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Foster Brooks Spoofs The Local Weather

Metz radio commentary 12/21/01
His act was a guaranteed laugh-getter every time. Here came this dignified-looking man, obviously a well-dressed executive, sporting a neatly-trimmed, silvery beard, now ready to make an important speech. The trouble was, after too much to drink, he was a bit squiffed. And though he tried hard to maintain his dignity, the speech was marked by false starts and stops, suppressed burps and obvious attempts to appear sober.
That was Foster Brooks doing his famous bit as the Lovable Lush. Now, the curtain has fallen–Foster died the other day at age 89 at his home in California. There were 8 Brooks brother–one of whom was the much loved Cactus Tom Brooks, of T Bar V fame. Foster, too, began his career as an announcer at WHAS, a career that took him to stations in Rochester, Buffalo and eventually back to Louisville at WAVE…always the outrageous clown, kidding sponsors, ad-libbing suggestive remarks and driving his bosses crazy. Fos tried Hollywood in 1960, hoping to break into films or network television. He found work managing an apartment complex but played occasional charity golf tournaments and entertained the guests with his Lovable Lush act…all at no pay. One night, Perry Como caught his act and immediately invited him to appear on the bill with him at a Lake Tahoe nightclub.
Maggie German, a longtime friend of the Brookses, tells of flying out with her husband Woody to see that memorable appearance. “He fractured the audience,” Maggie told me, “nobody had seen an act quite like that.” And Foster’s career took off.
He was soon appearing on all the network shows with Johnny Carson, Steve Allen, Bill Cosby and Dean Martin. He played Las Vegas where he commanded a $40,000 weekly salary. During all those years at the top, Foster, with devoted wife Terry at his side, would return to Louisville and put on the golf tournament that bore his name, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Kosair Charities. Eventually, when it became no longer politically correct to play a drunk for laughs, Fos’s career wound down. But he had a great run and enormous success in the fine career he always dreamed of.

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