Howard Ahab Shemp, the one time energetic, yet increasingly more desperate (and recently harder to live with) environmental activist, whose controversial advocacy for an altogether bold, daring, and recklessly adventurous, fully internalized approach to personal waste management subsequently resulted in his well documented refusal to take an officially sanctioned legitimate bowel movement at any point during the past 10 years, died today. He was 59.
Shemp's somewhat about time demise occurred in dramatic fashion in a typically clogged-up windowless corridor at the New York City studios of FOX News, where, after a possible medical emergency apparently forced him to cut short his appearance on "Your World With Neil Cavuto," the titanic-sized half-ton tower of green power strength somehow broke away from the grasp of those attempting to assist him from Studio A-1, at which point he reportedly slipped on an unattended ice cream sandwich, then promptly fell over an unidentified "Hannity" male intern, whereupon he exploded on impact, and was instantaneously obliterated in what appears to now have been a fatal onset of spontaneous intestinal combustion.
Such a full-tilt, whirlwind conclusion to what had, over the last decade, become something of an epic showcase for Shemp's never-gonna-give-up-the-ship (or the train in the station) crusade, appears to now be a most fitting finale for this oh so gifted and stubborn giant among present day retention-prone causemeisters.
And, although certainly tragic, and a major set back for all those who have chosen over the years to collectively close their assorted high risk/low conscious, backdoor ranks around such a questionable no-go agenda, there does exist some hope that Shemp's otherwise explosive, finish line finale, may have provided way more than just the usual sort of aftereffects. Much of which were - and still are, according to most witnesses - for better and worse, decidedly solid, and/or semi-not-so-solid, examples of this packed-up conservationist's already well established flair for the unusual.
"Considering the severity, and all encompassing savagery of the devastation, brought on by this sad, mostly unscripted, detonation of my good friend, Howard Shemp, it's a miracle that there were no other substantial casualties," said a still visibly shaken Cavuto, during his first post-blast news conference, hastily set up just down the hall from the primary clean-up scene.
"For that," he hauntingly continued, "and the endlessly recurring availability of Mr. Shemp over the years - not only for the daily benefit of myself, but to the entire FOX News family at large, and overall News Corp. mother ship, as well - I think I speak for anyone of us on board, within and without, when I take this moment to offer a simple, high-five, thumb's-up thought of forever eternal thanks to a fallen gentleman who - despite the obvious fact that, his altogether differing nonsensical outlook on life, his steadfast, clueless opinions on what possibilities might exist when and if all sensible limits are systematically ignored, and, of course, his seemingly continuous, un-cloudy with a chance of no showers, no-look-back-point-of-whatever-views, were, except for the noticeably gargantuan and gluttonous means with which to undertake, express, and, ultimately achieve such lofty, unwise goals, in the endgame first place, so unlike our very own here at FOX Nation Head-Q - remains, as is, and now was, primarily because of his now once proud and generous, unbendable proximity, either on set, under the lights, and, for the moment still, from all reports, in some of the major hard to reach spots near the first floor crawl-in health closet and cash-only commissary - indeed, one of our few, and, in between, very special own. In other words, a colleague, a brother, a, from now on, dearly, departed, fully deployed, more or less, non-reciprocal, forever special friend of everyone here at your grieving family home of FOX."
Meanwhile, in a somewhat aggressive, yet for the most part, honest as the day is wrong, response to many of the numerous first responder reports, Cavuto quickly went on to confirm that, except for a portable fan stationed at a nearby security check-point desk, damage, corporate-wide, was held to a minimum.
"The only other injury of note," he added, "at least, minor-wise, was, of course, what apparently befell the young 'Hannity' male intern."
Although still unnamed, it's believed now that, based on the "Hannity" male intern's obvious preparedness to duck and cover, as well as his ability to clearly recall not only the back story origins, but also, during the tricky early moments of his rather gruesome recovery, still be able to, more or less, hum the final act showstopper from "No, No, Nanette," this exceedingly soft spoken intern was most likely a second or third year Emerson College student, who, once he was finished being forced to endure an extended series of immediate washes, rinses, and follow-up re-scrubbings, was eventually allowed to return to his assigned post of "on call" servitude within the safe insane confines of the thankfully downwind, cool, calm, collected fun house studio set & self-inflicted society-in-turmoil lab currently up and not funning at "Hannity."
