Mickey Rooney died this weekend. He was a big deal from my parents generation, one of the last few surviving Hollywood movie stars.
Rooney was a member of a very small club. He could do nearly anything in show business. He sang, he danced, he acted. He played the drums. He did Broadway. He toured. He was a frequent talk show guest in the 60s and 70s.
The more people got to know him, the less starstruck they were. Make no mistake, he was exceptionally talented. He was just more talented than popular. It happens.
Mickey Rooney was best known for the Andy Hardy movies. They made 16.
Andy lived in small town America where everything was tidy and everyone was white. His father was a wise, yet warm, judge.
The Andy Hardy movies were often on daytime TV when I was a kid. These were lighthearted morality plays where the good guy triumphs in the end–always. I watched, but it was no childhood I recognized.
Rooney also did a bunch of successful musicals with Judy Garland. Later in his career he transitioned to character roles.
People were surprised to see he was only 5′ 2″.
He was married eight times. After three or four shouldn’t you understand marriage isn’t for you?
I’m trying to think if anyone’s ever been in the public consciousness longer than Mickey Rooney? Maybe not. He was a star nearly 80 years. That’s an incredible accomplishment.
Even 93 years isn’t enough, is it?
Did you watch the Oscars? We did. I suspect numbers will be up this year. It has little to do with Ellen’s performance or anything on-the-show, though she and it were very entertaining.
The Oscars has written the playbook on leveraging social media. It is the synergistic wunderkind! Truly a two screen show.
If you’re on Twitter you can’t not watch the Academy Awards. It our common experience. We’re watching TV together as a family. Welcome back to the sixties.
Of course the Oscar telecast has to bring something to this stew. It’s live. It’s unpredictable. It’s enthusiastically embraced its marriage with the second screen.
Don’t underestimate that last move. Few have done it as effectively or with the ease shown by Ellen tonight.
There were Twitter references everywhere. Ellen set up the selfie you see atop this entry during the show.
Long before midnight Sunday, the photo had been retweeted more than 2 million times, breaking a record set by President Barack Obama with the picture of him hugging First Lady Michelle Obama after his re-election in 2012. Twitter also sent out an apology because all of the retweeting disrupted service for more than 20 minutes after 10 p.m. ET. – AP via npr.org
She took another with Liza Minnelli. And then there was the (real) pizza delivery guy. It’s a good night to be @BigMamasNPapas.
My last few years in TV saw a push to engage viewers via social media. We were trying to make you more ‘sticky.’
The fact I have so many followers on Facebook and Twitter speaks to my belief in that. We never did it this effectively.