Despite featuring a caustic man-eating mass from outer space, “The Blob” is filled with human monsters capable of making skin crawl as well. Enter: Reverend Meeker, the town’s religious presence and a local weirdo on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Despite his moral bankruptcy and weak constitution, Meeker manages to survive the Blob’s rampage and even starts his own doomsday cult, worshipping salvaged pieces of the ravenous creature. He’s the kind of religious wacko who’s itching for judgment day. And the arrival of his new, blobby god gives him the perfect opportunity to let loose and proselytize about the impending apocalypse.
Rev. Meeker is played by Del Close, one of the primary improv pioneers and a literal (and spiritual) mentor for the vast majority of 20th century American comics. A marvelous documentary directed by Heather Ross, “For Madmen Only,” was released in 2020 and paints a vibrant picture of Close’s impact with interviews from students and collaborators, including Patton Oswalt, Adam McKay, and Bob Odenkirk. Anyone with a passing interest in the history of comedy would be wise to seek it out.
In addition to his profound influence on the shape of modern comedy, Close made various appearances on-screen and on-stage over the course of his career, including as an English teacher in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and a corrupt town councilman in “The Untouchables.”
As his New York Times obituary poetically summarizes, Close was a “mercurial and hard-living” man who “bequeathed his skull to the Goodman Theater” on his deathbed “so he could play Yorick in their next production of “Hamlet.” Close passed away at the age of 64 in March 1999 due to emphysema.
What is Angelyne’s Net Worth?
Ronia Tamar Goldberg, also known as Angelyne, is an actress, singer, and model who was born on October 2, 1950, in Chmielnik, Poland. Her parents were Holocaust survivors who survived the most horrific form of human rights violations while in Skarżysko-Kamienna German Nazi concentration camps. After the liberation by allied forces, they lived in Poland […]
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Is Angelyne’s Jeff Glasner a Real Journalist? Where is He Now?
‘Angelyne‘ is an addictive biographical drama TV series on Peacock. Created by Nancy Oliver, it delves into the intriguing life of Angelyne, a model and media influencer, who became a pop culture icon in Los Angeles during the 80s. Apart from her rise to stardom, the show also captures the perspectives of those who know her up close and how they impact her journey.
One such person is Jeff Glasner, an entertainment journalist, who sets out to find out the secrets Angelyne fiercely protects and drastically changes her life. The realistic portrayal of the character makes the audience wonder whether Jeff is based on a real person. Let’s unravel this mystery together, shall we? SPOILERS AHEAD.
Is Jeff Glasner a Real Journalist?
In ‘Angelyne,’ Jeff Glasner is a journalist from The Hollywood Reporter who writes an explosive article about the sensational celebrity’s childhood and family. For his research, he spends time with her and records interviews, but when she refuses to divulge anything substantial about her life and beginnings, he decides to conduct his own investigation. In reality, Jeff’s character is based on journalist Gary Baum, who works for The Hollywood Reporter.
In 2017, Gary wrote and published an elaborate article that details Angelyne’s humble beginnings, before she became famous as the “Billboard Queen” of Los Angeles. Earlier, he wrote a profile article for her in 2015, but as per him, she dodged any questions about her parents or other topics like religion and her upbringing. In his 2017 article, Gary shared that in the fall of 2016, he was approached by a man who went by the pseudonym, Ed Thompson. He was a federal government employee who undertook paid assignments as a hobby genealogist on the side.
For his personal interest, Ed decided to find out about Angelyne a few years earlier and then contacted Gary, who was researching her. He provided the material he had collected over the years from public databases, including her yearbook pictures, as well as the immigration, marriage, and death records of her parents. All this information helped prove that Angelyne’s original name was Renee Tami Goldberg (earlier known as Ronia Tamar Goldberg). She was born in October 1950 in Poland, to Jewish parents who were Holocaust survivors.
Ed’s findings also revealed Angelyne’s tumultuous childhood as well as her brief marriage to Michael Strauss during her high school days. After her divorce in 1969, her original name resurfaced in 2016, when she discreetly petitioned to change it to Angelyne legally. However, in the legal document, she mentioned being a resident of Louiseville, Kentucky, and claimed to have been born in 1962. Since all this data was different than what Ed had shared, Gary tried contacting Angelyne’s friend and assistant Scott Hennig for clarity.
To Gary’s disappointment, both Scott and Angelyne reportedly rubbished the data provided by Ed and discouraged him from pursuing the matter any further. Luckily, when he continued looking for clues, he found an advertisement for a trophy engraving company that matched the residential address which Ed had found earlier. Moreover, Gary managed to track down Angelyne’s former husband Michael Strauss, who then confirmed all of the journalist’s findings and provided a fitting conclusion to his research.
After so many months of hard work, Gary’s article got published in August 2017 and received a massive response from Angelyne’s fans as well as the other public, who till then, were highly curious about her life. His written piece is one of the most accurate feature articles on the media icon’s illustrious life and has provided the base for the show’s narrative.
Where is Gary Baum Now?
Presently, Gary Baum works as a senior writer at The Hollywood Reporter, where he has been working for more than ten glorious years. Priorly, he worked with Angeleno Magazine for almost seven years, after receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree in Print Journalism from the University of Southern California.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 11, 2022
Gary has written articles on several other relevant topics, such as the clearing of tents for unhoused residents in Los Angeles for film shoots, Jewish studio heads in Hollywood history, and investigative pieces on prominent public and administrative figures. Though he is highly active on the professional front, he seems to be rather private on social media about his life. As far as we can tell, he currently resides in Los Angeles with his family.
Read More: Did Emmy Rossum Use Prosthetic Breasts for Angelyne?