the big dave page



Michael O'Donoghue is a sick, sick, sick and very funny man.

O'Donoghue's writing/acting career started out at National Lampoon, where he worked in various capacities before moving on to be the head writer for a then-new show called Saturday Night Live. Having the honor of being the first person to speak on the first episode of the show (as a twisted English Teacher to John Belushi's immigrant pupil), O'Donoghue would later reappear on SNL to impersonate Elvis Presley with ten inch sowing needles driven through his eyes, among other bizarre spectacles. You didn't know to be frightened, be sick or just to laugh uncontrollably at the intended freakishness. The latter was the correct option.

While he was funny on SNL, what I love most about "Mister Mike" was the column he wrote for Spin magazine in the mid-`90s. Spin was just riding alternative music into the mainstream at that point and didn't think too much of itself not to allow a full page of crazy ranting - written by O'Donoghue - in the magazine. Titled "Not My Fault!," his column was shocking and hilarious, often at the same time. While he often crossed the line into insulting with his cynical commentaries on society, he was often frightingly on the mark with his observations. Sometimes you just had to laugh because you couldn't even believe what he had said. And, believe me, no one was safe...least of all Liza Minelli- but, as Mike would probably argue, she deserved it.

Then, suddenly, there was an issue without a column. That issue's letter from the editor explained that O'Donoghue had died suddenly, unexpectedly from a brain hemorrhage. But, next month, I still looked for a column. Sudden, unexpected death was the type of sick joke he would have played and so I waited for him to return. Everything he said was delivered as if it were with complete seriousness, why would this be any different? Only, this time, it wasn't a joke.

So here I'll salute Mike O with a few of his "Not My Fault!" columns (circa 1995) that somehow have survived various computers I've owned. You probably can't find them anywhere else, so treasure them here. You'll feel dirty, but still the better from having read them.


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  • Michael O'Donoghue
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