Harry Anderson. Gone too soon. Rest in peace.
A majority of people remember Harry Anderson as the hilarious judge in the hit comedy TV series Night Court from the mid-eighties to early nineties. I was too young at this time and don’t recall watching too many episodes of this show, and even if I did, I am sure the subject matter was at an adult level that was lost on me. Harry Anderson to me, for the decade of the eighties, was the face of Disney’s shining moments, second to only the visage of Michael Eisner himself who played host to the majority of televised Disney TV specials back then.
I recall distinctly and fondly Harry Anderson appearing in the televised Disneyland 30th Anniversary TV special - above any other celebrity’s appearance in the show. I was only four at the time and the year was 1985. Harry had appeared in a street magic bit on Main Street with the younger sister from Family Ties played by Tina Yothers. Watching Harry perform the combination of comedy and magic together with another icon of the eighties left me with a gigantic smile and warmth that for me epitomized Disney magic - this was the highlight of the 30th Anniversary special. Without a doubt. I don’t remember much from that age, but this televised special certainly emblazoned itself within my young memories.
Three years later in 1988, Harry Anderson again appeared in another televised Disney special, “Magic in the Magic Kingdom.” His performance took place on the Golden Horseshoe Stage at Disneyland. The end of his performance culminated in a comedy bit with the special’s host, George Burns. Again I was left with such a feeling of warmth and laughter - Harry Anderson brought the Disney magic in a big way.
In 1990 Harry Anderson brought the Disney magic when he was invited back to host the entire Disneyland 35th anniversary special, The Disneyland Story. Again his touch of warmth and laughter tapped in to the very core of what Walt Disney stood for himself.
In 1993, Harry participated in the grand opening ceremony of Disneyland’s newest land, Toon Town.
I will never forget the connection Harry Anderson had to the Walt DIsney Co. back in the eighties through early nineties and the impact he had on furthering a fondness for Disney within me. In my honest and humble opinion, it is for this time period and his work furthering Disney magic that I believe Harry Anderson deserves the title of Disney Legend, and I hope that the Walt Disney Co. will consider awarding it to him posthumously in the near future. May Harry Anderson rest in peace.
SEE VIDEO COMPILATION BELOW OF THE DISNEY SPECIALS MENTIONED ABOVE.
*Sources for the above video clips are as follows - click through URLs to view Disney specials in their entirety:
Disneyland 30th Anniversary Special
Disney's Magic in the Magic Kingdom
The Disneyland Story