Deaths of `80's child stars. Two weeks ago, it was Andrew Koenig. This morning, it was Corey Haim. If these things happen in threes, Gary Coleman may want to look twice before crossing the street this week. Just saying.
This morning, anyone whose formative pop-culture years occurred in the late 1980's was probably saddened, and yet completely unsurprised, by the news that actor Corey Haim was found dead at age 38 due to an apparent drug overdose. After bursting on the scene as a teenager in 80's feature films like Lucas and The Lost Boys, the rest of Haim's life had turned into a repetitive cycle of drug addiction and ultra-erratic behavior. In short, it had to end this way, it was just a matter of when.
As `80's kid/teen stars go, Haim was not quite to the superstar level of John Hughes' brat pack. Certainly, at their highest points, the Judd Nelsons, Rob Lowes, and Molly Ringwalds of the world were probably bigger stars than Haim. That said, if `80's teen to twenty-something celebs had a team picture like in baseball or football and stars like Nelson, Lowe or Ringwald were sitting front-row next to the head coach, Haim would be solidly on the end of the first row or middle of the second row. (I smell a future blog post coming on, by the way...)
Unfortunately, a combination of uppers, downers, in-betweeners, bad scripts, bad management and perhaps just not having the acting chops to get beyond "lovable early teen hipster" led Haim down a road where his IMDB.com profile went from well-received cult classics to a slew of straight-to-VHS (and then DVD) amateurish sludge.
In retrospect, it's not a real big surprise that Haim's most famous (infamous?) work post-Lost Boys was probably his edition of the E! True Hollywood Story and his reality show The Two Coreys, the final collaborative effort of Haim and fellow `80's punchline Corey Feldman, who together were the Simon and Garfunkel of shallow, shitty, straight-to-tape pseudo-movies (which would make Busted their "Bridge Over Troubled Water," I suppose). Unable to scratch anything even remotely compelling nor entertaining together through his own acting skills, sadly Haim became his most watchable (and yet at the same time, unwatchable) just doing what he did best -- stumbling around being Corey Haim.
When people die, celebrity or otherwise, it's kind of cliche for all of us to wax poetic and share a contrived or embellished story about the deceased and how they impacted us. Strangely enough, I actually have a Corey Haim story.
During our first week on the air at 1560, my co-host John Harris and I
actually interviewed Corey Haim. You see, Harris and I had never done
radio before 1560 put us on the air together (yes, true story), so we
had no idea how good or, more accurately at that time, how terrible we
would be. So to try and thinly veil our on-air shortcomings, we thought
it would be fun to book an obscure `80's celebrity each Friday.
So we put the hard-charging David Nuno (our 1560 colleague) to work to find us an interview subject for week one. Within an hour, he came into our office and told us Corey Haim would do an interview with us. Miraculously, Corey had very little going on that day.
Friday eventually came and our producer, Kyle Manthey, called the phone number we were given to find Corey and put him on the air. It was an ominous sign of things to come, both that day and eventually this morning, that Corey's people literally had to go shake him and wake him up to do the interview. (Harris and I never heard the exchange between Haim's management and his sleeping/passed-out carcass, but Kyle heard it just after Corey's manager answered the phone.)
Corey eventually made it to the phone, and gave us 14 quality minutes, especially considering he had probably just taken enough downers to kill a small village. Along the way, Corey interrupted us during our chat to tell Harris and I that were "the best interviewers he'd ever heard," which was strange considering that Harris and I had a combined total of about 19 hours hosting radio in our entire lives up to that point. At the very least, Harris and I finished up that day with Haim knowing that people completely whacked out on drugs would like us -- hell, Corey LOVED us! As for the rest of society liking us -- you know, sober, functional people -- well that's still a work in progress, but we're plugging along.
So we now live in a Haim-less world, and we'll all line up to take our shots and get in our one-liners. I already have. It's almost too easy. But I will say that in my brief encounter with Corey Haim, he seemed like a nice-enough guy whose destructive tendencies seemed to damage, for the most part, only himself. In a way, it's kind of appropriate that if you go to his official website, his people managing the site have asked that you share condolences via Corey's "Official MySpace Page." In a world where MySpace has been left in the dust and obsolete by Facebook and Twitter, there's Corey Haim, whom Hollywood left in the dust and obsolete at age 17, asking you to go to his MySpace page.
God bless, Corey. One more slow clap for Lucas on his way out the door....clap......clap......clap ......clap ....clap ....clap ... clap..clap.clapclap CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP....YEAH LUCAS!!!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7p.m. weekdays on the Sean & John Show, and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.