2019 Celebrity Dead Pool

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Jeff Westover

Chief Elf Officer
MMC Founder
Santa's Elf
Kringle Radio DJ
Oct 7, 2004
15,855
15,183
1,222,381
Cache Valley, Utah
jeffwestover.com
Ok, kids. Once a year and only once a year we perform our annual dance with death -- this New Year’s Day tradition of prognosticating the soon-to-be-departed.

While some waste this holiday (and a paid one at that) in self-reflection and rededication to improvement through resolution, we humbly suggest wasting it on THIS: make a list of those who won’t be here on this very same day one year from now.

We endure some judgment for our annual exercise of grim reaping. We are denounced. We are declared, by some, to be uncouth, uncivilized and even cruel in our merry game of lethal prophecy.

Others gleefully play along and yet they do not understand it fully either. On any given day of the year when a celebrity passes we might get the question: “Did ya have him on your list?”

That is not how this game is played.

We do not watch the scoreboard. We discreetly, and publicly (as oxymoronic as that sounds, emphasis on the moronic part), make a list of who buys the farm in the year ahead -- and then we put it away.

We forget about it. We don’t even look at it until it is game time. We do not chase ambulances or undertakers. We are not sickos.

A lot of thought goes into this and yet it is not a game for the timid. This is actually hard and in reality requires great thought. It is a sport of skill.

One year, when Dick Van Dyke was in his mid-80s, he had a senior moment and burned up his car on the side of the road. I thought for whatever reason that was a sign and put him on my list of the nearly-dead.

My daughter did not speak to me for two months. Seems she didn’t appreciate me killing off Rob Petrie.

Alas, this is not personal.

In fact, the idea that we do this with ONLY celebrities is central to the art of the sport. We don’t know these people. We only know of them. That is what makes this difficult.

After all, who saw Penny Marshall coming…er, going?

I had no idea she was 75, diabetic and had heart issues. In my eyes she was cemented as LaVerne. A true celebrity, a near immortal. She would have been a great pick.

When Jimmy Osmond suffered a stroke the other day I was sent a message by a friend who wanted to know if I have him on my list. The answer is no, and, shame on you – of course NOT. And he’s not going on my list now. He’s not a smart money pick. He’s 55. He’s got many others ahead of him including some with the same last name who are far more likely to cash in their chips.

We remind you this is not a wishlist or a death watch.

We could pick on the recently stricken and, sometimes, that’s an obvious choice. But let’s not be stupid about it.

It is tempting as well to fill our list of ten candidates with the likes of the Rosie O’Donnells or the Jane Fondas of the world. But that is not right either.

That IS cruel and at the end of the day we really don’t want anyone to die, even if we don’t like them, agree with their politics or see their movies.

No, this game requires some thought and, well, thick skin.

Ours is a game of complete winners, you see.

If someone on my list actually croaks, I win. But, if someone on my list defies death, they win. Everyone comes out ahead here.

Kirk Douglas, for example, is a master at this game.

For 14 years now he has been on my list. For all these years he’s had one foot in the grave and the other foot steadily kicking my butt.

This year he’s defied me again. You gotta love a guy like that. I tip my hat to him.

At the same time, he goes right to the top of the list for next year.

Someday I WILL get the last laugh. He’s 102, bless his heart. Sooner or later he’s going to make for a win.

Without further ado, here was my list exactly one year ago:
1. Kirk Douglas – skunked again.
2. Olivia de Havilland – not only is she alive, she’s suing people. I hope she overlooks me.
3. Jimmy Carter – Picked the wrong prez. I like JC, though. Glad I was wrong here.
4. Bob Barker – well, he at least made it to the hospital this year. 95 and still playing the game.
5. Billy Graham – Cha-ching.
6. John McCain – Bingo.
7. William Shatner – What was I thinking? He came out with a Christmas album at 87.
8. Olivia Newton John – Given her new diagnosis, I feel bad about this one.
9. Queen Elizabeth II – This was a dumb pick.
10. Wilford Brimley – Thought the diabeetus would have done him in. Wrong.

