Thursday, March 06, 2014

R.I.P. Geoff Edwards

So sorry to hear of the passing of Geoff Edwards. I was shocked to learn he was 83. Geoff was always so youthful with such spirit.  I thought he was 40.  35 maybe.  As recently as last November Geoff contributed a piece for this blog. Most people probably know him as a game show host. He was also a radio star (back when there were such things), travel writer, author, and humorist.

We worked together at KMPC radio in Los Angeles. He was the 9-noon disc jockey and I was the lowly intern. But he always treated me as an equal. In many ways he was an inspiration to me because he didn’t have the classic radio baritone. But he had such personality and was such a terrific communicator that it didn’t stop him from getting plum jobs at some of the most prestigious major market radio stations in the country. He proved that having something to say was more important than just sounding mellifluous. That was my ticket too. Thanks, Geoff.

I’ll miss his sly humor, our lunches, his podcast, our friendship, and most of all his laugh.   Geoff Edwards was a breath of fresh on-air.

(My scheduled post follows later. Please check back.)

13 comments:

LouOCNY said...

First Jim Lange....now Geoff Edwards...Peter Marshall, please be careful!

RockGolf said...

No one could make taking 15 minutes to open a single box on TV more interesting. Howie Mandel is proof.

Michael said...

I remember that at KMPC, it was, in order, Dick Whittinghill, Geoff Edwards, Wink Martindale, and Gary Owens during the day, then Robert W. Morgan and Roger Carroll (I think) at night. Has there ever been a greater DJ lineup?

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more.

H Johnson said...

Thank you for this remembrance Ken. Geoff Edwards was one of those people that you always expected to see on television. He was part of the fabric of television and radio in that era. And by 'that era' I mean our lifetime.

He will be missed.

Michael said...

Friday question: A lot of the game show hosts I grew up watching like Geoff and Jim Lange were radio DJs. Is this something most DJs in that era tried to audition for as well and, if so, what qualities did they have that the unsuccessful ones didn't? Was it strictly their looks?

LouOCNY said...

Michael, I can answer your question right now. The reason that DJs were a very potent source of emcees for games shows, is that a DJ with any kind of experience has had weird stuff happen while on the air, and since game shows are taped live, a DJ will be able to handle anything odd that happens in the middle of playing the game - with humor. Not to also mention that DJs in those days especially, knew exactly what the FCC would and would not allow them to say. They also need very little training in 'working the clock'

If you will notice, the reason most of the GSN shows are meh, is that they hire somebody who is trendy and hip, instead of someone who really knows what they are doing. And it shows - most of them have the charm of a peanut, and you never get comfortable with them. Bill Cullen, even without his disability, was as comfortable as an old shoe, and so he worked for 30 years.

Stoney said...

RadioInfo.com has posted a very detailed piece on Mr. Edwards. Geoff was one the news reporters in Dallas who witnessed the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald.

MikeBo said...

Ken,
You've expressed so beautifully the feelings I've been struggling to articulate about Geoff Edwards. I worked with him at KMPC in the '70s, doing the news headlines during his 9 to Noon show. The first time I heard him on the air, he was at KFI, doing a bit where he was "Mr. Kent" calling a dry cleaners to find out if his suit was ready. He had the poor clerk going nuts with his description of the blue tights, red cape and red boots. And, oh yes, the big "S" on the front. Years later when I had dinner with Geoff and his wife, I told them just how much I enjoyed that bit of schtick. It was my wife's favorite Geoff bit, and Geoff admitted that it was one of his favorites, too. A very bright light has gone out. I will miss him.

YEKIMI said...

If you want to hear his "Superman" bit, you can hear it on his website: http://geoffedwards.com/

Michael said...

LouOCNY, I'll add that a few years back, game shows were suddenly the rage. The hosts were Regis Philbin, Chuck Woolery--long-timers. A reporter pointed out that was weird, given that TV loves youth. Philbin said people like him could do game shows because they require someone with experience at live broadcasting who can handle anything.

And when "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" started, the producers' first choice to host was Bill Cullen. Then they found out he had been dead for 10 years.

Anonymous said...

May his memory be eternal!

Nickellodeon said...

Michael, KMPC's night jocks were Roger Carroll, Clark Race, Dave Hull, Kathy Gori, and Sonny Melendrez. Robert W. was a substitute man in all shifts (as was Pete Smith). In Dave Hull's book "Hullaballoo", he mentions that Morgan was offered the 10pm shift when Clark Race left, but that he knew of Whittinghill's pending resignation and held out for morning show.