For a school assignment, a young Travis had to write to a celebrity. I guess. I barely remember this, because I was somewhere around 8-10 years old, so around ’87-’90, probably in the middle of that. For some reason, the celebrity I thought of was Alan Thicke. He was on Growing Pains, which everyone remembers (although I don’t remember the show as such), but what I probably saw him on more was Animal Crack-Ups, a “game show” where celebrities answered questions about animals and apparently, according to the Wikipedia and the IMDB, won money for animal charities. It was on probably after cartoons, and my sister and I would be in our cartoon and sugary cereal haze, not ready to come down yet, and we’d watch whatever the hell else was on the teevee. We like animals, and the show was, in parts, essentially America’s Funniest Home Videos of Animals (or, y’know, the internet), so it was fun. The sites I referred to above are spotty and unclear, but I’m pretty sure that he sang the theme song, “Animals are Just Like People Too”, in addition to writing it.
In fact, I’m fairly certain he wrote that on the note that he sent back. That’s right, he wrote back. Somewhere in the piles of Travis’s stuff is an autographed picture of Alan Thicke with a nice little note that he sent back. If ever I find it, I’ll scan it and post it.
So while his shows are something I would mock more now, being a jaded and cynical sort, and it’s a family joke that I was a big fan/stalker/that Alan Thicke was a close friend because of this assignment, I am heartened that someone who was a fairly big celebrity at the time took the time to write back like that, and my condolences to his family in their time of loss.