An even more, somewhat surprising turnaround quickly unfolded once Cavuto suddenly became as few have ever seen him (namely, less bookish and more sheepish) when he quickly went on to apologize for any unintended personal displays of overwrought journalistic zealousness that, unfortunately for the host, were captured for all to see, during his on-air, panic-induced, split-screen meltdown.
All of which came about in quick response not only to the initially confusing stages of whatever, so far unconfirmed, medical malady (either a sudden heart attack, or more likely, a searing stretch of severe gastro-intestinal upheaval) may have triggered such a noticeably distressing response within the girth laden terrain of the late Howard Shemp, but also by the miscalculated actions of asleep-the-wheel director Fielding Osgood, during his initial hit and miss (yet eventually successful) attempt to properly access a previously already set up remote camera in the FOX outer hallway, in order to hopefully provide, quick, concise responsive coverage of Shemp's final, staggering, twenty-two foot stroll to anyone of those still witnessing such a spectacle, either while left in the lurch back in the studio, or out among the many stunned millions then tuned into the broadcast, and/or already in the process of viewing its streaming content on who knows how many plugged-in/logged-on formats, wireless avenues, and/or highly advanced personal-use inter-active devices, not otherwise momentarily engaged in perusing the latest readily available on-line parade of perpetual pornography.
No doubt high on Cavuto's list of embarrassing, cringe-inducing moments, beamed out for all rubbernecking red and blue state folks to either be offended by, or forever enjoy, was the fact that for much of his showcased high wire act attempt to get the focus of his suddenly dead air show to switch out to the soon to be fatal volcanic eruption of Shemp, the normally breezy and confident news hound was literally caught-with-his-pants-down, as he bounced around his down-the-hall inner sanctum host chamber, waving around the slacks he'd just removed due to an untimely Slurpee spill, while he continued to verbally bark out a series of obscenity laced instructions to director Osgood, who, at the time, was having troubles of his own with a digital switcher temporarily decorated with a once upon a time plate of lukewarm rad na.
Meanwhile, in quick response to Shemp's ultimate departure, all in-house operations at FOX News were immediately (expect for Shepard Smith's in-progress hair cut and mid-afternoon hush puppy revitalization) shut down completely for the remainder of the hour. During which time a clean-up crew (aided and greatly abetted by a large handful of seeing eye dog owners in town for the annual "AvoDerm Over Here-No-Over Here" Dog Show, who, as luck and a certain amount of "Here, boy!" fate would have it, were still wandering around with their pets, and, thankfully, a large selection of plastic bags, while looking for the elevator after their appearance on "America's Newsroom" earlier in the day) were quickly hustled in to spruce things up, so that Glenn Beck's follow-up broadcast could go on as scheduled, with yet another in-depth detailed look at the now suddenly front burner crisis concerning the White House pastry wrangler and the latest startling allegations surrounding his recent denials about store bought cakes, pies, and bear claws being stockpiled in a Blair House cellar, apparently in an effort to satisfy the sweet tooth cravings of our otherwise elite minded Chief Executive during his nightly viewing of the NBA playoffs and occasional reruns of "The George Lopez Show" and "CSI: Somewhere Or Another."
As expected, reaction to the more or less pre-packaged C.O.D. passing of Howard Ahab Shemp was swift and furious, and thus, came pouring in from all corners of the concerned, and, for the time being, pile-on friendly world at large. Although, right off the bat, the first one out of the box, was a little closer than expected.
"Oh, my! Oh, my oh my!" exclaimed comedian Kathy Griffin (one of the trio of other in-studio guests, along with U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) and former New York Mets Mr. Met mascot performing artist Irving Clyde Schiffman, who were alongside Shemp discussing with Cavuto the latest news surrounding the ongoing Lake Winnipesaukee sewage crisis and whether or not Adam Sandler will have a hit movie this summer, when the fateful moments leading up to Shemp's semi-smooth, yet entirely dis-jointed, stage clearing maneuvers first began to noisily unfold) as she slowly stepped around, over and through the hallway blast scene, while surveying the extent of the sometimes disturbing residual wreckage left behind by Shemp's window rattling, floor to ceiling to all four wall smear-a-thon exit.
