Friday, January 27, 2012

Robert Hegyes: "Bobby"

Friend, comedian, actor and home town hero Bobby Hegyes passed away yesterday at the way-too-young age of 60.  

Bobby grew up in  Metuchen, N.J., and my brothers Jim and Pete and I knew him from our high school days.  I played football with Bobby on the Metuchen High team.  He was a fierce competitor and a force of nature on the field as well as off.  He caught the acting bug early and performed not only in  school productions but in "Summer Theater Under the Stars" at nearby Roosevelt Park.   Bobby pursued his education and career in acting with the same intensity and dedication that he applied to most things in his life.   

"Hey, Mr. Kotter, I got a note!"

Everyone in Metuchen was thrilled when  Bobby landed a starring role on a network TV series in 1975.   Bobby was only 24 when "Welcome Back Kotter" premiered.  He played one of the "Sweathogs," a foursome of incorrigible and wise-cracking high school students who amuse, challenge, and learn life's lessons from their beloved  mentor/teacher, Mr. Kotter.  

Bobby performed the role of Juan Epstein, a Puerto Rican Jew from a large family who had Latin good-looks and great comic timing.  His co-stars included Gabe Kaplan as Mr. Kotter, and John Travolta, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Ron Palillo as the other three sweathogs.  

Back in July of 2006, when I married Annie Malley, Bobby and his wife Cynthia Wylie attended the wedding.  In the wedding photo above, my brother Jim Ruegger, Bobby and Cynthia share a laugh during Paul Rugg's performance of "Manny the Uncanny."

Bobby was charismatic, infinitely likable and one-of-a-kind.  

Thanks for the laughs, Bobby.  You will be missed by your family, your friends and your fans.  

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pinky & the Brain Boy

In 1963, Dell published a short-lived series of comic books starring a flying semi-superhero entitled "Brain Boy."  It lasted six issues.  In its final issue -- according to its cover page -- Brain Boy encountered "A Fantastic Scheme To Conquer The Earth..."   

This scheme, and this comic book series, should not be confused with a certain mouse who has a similar name, and similar fantastic schemes and goals.    

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Award Season Has Arrived!

And this year, just like every year...

...Mr. Skullhead waits for his nomination.  

He's been waiting quite a while.  He's starting to feel snubbed by the Academy.   Regardless of the fact that he hasn't appeared in any movies or TV shows this past year, Mr. Skullhead remains undaunted.  He knows his time will come. 

Until then, Skullhead can be reached at Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City, where he serves as the hotel's part-time  dog-walker, or via his publicist/personal manager/artist/creator/ and orthopedic cartoonist, Sherri Stoner.