Defining Robert Goulet

robert-goulet.jpgI suppose I should just repeat the talking points about Robert Goulet dying this Tuesday from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, that he was Lancelot in the Broadway version of Camelot and other highlights of his life. His death has been covered by countless other news sources and it’d be redundant for me to bring up the most obvious Goulet factoids.

To be honest, I’m not a fan of Goulet and probably a generation or two away from his fanbase. While he was a fairly accomplished singer and I appreciate his talents, I can’t claim that what he did was my thing. It’s hard to take away from what he did, so I thought I’d define Robert Goulet in terms of my experiences with him. It might be adding to the pile of eulogies about Goulet, but that’s newsworthiness for you.

Robert Goulet was the Devil in the 2000 film G-Men From Hell. Yeah, Goulet’s makeup is pitiful in G-Men From Hell and adaptations of Mike Allred comics are an acquired taste to begin with. Goulet is essentially playing himself as the Devil, yet the characterization works. It worked for me, at least.

Robert Goulet wasn’t born in Canada and achieved his height of fame Stateside, yet is a celebrated Canadian figure due to Canada being his boyhood home. Like William Shatner, Goulet was in the Canadian version of Howdy Doody and appeared on CBC Television in its early days. Unlike Shatner, he became famous for singing well.

Robert Goulet was one of Will Ferrell’s better Saturday Night Live characters. Granted, Ferrell’s Goulet is basically Ferrell going on bizarre tangents, like “Goulet” singing a medley of rap songs and displaying a bit of nepotism while staging “Red Ships of Spain.” While not on the level of “Celebrity Jeopardy!” or “TV Funhouse,” those Goulet sketches were fairly reliable in terms of being funny.

Robert Goulet is an integral part of the World of the Future via mass cloning, as demonstrated in Late Night with David Letterman: The Book.

Robert Goulet has been washed-up, a guest star on many television shows, a Grammy and Tony Award winner, Trapper Pierre, an alcoholic and a Las Vegas staple. He botched the American national anthem before a Sonny Liston/Muhammad Ali championship fight and performed the Canadian national anthem at WrestleMania VI. Goulet’s life wasn’t perfect – no life is – but he will be remembered both fondly and as a running joke. Not many people have fifteen minutes of fame making fun of their first fifteen minutes of fame, after all. In retrospect, that’s not a bad legacy to have.

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