"Like everyone else who was in there, I seriously thought it was going to be one of his usual false alarms, you know?" said Kathy, to any interested reporters still trailing her stalled progress, as she tried, with little success, to scrap the bottom of her new peach Bandolino Berry pumps along the twisted, upturned, back edge of a now, forever ruined office chair that was unlucky enough be caught in the recently completed inside-out human crossfire. "Well, I guess that's it for this pair. Oh well, they were fun while they lasted. It's a shame cause they really went well with my…..oh, yeah, what was I saying….something about alarms, false alarms, I think…..right, like the time when Andy Kindler, or was it Kevin Meaney? I don't know which. It might have even been Carlos Mencia, and probably was, but let's not go there, shall we? Anyway, someone, most likely all three, got it into their head to poke Mr. No-You-Know-What-Zone right in the tum-tum, just because it seemed like he forgot to laugh at their big "I-Rang-The-Door-Bell-Didn't-I?" closer. You know the one. Whoa, funny. Uhh, not really, but you get the idea. And well, of course, super-sized jumbo boy doubles over, or tries to anyway, and all hell breaks loose. But not like this. Whew, am I glad now I saved the good outfit for my little bit on Colbert's show tomorrow. I don't know what I would have done had I worn it today and put it in line for such a…... wait, now that I'm thinking about it, maybe it was my Courtney Cox "tool belt" joke that might of kicked senior cutie-poo into such a spooky gear in there, and then, you know, sent him stumbling out here like he did, just so he could do his thing right in the nearest, well, it's not exactly a curb, but at this point it might as well be, right? Think so!"
Of course, all shapes and sizes of well meaning others were just as quick as the perennial, self-effacing, motormouth, redhead diz-job (now in need of a serious zapato adjustment) to line up and chime in accordingly with their assorted thoughts, notions, and, well stirred, emotional croc-pot of, more or less, caught off guard concerns, with regards to the recent dramatic disintegration of their once upon a time good friend.
President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez and Shemp unknowingly first hooked horns in an on-line chat room called Wunderhorn, that, at the time, specialized in all things related to famed late-romantic Austrian composer, Gustav Mahler, but has since become overrun by the usual collection of village idiots mistakenly seeking more and more detailed information about Johnny "Thunder" Wunderhorn, the latest high school quarterback prospect (with a million-dollar arm and a five cent head) to announce his preliminary commitment to the University of Florida for the 2012 season. Since then, most if not all contact between Chavez and Shemp has generally centered on one of their usual running feuds, either who was a better Major League Baseball shortstop, Dave Concepcion or Omar Vizquel, or who's the hotter MILF, Ava Lauren or Lisa Ann. Meanwhile, in a heartfelt address to those assembled at the grand opening of a junta managed free clinic/discount imperialist target range, President Chavez had something nice to say about his fellow Latin American Baseball expert/Over-Thirty Cougar aficionado, "He was a great talker, a good listener, and a better than average chewer of gum. And, oh yeah, his nose was usually cold. Go figure."
Grumpy "American Idol" guru Simon Cowell, who attended three of Shemp's "Hold On To Your Own" Seminars in Miami, Nashville, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, before officially becoming a yearly featured speaker at the annual Shemp World Jamboree in Butte, Montana, had, as usual, soft spoken words of wise, worldly wisdom, which no one was in the mood to hear, "As much I'd like to say that he and I tended to be on the same page with everything, except for maybe the last one of the lengthy agreement between Clay Aiken and that misguided not-so-young woman who apparently bore his…I'm sincerely hoping…only child, I'm still convinced he was completely unaware that this was specifically designed to be a competition, and not just some sort of jolly jaunt around some poorly made up nowhere-mind-over-totally-mixed-up-doesn't-seem-to-really-matter-park, or something, you….see? Of course you do, which is where I came in, and will never go again, if I can ever help it."