So, two for ten. Not a bad year. Considering there are usually between 90 and 100 celebrity deaths a year, two is an acceptable number. Not great. That requires three or better.

But not a bad showing and certainly an improvement over the last five or six years for me.

So, who do I think will kick the bucket this year?

1. Kirk Douglas
2. Olivia de Havilland
3. Doris Day (She’s back and she’ll be staring in Pushing Up Daisies)
4. Olivia Newton John
5. Ruth Bader Ginsburg
6. Tim Conway
7. Willie Nelson
8. Pope Benedict
9. Linda Ronstadt (first time)
10. Bob Dole (back on the list!)
 

George Broderick Jr.

North Pole Resident
MMC Lifer
Christmas Crew
MMC Partner
Jul 20, 2015
55,871
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62
Pittsburgh, PA
I usually make only one pick per year (that's as far as my sense of morbidity will allow me to go)… I scored with Stan Lee last year.

This year, I feel it may be Betty White. Sorry.
 

made582

MMC's Ambassador to the North Pole
MMC Lifer
MMC Donor
Christmas Crew
Louann Jeffries Award
Santa's Elf
Kringle Radio DJ
Apr 15, 2009
208,948
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6,069,381
41
Greenfield, Indiana
Dang, it looks like I didn’t make a list last year. So I’m going have to step it up this year.

1. Keith Richards
2. Prince Philip
3. Bob Barker
4. Jimmy Carter
5. Mel Brooks
6. Angela Lansbury
7. James Lipton
8. Cloris Leachman
9. Bill Cosby
10. Alan Alda

(Yeah, I’m going heavy on the 90 year olds)
 

made582

MMC's Ambassador to the North Pole
MMC Lifer
MMC Donor
Christmas Crew
Louann Jeffries Award
Santa's Elf
Kringle Radio DJ
Apr 15, 2009
208,948
228,175
6,069,381
41
Greenfield, Indiana
Carol Channing has passed away at age 97
 

MerryCarey

A Voice from the North
MMC Lifer
MMC Donor
Christmas Crew
Louann Jeffries Award
Santa's Elf
Kringle Radio DJ
Nov 6, 2008
26,776
79,681
5,209,381
New England, USA
Andre Previn, who produced so much beautiful Christmas music.
 

XmasDreams

North Pole Network Help
MMC Lifer
MMC Donor
Christmas Crew
ATC Alum
Sep 13, 2010
12,429
12,297
301,881
Huntland, Tn
Luke Perry aged 52
 

XmasDreams

North Pole Network Help
MMC Lifer
MMC Donor
Christmas Crew
ATC Alum
Sep 13, 2010
12,429
12,297
301,881
Huntland, Tn
Keith Flint from the UK band The Prodigy 49
 
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George Broderick Jr.

North Pole Resident
MMC Lifer
Christmas Crew
MMC Partner
Jul 20, 2015
55,871
6,611
4,516,881
62
Pittsburgh, PA
Seems Katherine Helmond (Feb. 23rd -- age 89) slipped through the cracks... she starred in Soap and Who's The Boss?
 

AuntieMistletoeDear

MMC Hostess of Christmas Online
MMC Lifer
Christmas.com Alum
Christmas Crew
Christmas Talk Alum
Oct 7, 2005
14,101
25,783
4,802,381
Ontario, Canada
@ Jeff; Doris and Tim in the same week. Your wins and losses at the same time.
 
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MerryCarey

A Voice from the North
MMC Lifer
MMC Donor
Christmas Crew
Louann Jeffries Award
Santa's Elf
Kringle Radio DJ
Nov 6, 2008
26,776
79,681
5,209,381
New England, USA
I guess she counts as a celebrity:
Grumpy Cat (nee Tardar Sauce), at the age of 7.
grumpycat.jpg
 
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