Alan Thicke died yesterday at the age of 69. As our obituary notes, he had a varied career as a writer, actor, musician, and all-around showman—the sort of famous, funny, genial person that people like to see on their TVs. His career spanned not just disciplines but decades. Accordingly, there is some absolutely righteous shit floating around on YouTube of him. Here, for example, is a clip of him sort-of rapping about Christmas along with the Ninja Turtles, notable as much for its brazenly attitude-drenched new lyrics (“He sees you eating pizza / He sees you in the streets”) as it is for Thicke’s high-kicking gamesmanship. The intro to the clip shows that Thicke was serving double duty as the host of the parade, but that didn’t stop him from chopping it up with the Turtles.
Elsewhere, Digg dug up Thicke hosting the 1988 National Aerobic Championship, a fantastically dated look at the ’80s fitness craze, featuring leotards, mustaches, and a characteristically game Thicke serving as emcee. At around seven minutes in, you can see him (blazer sleeves rolled up) delivering a volley of zingers about doing exercise, such as, “Jogging began when the caveman spotted his first dinosaur. Sprinting began when the dinosaur spotted his first caveman.” Thirty minutes in, he steps atop a podium to sing an extremely erotic pop song about exercise surrounded by choreographed dancers.
His long role as the dad on Growing Pains made him a warm, trustworthy candidate to help break it to kids that their parents were splitting up, as seen on this Everything Is Terrible! clip.
“It’s all right to feel mad. It’s all right to feel sad,” he tells kids in the clip. Tough gig for an actor, but Thicke pulls it off with characteristic aplomb. You can read more about his life and work here.