Superstar actor Tom Cruise, one of Shemp's closest, long distance pals, ever since they first met on the set of "Cocktail," when Shemp did double-dip duties as both a stand-in for Bryan Brown, and the body double for Gina Gershon, recalled, "I always told him to, never, never, I repeat, never, never, let go! No matter what is said to you, about you, because of you, or in spite of you, since it means nothing, really, nothing at all. Not one iota of a manageable tangible thing. Unless of course, you're a weak, totally self-consumed, glory obsessed, no good, unfocused, gutless, non-committed un-super soldier in everyone else's army but your own. And, if, after crawling through all that crap, you still have bad teeth and anything but a killer smile, then it's probably all true, whatever it is you think they all said. Which means it's over, dead and done, and time to move on, before the rest of your nightmare wakes up and catches up to wherever it is you're left hiding and trembling with your sick, timid, scam of life sinking right there in front of you in the toilet bowl you just puked out your Cheerios in. But, then he'd laugh and want to know why I never watched "Knotts Landing." In a nutshell, my fox hole, anytime. Rain or shine, or none of the above. All I know is I couldn't have done "Tropic Thunder" without the big guy's help, advice, and, of course, his refrigerator box full of aviator shades."
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who, along with Shemp, was the other half of the suspiciously unimpressive comedy team Howie & The E-Man that once spent several wacky summers together as busboys and the featured opening act at Chitler's Riverboat Lounge near the Wisconsin Dells during the early 1980s (which, in turn, lead to a half-weeks worth of drive time radio jock work at WFUD in Fond du Loc, that ended quite prematurely when Howie unfortunately dropped a big stack of giveaway Jethro Tull LP's on Rahm's lap, and the rest is history), had some keen indirect thoughts of his own to let loose for once, "I know what I'd like to say at a time like this, but I'll just leave it at….yes, he was, and, at the time, everybody else thought so, too."
Susie Essman, foul mouth co-star of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," couldn't help but hit another couple of balls out of the park, so to speak, when she had this sentimental thought to pass on (along with a couple of her usual stones), "To tell you the God's honest, I'm kind of glad the big a-- mother------ is gone now. I mean, I'm all for doing your own f-----' thing, you know, and all the necessary horse---- that goes with it. But you try sitting next to that fat f--- for twenty to thirty Knick games each year and then tell me if you don't agree with what I'm trying to f-----' say here!"
Self-appointed Democratic People's Republic of Korea crazy guy mad man, Kim Jong-il, when asked to respond to the death of Howard Shemp, his trusty pen-pal for the past 53 years (or, ever since the initial wave of first grade/secondary school teacher exchange programs were implemented back in the late 1950s in a noble, yet failed, attempt to unite the two nations and hopefully mend many of the bridges and poorly constructed foot paths damaged during their several year dust-up earlier in the decade) came up with this gem of a memory to shock and awe the assembled workers as they attempted to paper the walls of the Big Dog palace with as many recently successfully completed sudoku pages as they could, before it was time for the boss to finally kick back and spend another long night trying to watch "Grey's Anatomy" while he tested out his new three-wood on the backside of some local, Myanmarian inspired, dissidents, who apparently pissed him off last week during the course of a sloppy, yet otherwise more or less incident-free, state sponsored/despot approved company sing-a-long that occurred as a promotional tie-in to help jump-start the release of the extended pirated edition of "Mama Mia!" in his still slightly behind the curve Pacific rim nation, "He was always a better dancer, than would normally be expected. Much better than me, anyhow. So that's why I always let him wear my glasses every time Charo and I did The Frug. Whoa no, oh whoa, nellie….there I go, again! Don't get me started. The next thing you know, I'll be blabbin' your ear off big time about when he and I stayed up all night to help Bobby Fischer put away a case and a half of Dr.Pepper."
Bernie Madoff, a one time weekend racquetball partner of Shemp's during a tense and restless few months when the disgraced ponzi scheme tycoon was forced to buy a years worth of DKNY tennis shorts for himself and three truck loads of Kenneth Cole Hot Streak's, Silver Fox's, and Party All Night's for the Mrs., just so he could get rid of some of the excess cash that had somehow accumulated to the point where he was unable to close the door to his secret mad money cash flow vault at his cousin Sid's Gramercy Park townhouse, "Sure, I could say I was sorry, and even pretend to be for purposes of clarity, closure, and reasons that, for the moment anyway, have more to do with one of the guards here, Mr. Jim, who has what he promises me is only a nervous tic, but…well, I think we all know where this is going to be going, as the evening wears on."
