W.C Fields

William Claude Dukenfield was an American comedian, actor, juggler, and writer during the beginning of the 20th century. With humble beginnings as a silent juggler, he quickly began to incorporate comedy into his acts, eventually landing him in Hollywood staring in some of the first films with audio known as “talkies”. In 1936, Field’s lifestyle as a heavy drinker began to have severe impacts on his health. Despite not being particularly religious, towards the end of his life he was found reading the bible. When asked why he replied “I’m looking for loopholes”.

Kurt Vonnegut

4. "And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say: 'Kurt is up in heaven now'. That's my favorite joke." – Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was an American writer born and raised in Indianapolis. Vonnegut attended the University of Cornell until withdrawing in January 1943 to join the US Army during World War II. His breakthrough novel didn’t come until the release of Slaughterhouse-Five in 1969. After his death he was hailed as one of the most important contemporary writers and a dark humor commentator on American society. A self-proclaimed “Christ-loving atheist”, his final wish was that people would joke about him being up in heaven after his death.

Bob Hope

5. "Surprise me." – Bob Hope

Leslie Townes “Bob” Hope was a British-American comedian, actor, singer, and dancer with a career that spanned almost 80 years. Hope starred in an impressive 54 feature films throughout his lifetime. In 1998, five years before his death a pre-written obituary was accidentally released by the Associated Press leading his false death to be announced on the floor of the US House of Representatives (oops!). Living to be 100 years old, when asked by his wife where she should bury him after his death, Hope responded “Surprise me”.

Donald O'Connor

6. "I'd like to thank the Academy for my lifetime achievement award that I will eventually get." – Donald O'Connor

Donald David Dixon Ronald O’Connor was an American dancer, singer, and actor. O’Connor was best known for his role  in Singin’ in the Rain, for which he received a Golden Globe award. Although he emceed the Oscars in 1954, he never won an Oscar himself. Perhaps this is why on his deathbed he jokingly thanked the Academy for his forthcoming lifetime achievement award.

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Buddy Rich

7. "Yeah, country music." – Buddy Rich

Bernard “Buddy” Rich was an American jazz drummer, songwriter, conductor, and bandleader. Considered one of the most influential drummers of all time, he discovered his affinity for jazz music at a young age, picking up the drums for he first time at the age of two. Rich’s technique was renowned for its speed, smooth execution, and precision. Before his last surgery he was asked if he was allergic to anything, and without missing a beat he said “yeah, country music”.

Carl Jung

8. "Let's have a really good red wine tonight." – Carl Jung

Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. Jung’s work has had reaching implications in a multitude of fields including psychiatry, anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, psychology, and religious studies. A long-time friend and correspondent of Sigmund Freud, the two collectively developed the field of psychoanalysis. On his death bed he recommended to those nearby “Let’s have a really good red wine tonight”.

Jack Daniel

9. “One last drink, please” – Jack Daniel

Jasper Newton Daniel was an American distiller and business person most famous for the creation of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Daniel famously requested one last drink on his death bed. We can only speculate that his last drink must have been his own famous smoothest sippin’ whiskey.

Humphrey Bogart

10. “I should have never switched from Scotch to Martinis.” – Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American film and stage actor. His roles in Classical Hollywood Cinema films quickly turned him into an American cultural icon. His most significant romantic lead role was with Ingrid Bergman in the universally known movie Casablanca. On his deathbed at the age of 57 he uttered his memorable last words to his wife and children, “I should have never switched from Scotch to Martinis”.

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