The Rule of Threes


Gary David Goldberg   Richard matheson  resized James Gandolfini

Last night, Hollywood breathed a morbid sense of relief.  To understand it better, you must realize that the entertainment industry is very superstitious.  One of their axioms is "omne trium perfectum" (everything that comes in threes is perfect).

Think about it: blind mice, the R's: (Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic), the Musketeers, the Power Puff Girls, The Dixie Chicks, coins in a fountain, little piggies, biblical wise Men, The Stooges, The Chipmunks, contents in a can of tennis balls, members of Cream,  Three Dog Night, Rings in a binder, the Holy Trinity, the Amigos, Donald Duck's nephews(Huey, Louie and Dewey), My Three Sons and emus' toes.

There’s one that Hollywood fears the most: celebrity deaths.  And as of last night, Hollywood breathed a morbid sigh of relief as it lost Gary David Goldberg. Make no mistake. His loss will be greatly felt.  But his is Hollywood. The home of schadenfreude.  He, along with the late Richard Matheson and James Gandolfini completed the latest trio of tragic losses in Tinseltown.

We all remember Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. Richard Matheson was the iconic sci-fi writer. And now they are joined in memorial by Gary David Goldberg. He was one of the most celebrated and influential comedy writers of his generation – responsible for Family Ties, Spin City and Brooklyn Bridge. Among his awards were two Emmy’s and four WGA awards…  As a television comedy writer, his loss effects me personally and greatly.  He was a writer/producer who I admired and wished I could have worked with more.  His effect on TV sitcoms was immeasurable.  He was a giant -- a gentle giant at that.

Dark suits, memorial services, and Forest Lawn/Hillside Memorial are going to be packed this week.  But for those entertainment industry survivors, there will be a feeling that they have dodged a bullet, for now.  Yes, this sounds unsympathetic.  But this is Hollywood.

For a quick video by Gary David Goldberg about Gary David Goldberg, here you go: