Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Happy 94th birthday, Abe Vigoda!

Abe Vigoda turns 94 today. That's not an unimaginable age--my dad got to 93, and Vigoda was born the year between my dad and my mom, who reached 91.

What makes Abe the poster child for "old people you thought were dead who will live forever," the guy who has websites that exist just to determine his life status, the guy whose death has been misreported not once but twice, is that he's looked old for about a thousand years.

In the '70s, we all thought he was the oldest cast member in "Barney Miller" and "Fish." We had no idea he'd still be holding on in 2015.

I tried to watch "Fish." It had a bunch of kids and seemed like it might be a bigger-familied version of "All in the Family." It was awful, just awful, but we often watched it anyway because nothing else was on.

But then it's impossible to forget that Vigoda was also Sal Tessio, one of the Godfather's top lieutenants, the one who attempted the Barzini betrayal. It's the smart move. Tessio was always the smarter one. But you know, Mike, it was only business.

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