February 22, 2005

Gene Scott dies

And so it goes:

Gene Scott, the shaggy-haired, cigar-smoking televangelist whose eccentric religious broadcasts were beamed around the world, has died, a family spokesman said. He was 75.

Scott died Monday after suffering a stroke, said the spokesman, Robert Emmers.

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I don't endorse a lot of what Scott taught, but in a way, this is too bad. For those of us who have spent a lot of time listening to shortwave radio, Scott was an Institution. Even when the most bizarre conspiracy theories started to dry up, you knew you could always tune into Gene Scott's 24/7 broadcast for some reliable wackiness, whether it was pyramidology, British-Israelism, or just him chewing out his phone operators or firing a cameraman live.

If nothing else, at least Scott was brutally honest. Asked what he did with the hundreds of thousands of dollars people sent him, he once answered: "I spend it!"

The only person still on the air who is even remotely as entertaining is "Brother Stair". Only he isn't long for the world either, nor is he half as fun as he was 10 years ago. When he knocks off, it will be the end of an era. I weep for my youth.

Postscript: Who'd a thunk it? Turns out Wil Wheaton is an SWL too. I don't generally pay his blog too much attention (I do make the point of scanning his titles), but I found myself resonating with his own reminiscence about Scott for some reason. Maybe it's just because we're about the same age. Who knows.