I don't know about you, but I have hardly been able to contain my delight at the festivities surrounding Gordon Keith Week on My Ticket Confession. I'm working on a piece that will wrap things up in a few days, but in the meantime, I'm cutting and pasting a comment from Confessor birdie from about a month ago. I thought it was really perceptive and, in fact, pieces of it mirror my own current feelings about Gordon. It is also very well-written. I reproduce it here because of its excellence and also because I'm not ready with any new material. My thanks to birdie for his or her (I know, I know, 98% chance of birdie being a "his") anticipated approval:
As someone who was in his early twenties when The Ticket went on the air, I'd like to think that I grew up--in many senses of the term--with one Todd Gordon Keith.
My "relationship" with Gordo has been rocky. During the first handful of years of The Ticket, Gordon was my hero. To me he was the smartest and funniest guy in the room, hands down. Anyone who thought otherwise was either a fool or jealous of the man, or both. And I was certain that SNL or some other big time gig was just around the corner.
I used to record both The Musers and THL on cassettes each day. Almost solely for the sake of Gordon. (Back then he did a lot of bits for THL, some exclusively, like Microphone Johnson.) I see my early admiration for Gordo in many of the (mostly) younger commenters here at MTC who extol the greatness of Jake and a few others. Even though I might not always agree with those opinions, trust me, I get them. However, once I hit my early 30s things began to change.
Whether it was a case of getting older, a bit wiser, or due to the fact that I had returned to college seeking a graduate degree that required several intensive seminars in philosophy/logic and psychology, I don't know. But I do know that it was at this time I began to see some serious chinks in what heretofore I had thought to be golden armor. I started to notice how a lot of his humor was predicated on the tearing down, and at times the emotional destruction, of others. A tearing down that involved finding the weakest spot on the weakest individual who happens to be around. I also began to find his knowledge of certain topics lacking and his way of argumentation uncharitable, unfair, and at times fallacious.
In short: much of what made Gordo my hero I now saw in a negative light. I now saw more of a bully and pseudo-intellectual, and less a brilliant comedic mind who also has a more serious, intellectual side. Sure, I still loved the characters; I still laughed out loud at a lot of what Gordo would say; but now with reservation. When he would start to talk philosophy, psychology, and especially politics, I would get angry and/or turn the dial until the segment was over. It was barstool buzz talk trying to pass itself off as meaningful conversation.
Now entering into my early 40s, I have found a middle ground. But part of my finding a middle ground is due to Gordon himself appearing to have discovered some of his own inconsistencies and his inclination to treat others as a means to his comedic/egotistical ends. Gordo seems to have grown up over the last two years. I've no idea as to why. Natural maturation? Epiphany? Personal matters that opened his eyes? Who knows. The only times he bullies these days is when he's in an all-skate situation--e.g., a GNO or a Ticketstock roundtable or when he joins in on The Orphanage at the Greenville Ave St. Patty's Day Parade remote. Even then he is openly and immediately remorseful when he does pounce on some unwitting person, some innocent bystander.
We now get a Gordo who is, at least in my opinion, open and honest in relating his insecurities and regrets. In these admissions, he has touched on his tendency to attack the weak, the passive; he has also (and more often) spoke of his regrets; and there has been an owning up or two of seeing things through a rather narrow lens, while erroneously believing the lens to be wide. I've come to realize that for all of his faults, all of his contradictions, his life being off limits but others decidedly not, and all the rest, Gordo is a special talent; he is an honest seeker of what makes humans tick; he is a gifted mimic (no easy feat); he does have a wicked and quick wit; and while a bit too unbridled for its own good, a sound thinker.
In short, he is the guy I first "met" in 1994, only grown/growing up. While I don't have his skill set or gifts, when I reflect back, I too have grown up with him. Once I began to look at it in this way, I realized it was time to revisit my thoughts on the man and put them aright.
* * *
Very very nice, birdie, just the kind of attitude I'm hoping to spread with this site. And some really sound insights on Gordon. My thanks for the time you took to contribute your thoughts to the site.
* * *