Hans Rudolf Mess, co-founder and current president of German-based fetish oriented social network, No.2 Zone, was in anything but a calculated mood (although the gold Nina Culver Peep Toes and silky Moshammer jock strap were a nice touch) when he let loose with this, "As much as I always admired where his head was at, I never could understand what he was waiting for."
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had this to say about Shemp, one of her earliest Facebook buddies, who came on board during a difficult spell after she found a copy of "Who's Nailin Paylin?" underneath a bait bucket in her clergyman's ice fishing shanty near Skagway, "Like I always say, when I'm backed up into a harder that usual place, not generally already spelled out in so many "code words" in whatever books are, for now, still allowed in our public schools….Is that a community activist in your pocket, or is your moose just glad to see me? And, if so, how's that goin' for ya?"
Rev. Al Sharpton, Shemp's double-play combo chum during their one long ago summer (due to a not-exactly kosher arrangement between Chess Records and Roulette Records) as Hollis, Queens (N.Y.) Little Leaguers, "Sadly, there comes a time when all of us must go, to the beyond, and, if given the opportunity, maybe even a little further. Since, it is, after all, our right, as people in pain, that is, each and every one of us, to move forward in order to go the distance, or wherever it is that's gotten to first, by other's, as a rule, whose intent is to keep us from getting there, not only in the first place, but in our own time, as well, in clothes we don't want, or wouldn't ever want to be wearing when it's our time to finally get there, at last, at long, and glorious last. Chickens do, as they say, come home to roost. And because of that, I, for one, always insist that they at least bring along some gravy. Gravy for one, gravy for all! Biscuits? Maybe later. But for now, I'm trying to cut back, since most of the workout threads is too tight, too snug, too everywhere else, you understand what I mean? And, so yes, not enough room for all about me."
Glamorous air head cover girl, Jessica Simpson, who once got stuck (for a day and a half) in a Fort Worth Holiday Inn Express elevator with Shemp, at the somewhat tricky five year mark of his infamous quest to, well, not give a…hoot (if you know what I mean) seemed puzzled, to say the least, when she coughed up this thought for the day, "Shemp?? You mean the informant guy on "Justified," or the stuff that Woody Harrelson says he uses to make his t-shirts?"
Ben Stiller, friends with Shemp ever since their summer youth camp days at Camp Mildwood near Cape May, New Jersey, couldn't help but get philosophic when asked to address a loss now too big to measure, "Some people are born funny, they just are. While others, well, you do the math, and while you're at it, don't forget to bring along a squeegie, just in case. Okay, so maybe I'm no Stanley Myron Handleman, but who is? We all know that Howie thought he was, or at least pretended to be. And, well, look where that got him. Other than that, what can I say? The guy liked cake."
No holes barred porn star diva, Flower Tucci, a recent Shemp Institute convert (if only to hopefully someday be in a better position (or two) to cash in on what would certainly be a whale of a Deutschland payday) took time off from her busy chaperone duties during her 6th grade nephew's school field trip to the L.A. Science Museum, to remind an anxious world what few of us really needed to know (before lunch), "What he did for me, in all seriousness, was open me up to a wonderful world I never knew, or even thought, ever existed before. A place where pretensions are off, clothes are on, and only the mind is allowed to go as far as it can with the flow. After that, it's….well, you gotta eat, I gotta eat, and somewhere along the way somebody better start washing some dishes or else the party's over before the rain even gets a chance to start filling things up, in the plain in Spain, or in any of the others still hoping to land tonight in Burbank."
