Obituaries

Jerry Doyle, RIP. Radio Host and Babylon 5 Star Was 60.

"It's not Left vs Right, it's right vs wrong!"

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Jerry Doyle Show, Facebook

I'm saddened to announce the death of Jerry Doyle, who hosted a great nationally syndicated radio show out of Las Vegas that Reason staff appeared on dozens (and perhaps hundreds) of times over the years. Doyle was also a cast member of the fondly remembered science fiction show Babylon 5, on which he played "Mr. Garibaldi." He also wrote at the site Epic Times, a treasure trove of commentary and links. Doyle, born in Brooklyn and raised in New Jersey, was 60 years old. The exact cause of death isn't known.

It was always a pleasure to appear on Doyle's show even though (or because?) we didn't agree on everything. He was a rare talk radio host who wasn't a rabid ideologue or partisan. Instead, he was funny, self-deprecating, and always measuring issues by how they affected everyday people. What he liked about Reason was that we weren't coming at things from the same old, same old position. He spoke with the restrained and resigned anger and annoyance of someone who wanted something different in American life and politics, and his rallying cry was "It's not Left vs Right, it's right vs wrong!" I know in my case at least, that led him to call bullshit on me if he thought I was getting too abstract in my examples or thinking. He also had a great sense of humor. Because of the time difference, I often appeared on the show around dinner time in the Eastern Time Zone and one time I was in the middle of chopping vegetables for a meal when his call came. I tried to continue my prep quietly but he heard the tap tap tap of the knife and asked, "Are you cooking dinner, Dr. Gillespie?" (he insisted on calling me by that honorific, both as a sign of respect and as a good-natured way to bust my balls). "At least tell us what you're making."

RIP, Jerry Doyle, the airwaves are diminished by your passing. Reason's deepest condolences to your family, friends, and audience.

His show's Facebook page is here.

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  1. Shit man, this sucks. RIP, Meester Garibaldi.

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  2. Babylon 5 was awesome. Never listened to the radio show. Now I wish I had.

    1. I suspect they will be running “best of” for a while. The IHeartRadio web site and app carries KDWN-AM which is the flagship station for the show.

  3. So, what was the good doctor making for dinner?

    1. This is what I came down here to ask. Don’t leave us hanging, man!

  4. In an industry full of complete assholes, JD was a class act.

    I miss him already.

    RIP

  5. Great Maker, I need a drink!

    Thanks for bringing Garibaldi to life and by his radio persona he seemed like a genuinely decent guy.

    He will be missed.

  6. Great Maker, I need a drink!

    Thanks for bringing Garibaldi to life and by his radio persona he seemed like a genuinely decent guy.

    He will be missed.

    1. Make that two drinks!

  7. “Are you cooking dinner, Dr. Gillespie?” (he insisted on calling me by that honorific, both as a sign of respect and as a good-natured way to bust my balls)

    We, on the other hand, will call you Diddy G.

  8. Sad. And as I said earlier, B5 sure has a lot of dead cast members for a show that is not that old.

    1. No kidding! I just looked at a first season group portrait. Only 5 of 9 are still with us. Garibaldi, Sinclair, G’Kar, Dr Franklin–all gone. Even Zathras is no longer with us!

      Might have to dig out the DVDs of B5 and give it another go, especially with CNN looking more like the B5 fictional gov’t news channel every day. Kind of depressing.

      Garibaldi was one of my faves. And I did like his radio show.

      RIP.

      1. G’Kar is one of the greatest fictional characters ever.

        1. I liked Londo. Also that giant insect black market dealer.

        2. His character arc was amazing. And his what is God? What is Truth? scene is my favorite piece of writing in the whole show (even more than “And I’d like to look up into your lifeless eyes, and give a little wave, like so”).

          1. “and they made a very satisfying thump when they hit the floor”

        3. Agreed.

          The main stars of the show were probably supposed to be the Humans and Minbari but Londo and G’Kar eclipsed all of them

      2. All 10 Zathras? I have been watching B5 on my commute. I just finished season 4. Now back to ISNs coverage of the DNC.

  9. Babylon 5 seemed to be the kiss of death, a lot of the actors seem to die at a fairly young age.

    Shame, I’ll have to check some of his political stuff out.

    1. I think it’s the high radiation load in space. It was on the news yesterday. Lots of astronauts are dying from heart attacks.

  10. ‘What he liked about Reason was that we weren’t coming at things from the same old, same old position.’
    Good times, good times.

  11. Nooooooooooo. I liked Jerry a lot. Sad day. I am a huge Babylon 5 fan and I listened to his show a couple of times. Rest in peace, good man. You will be missed.

  12. I never watched Babylon 5 and never listened to his radio show so I don’t care.

    1. You should check out B5. My wife is not a fan of SciFi, but even she enjoyed the series.

      1. I thought it was more real about human society than other shows: it has merchants, capitalists, etc., etc. Unlike programs like Star Trek which seem to postulate that scientific advancement would fundamentally change human nature.

        1. They had characters you actually cared about. They took time to give them purpose. I may binge watch it this weekend in Mr Garibaldi’s honor.

          1. It also had a complete story arc from the beginning. Too many shows just make it up with each season.

            1. Too many shows just make it up with each season.

              *stares at Dexter*

            2. B5 was actually the first show to successfully pull that off and show that you could have a successful episodic series that told a single coherent story from beginning to end without losing the audience.

              It was really groundbreaking and without B5 we would not have the quality tv we have today

        2. Above all, it had a writer who had a clue where the fuck his story was heading* when he was seeding little nuggets and clues in early seasons. To the point where in season…3?… he just up and went ‘you know, I may as well just write every episode from now on, pretty much’.

          *yes, yes, cast problems causing rewrites, and some ideas not panning out acknowledged

          1. It also had a writer who was trying to do more than make excuses for explosions. There was way, way more exploration of philosophy and morality and spiritualism and human nature on that show than you typically see. Some of it was a little bit simplistic or naive, but to my teenage self it seemed pretty profound. I credit B5 with getting me to think critically about a lot of issues, including religion, science, and ethics.

      2. Thanks, I’ll pass. I’m a scifi fan and I’ve never seen a space show I thought was any good. I spend my time playing space games instead.

      3. It was one of the best science fiction TV shows, ever.

        1. Science Fiction TV shows are shit compared to science fiction novels. I’d rather read, it feels like a better use of time.

          1. $park? is too hip to even own a TV.

            1. I have a TV and use it to watch many shows. I just always feel like I’m wasting time that could be better spent when I watch for too long. And I’m not ashamed to admit I like Criminal Minds and Saving Hope is kinda growing on me.

              In other words, TV is a shitty vehicle for scifi.

              1. Dude As good as Criminal Minds is B5 is way better.

                Seriously.

                Also RIP Mr. Girabaldi.

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