Sometimes even the strangest things remind me of Todd Rundgren.
Today, the online news is reporting that the death of comic actor Charlie Rocket, who was found in his home with his throat cut in early October, was ruled a suicide. Charlie Rocket had had parts in various TV series and movies but he probably got the most attention for being the first person to use the F-word on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" back in 1981. This probably seems like really small potatoes nowadays, but back then, the three major TV networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) were pretty much all a lot of people watched---many people didn't have cable TV yet---and shows like SNL really commanded a humongous audience and large ad budget. Swearing on-air was considered the ultimate sin, again it was different from nowadays where so many people have cable and can hear programs with the F-word all day long if they so choose. The network had been worried for years about the crazy content going out on SNL and that someone would swear on the air, so when it finally happened they had a tizzy fit and fired Charlie Rocket immediately.
So, what does all this have to do with Todd? Well, even though I didn't normally watch SNL for a variety of reasons (mostly because I wasn't huge on TV comedy shows in general and my parents wouldn't have approved of most of the humor on that specific show), I happened to be watching it the night Charlie Rocket uttered his famous F-bomb...because Todd Rundgren was the musical guest! I tuned in just to see Todd. I guess Prince was on too but although I got to like Prince a couple years later I have zero memory of his being on the show. I probably didn't know who he was and stepped out to get a coke during his performance or something.
I was a senior in high school at that time and I remember vividly having been out at a particularly awful party where I was one of only two people there without a date, and escaping partly by using the excuse that I had to get home to see my favorite musician, TODD, on the TV. I was in such a terrible mood from that party that I really, REALLY needed to cheer myself up watching some Todd. My mom sat up and watched the first part of the show with me, but fell asleep before it got to the end with Charlie Rocket swearing. I was glad about that because she would have gotten really mad, even though I was only watching to see Todd. As it was, she heard about it on the news the next morning with the rest of America and got upset at me then :-)
Oh well, at least Todd gave a good performance (And didn't swear :-)
Here is the episode guide for that show, which I used to confirm that my middle-aged memory was not playing tricks on me!