Oprah Winfrey, Queen Supreme Maven of All Media -- whose brother/sister-like friendship with Shemp dates back to the time he filled in the necessary blank around the house after gal pal Gayle hit her head on an indoor pool diving board and then, for some reason, felt the overwhelming need to spend most of what soon became a very awkward spring during the late 1980s as a knockabout roadie/sweet potato pie chef for the Pixies during their annual up and down the eastern seaboard college/factory town tour -- was, as expected, a temporarily slimmed down bundle of over-the-edge pain and suffering once she was informed that Shemp had not exactly left the building as it was when he entered, "For me, there will always be this special bond between Howard, and, well, me. He was after all, right there with me, yes, I, when one of my assistant's first finished reading "The Sound and the Fury," to me. Hello?? And so, of course, it was then, I, as in me, who first recognized that Howard was the right person to have around when my, yes, my life needed to share some of, my all important emergency "Go-there-again-girlfriend" assistance. At which point I, me again, turned to him and told him, point blank, 'Since I'm, not going to wear any of these anymore, why don't you try this one on.' And well, of course he did, and of course he looked fab-u-lous!! So I, made him back up the truck, and off the rack it all went. Everything. And eventually, with a little tuck here, and a lot of luck there, it all wound up going straight onto the burly, hunched over shoulders of the most amazing man, who, lucky for me, myself, and I, was always there whenever I, again, needed something more than the just usual pound cake to soak up my nightly trail of too many sad little girl boo-hoo tears. Simply put, I will miss him. I…will. I….am, sadly…me."
Undoubtedly a complex man right up to, and including the end, Howard Ahab Shemp was born July 4, 1950 in Bossier City, Louisiana, the youngest of three children. His parents, Earl Wayne Shemp and Brenda Sue Shemp-Shemp, were traveling carnival folk who abandoned Howard on his first birthday, along with his 13-year-old sister, Ra-Ramona Vi-Violet, during what was supposed to be a game of hide and seek inside an amusement park hall of goofy mirrors just outside Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Ra-Ramona Vi-Violet, a notorious stutterer during her bleak, unpromising childhood, eventually got the help she needed later on in life, and, surprisingly enough, went on to become an otherwise fully functioning gal forever on the go. So much so that, during the 1960's, after a brief, yet semi-star-making stint as a go-go dancer on "Hullabaloo," she somehow became an almost overnight sensation on the TV soap opera, "The Secret Storm," where, under the name of Francesca O'Reilly, she spent many over dramatic years as sassy, smart-alecky, former rodeo queen, hot to trot uptown hair stylist, Genevieve Wheeler.
Following their most unfortunate abandonment, Howard and his sister were tracked down by a distant uncle, Curly Larry Moe Shemp, a hand puppeteer and weekend radio personality from Chicago. Along with his wife Midge, a receptionist at Chess Records, Curly raised Howard and Ra-Ramona, and exposed them to much of what was then happening in the fast-moving, quick-changing world of 1950s-era TV, radio, and music in and around the Second City, while, for whatever reason, feeding them primarily breakfast cereal, an infinite variety of overstacked deli sandwiches, and, leftover Chinese food.
Meanwhile, except for the time he fell asleep in the back seat of Muddy Waters' 1959 Cadillac, and three days later woke up underneath some extremely suspicious fish that Big Bill Broonzy and Studs Terkel had just caught in the Calumet River, Shemp's early years were unspectacular, at best. And so, for the most part, were just one after another, like so many typical seasons at Wrigley Field. But, without the occasional foul ball hitting him right in the soft ice cream because he was too busy watching some guy who should have been at work feel up a gal, who, lucky for him, seemed to always be on the job somewhere at the old ball yard. Especially during an otherwise typical 7th inning stretch that generally kicked off somewhere in the bottom of the 3rd, with one (or more) on.
After graduating from York Community High School in Elmhurst, Illinois in 1968, Shemp became directly involved with many of the violent protests that summer at the Democratic National Convention. It was then and there that he first developed his somewhat impressive ability to successfully hold off certain bodily function urges, usually until way past their traditional launch time. This decidedly unique talent of Shemp's would later become even more pronounced during his days (and nights) as the all-purpose assistant, chief cook and vodka bottle washer for WCFL's excitable late night cuckoo bird, Barney Pip.
Years later this so-called skill of Shemp's would come in mighty handy while traveling the comedy club circuit. Especially whenever it became otherwise inadvisable to use whatever limited facilities were available, once, of course, it was understood that legendary cockeyed confetti cornball, Rip Taylor, had apparently been in there too long already.
The first hint that Shemp was indeed capable of, at least, attempting to go way beyond the usual boundaries of such well established daily waste disbursement practices, occurred as a result of a thought to be impractical wager between he and the late John Belushi, that initially had more to do with the limited gridiron progress of the Chicago Bears, rather than what it soon enough would became, following a lengthy night of deep-dish pizza devouring and numerous follow-up wash downs with buckets of Old Style beer.
