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R.I.P. David Langston Smyrl (Mr. Handford)

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by DePingPong, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. DePingPong

    DePingPong Well-Known Member

  2. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    It sad to see another person to passed on and especially a SST actor.
    sesamemuppetfan likes this.
  3. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    I just heard about this, really sad. He had a kind of sweet,grandfatherly vibe to him and a charm that just seemed to work well no matter what he was on, whether it was Sesame Street, The Cosby Show or Law and Order.

    It's a shame he's gone,i've been watching him since I was about eight, and I really hoped to meet him someday. And while I am a bit sad that this part of my childhood is gone, his death has only made me more determined to meet some of my longtime heroes before they're gone.

    My deepest condolences to his many friends, family,co stars, students and the millions of lives he has touched.

    RIP Mr. Handford.
  4. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    This is eerie, because I was just thinking about him the other day . . . not necessarily as Mr. Handford, but because I was thinking about other projects I've seen other SST castmembers in, and I remembered he was the narrator of a pair of animated shorts Ralph Bakshi did for Cartoon Network in the 90s (that he later disowned, because CN apparently heavily edited them for broadcast, against his wishes).

    While I didn't watch much SST in the 90s (wasn't too big a fan of the ATC era), I do remember Mr. Handford, mainly because he was already there by the time I was born, and like Pig's laundry mentioned, he had a grandfatherly vibe yet a charm that made him such a unique and wonderful character actor. I too remember seeing him on THE COSBY SHOW from time to time, but I also know he was involved behind the scenes as well. I believe he was also a poet and a writer.
  5. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    I know he wrote a few songs for Sesame Street in the late 90s. He also, believe it or not, had a rap album sometime during his time on SST.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  6. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Great interview! And even though it was just an excerpt, I actually liked what I heard from that rap/storytelling album. I remember those old Turner Classic Movie bumpers (I never watched the channel, but commercials for them would be on Cartoon Network frequently, since both are Turner properties), but I wasn't aware it was him - he could have had a sweet gig like Don Fontaine, and narrate movie trailers. Some of those little comedy excerpts were really funny too, like the one about his brother not speaking till he was nine - that cracked me up.
    Pig's Laundry likes this.
  7. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know how old he was when he passed away?
  8. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  9. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    Thank you!
  10. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    I was unaware that Leonard Jackson, the original Mr. Handford, passed on just a little over two years ago.
  11. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I don't think I've ever seen Leonard Jackson as Mr. Handford, but then again, I was born the same year he was on the show.
  12. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    This is the first episode with Mr. Handford, I believe this is the only episode currently available with Leonard as Handford.
  13. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    I really liked him on The Cosby Show; I think he played someone trying to sell Denise a lemon of a used car and him and Cliff went back and forth on the price. I think he had one of those careers where he did a lot of bit parts on many TV shows and movies.
  14. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Oops, sorry. I meant to post this video:
    MikaelaMuppet and D'Snowth like this.
  15. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    My response to that can be found here at the 0:52 mark:

    I remember this now, I watched it once. Still, David L. Smyrl is the Mr. Handford that I knew.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  16. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Well-Known Member

    To me, it feels like August 23 2012 all over again. Logging in to my Facebook, and being in an absolute state of shock getting the news about one of my favorite childhood actors/performers dying. (The only difference was that I found out about Jerry's death through Muppet Wiki's Facebook page, while Tough Pigs announced David's death...but that's another story.)

    Having grown up during the show's Around the Corner era, I have some fond memories of Mr. Handford. I consider him as the Mr. Hooper of the 90's. It's pretty sad to think that we don't know exactly what he did on SS after his departure...until I saw that he's friends with at least Roscoe and Emilio on Facebook. So I was relieved that at that point, he was still alive and well. Like D'Snowth

    RIP David L. Smyrl. Even though you haven't been with the Happiest Street In The World in nearly 18 years, you will be missed by any fan of the show that loved you!
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  17. BuddyBoy600alt

    BuddyBoy600alt Well-Known Member

    Well, Before David L. Smyrl took over Mr. Handford, The Late Leonard Jackson was Mr. Handford for Season 21.
  18. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Well-Known Member

    I know, but like D'Snowth, David's Mr. Handford was the one I grew up with...
  19. Schfifty

    Schfifty Well-Known Member

    Even though I was kind of more familiar with Alan as the runner of Hooper's, I definitely remember David as Mr. Handford. I agree - he had a cheerful, easy-going personality and got along with everybody on the street. David will be missed for sure, but will always be remembered as the Mr. Handford we know. RIP.
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I was reading some of the public posts people have made on Facebook about this, and saw where one person posted that he's sick that so many cool people are dying lately.

    That's exactly what we were saying back in January: this is looking like a really bad year for deaths.

    I'll admit that I never really wondered whatever happened to Mr. Handford, and I quickly warmed up to Alan when he took over Hooper's Store, but I do kind of wish that maybe there was an on-screen explanation as to what happened. SW's website simply says he sold Hooper's to Alan.

    I remember I once started working on a fanfic that I never even really worked on that had Mr. Handford injuring himself after slipping and falling because of a pipe that leaked water all over the floor, and because of his age and the seriousness of his injury, he was going to have to retire again, thus selling the store to Alan.

    Speaking of which, I like the backstory they gave Mr. Handford: that he was a retired firefighter who was tired of being retired.

    Oh, here are those two Ralph Bakshi shorts that he narrated . . . though for some reason, this particular print of the first cartoon omit his credit during the end titles for some reason; I have them on tape from Cartoon Cartoon Weekend in 1997, and it retain his credit.


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