Friday, January 23, 2009

Veatrice R.I.P.

Several years ago, "Late Show with David Letterman" ran a "tribute" to Larry "Bud" Melman (Calvert DeForest) in which a montage of clips of his performances were shown, accompanied by mournful music. At the end, Dave said he was going to share some of his favorite memories of DeForest, when all of a sudden, the actor burst out from behind a curtain and shouted, "I'm not dead, you bastard!" No wonder a lot of people suspected it might be another hoax when DeForest actually did pass away in 2007.

If Jimmy Kimmel hadn't been so obviously choked up on last night's show, viewers might well wonder if the announcement of security guard/frequent ensemble player Veatrice Rice's passing was just a wacky gag. But sadly, it appears that Rice really did die of cancer yesterday.

Fans of the show will miss her hilariously deadpan, foul-mouthed style, displayed in segments like Veatrice and the Land o'Lakes Butter Lady At the Movies and her "political" analysis with fellow security guards Guillermo and Uncle Frank, which usually ended with her shouting that both of them were morons. Even though she became a frequent on-air presence, however, she still helped usher people to their seats before the show. Below is the tribute to Veatrice aired on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" last night.