From this point on it was only a matter of time until further increased environmental concerns tripped a wire somewhere within Shemp's inner down there soul. All of which allowed him to eventually move onto what was certainly the final chapter fulfillment of his impossible quest for a better conditioned state of impurely perfect perfection, within an otherwise purely imperfect world.
It was during the spring of 1969, while Shemp was still with Pip at WCFL that he came under the seductive spell of Stephanie Rinsome, a rabble-rising environmental theorist/Asst. Economics Professor at Bennington College. Helping to put Howard even more under a spell at the time was that, just prior to attending one of Rinsome's eye-opening/mind-numbing lectures at Northwestern, he accidentally consumed some unnamed pharmaceuticals tucked inside a coney island hot dog that was intended for longtime boss radio guy, Clark Weber, as just another part of what was then an on-going feud between he and nifty on-air prankateer DJ, Ron Riley.
Deeply inspired by what he saw and heard, Shemp soon followed Rinsome back to New England, where, due to his off-the-chart SAT scores, and his surprisingly above average skill as a lacrosse player, he was eventually accepted at nearby Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts.
It was there at Williams that he graduated in 1973 with a B.S. in Mathematics & Statistics, even though by then, due to a series of higher profile than normal environmental issues - highlighted by an emergency partial non-landing, of sorts, during a mostly misbegotten weekend in a Middlebury College dorm when, due to both he and the nearest available facilities being armed, paper-wise, with only a lengthy, not yet finalized dissertation on Pascal's abstractions, and a handful of flyers promoting an upcoming on-campus appearance of self-noted, over inflated film critic, John Simon, much of what, and who he would later become, began to accumulate even more fully into view - he was already well on his way to becoming a totally unyielding, aggressively energized activist, fully committed to many of the fast-rising, interrelated, nature friendly consciousnesses then swelling up all around, and/or, soon to be even more inside him.
Shemp would eventually go on to write three books, "The Pollution Solution" (1975), "Landfill This!" (1977), and "What The......?" (1981), and, over time, actually read three more, "The Return of the Native" (1878) by Thomas Hardy, "White Noise" (1985) by Don DeLillo, and "The Sportswriter" (1986) by Richard Ford.
According to the Internet Movie Database, during the 1980's Shemp appeared twice as "Prairie 'The Dog' Kellerman" on the TV show "WKRP In Cincinnati," and once on "The Slap Maxwell Story" as "The Big Buffoona," a brain-addled, steroid fueled, former Olympic hammer thrower, who, for reasons unknown, while working as somewhat perpetually boisterous weekend TV news sports anchor, actually thought he was a 1969 Buick Electra.
And, in a lengthy interview recently printed in the November 2009 issue of Sight and Sound, Shemp claimed that, if forced to choose, his favorite film of all time is actually a toss-up between, Douglas Sirk's 1955 melodramatic weepfest, "All That Heaven Allows," and Vincente Minnelli's glossy 1958 full house dream flush, "Some Came Running." And, if either of those two are not available, then, according to a follow-up article in Men's Health, any film featuring The Bowery Boys (or Carmen Miranda) will do.
Shemp was married four times (twice to former professional wrestler, Doris "Hurricane" Mitterwald, the current mayor of Hoosick Falls, New York), and is survived by six children, Fike, Ike, Mike, Pike, Tyke, and Zorro, all from a series of recurring, yet never followed through engagements to legendary circus big-top headliner, Mary Larry Quitecontraryvic, the high-flying world-class Serbian aerialist.
At the moment, any funeral arrangements for Shemp, are still pending. And would appear to be otherwise on hold, at least until it comes time when the full extent of his messy remains have been properly scrapped up and gathered together accordingly. At which point the wide range collection of multi-colored Ziploc hazard bags storing his remains will most likely be quarantined in an unmarked municipal warehouse in The Bronx, where they will patiently await any future news about their next step assignment, that, for now anyway, until further notice, still is dependent on the soon-to-be speeded-up completion of an extensive gravesite excavation already in progress, at an as yet, unannounced upstate New York location.