pretty_cynical: (PUNDITS. special comment.)
[personal profile] pretty_cynical
I didn't get to see it live, because I came back to the apartment completely exhausted after a full day of classes and a TV shoot, but apparently Keith quit MSNBC earlier tonight.

I came way late to Countdown; I started regularly watching the show (along with The Rachel Maddow Show) in the summer of 2009. I'd obviously heard of Keith before: I'd seen a few of his Special Comments on YouTube, and Ben Affleck's impression of him on SNL is still to this day one of my favorite videos ever. I saw him covering Obama's inauguration in January and got into his show in April while my parents were on vacation. Eventually, Keith became regular viewing. He was no longer the to-go program when Monday and Thursday night TV were in reruns or something to watch while I waited for it to be 9pm any other night of the week.

After a while, I came to realize that Keith was pretty much my father, minus the baseball obsession. They're around the same age (Keith is actually just a few weeks older than my mom, but Dad is only three years younger); they yell and have short tempers, but are both prone to amounts of incredible silliness. They're incredibly smart and knowledgeable about so many things. They both love sports and used to be sportscasters (In my dad's case, "sportscaster" means "did play-by-play for his high school hockey team.") Hell, they even wear similar glasses.

I only bring up this Keith-Dad connection because Keith has sort-of been my surrogate father for the past 18 months. You see, I went away to college on the other side of the state in August 2009. It was my first time away from home for an extended period of time, and even though I was only two and a half hours away from home, it felt like a lot farther. So I only got to talk to my parents by phone or via Skype once a week, and I usually only talked to Mom. Last summer, Dad announced he got a new job. The downside? It was in Fort Wayne, Indiana - about 3 hours away from home. He now stays there for most of the week and then drives back home on the weekends. So now I talk to him even less - and even then, it's only for important school-related financial things.So in a way, Keith was something familiar and comforting that kept me from being extremely homesick - although there was that one Special Comment he did that made me miss my parents more than I ever did up to that point.

I've giggled at and rewatched his Glenn Beck mockery several times over; I've listened intently to every Special Comment, no matter how full of rage or irrelevant they were to me; I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to him read Thurber stories on Friday nights. I've loved him being the big brother to Rachel and seeing their BFF-ness through their adorable tosses. I rejoiced when he joined Twitter, and have found myself amused by nearly every tweet and his constantly changing avatars. ( DEAR GOD, I HOPE HE DOESN'T GIVE THAT UP..)

Tonight, I watched the clip of Keith announcing his departure, and cried harder than I ever have before for simply one reason: He thanked Tim Russert at the very end. Like Keith, Tim was one of my dad's favorite people

(On a totally crass, selfish, and shallow note, I'm angry Keith quit now and not say, three years from now, when I am hypothetically working as an intern at The Rachel Maddow Show and could possibly run into him. Now what do I do?)
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