Robert Guillaume and Fats Domino!

Ah, the Circle of Life on Blueberry Hill! Emmy winner Robert Guillaume and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Fats Domino became the latest Eleven Year Men to exit 2017 yesterday, both at the age of 89!

Robert Peter Williams (“Guillaume” is French for William! Stage-named!) had an accomplished stage career, garnering a Tony nomination for Guys and Dolls, before achieving breakout fame with the role of Benson DuBois on Soap, winning Emmys for the role there and in the subsequent spin-off series. He’d later appear on Aaron Sorkin’s Sports Night, and provide the voice of Rafiki in the then-highest grossing animated movie ever, The Lion King, for which he’d win a spoken word Grammy doing the audiobook adaptation.

Sure, Antoine Domino Jr. ultimately fit his nickname physically, but at first he was called “Fats” mainly because he reminded bandleader Billy Diamond of Fats Waller! His first big recording was a song entitled “The Fat Man,” so it’s not like he didn’t embrace the moniker. His big string of hits in the ’50s and ’60s included “Blueberry Hill,” “Ain’t That a Shame,” “I’m Walkin’,” and “Walking to New Orleans,” his hometown which he refused to leave for virtually any reason over the last thirty-odd years of his life. This included weathering (pun intended!) Hurricane Katrina, when he was briefly thought deceased after going missing during the storm for a day. He continued to perform concerts periodically, and even appeared in an episode of Treme in 2012. It’s a perfectly entertaining show! Check it out!

Guillaume’s eleven years in the pool saw him bounce between seven teams – Michael in ’07, Sarah ’08, the commissioner in ’09, to Gaz in ’10, back to the commish in ’11, Kristen G. ’12, and Lana from ’13 to ’15 before landing with Capone last year! 21 points jump Capone up to third overall, positioning him at the top of the crammed pack fighting for a medal spot!

Fats Domino has been on my team since 2007 – leaving only the team of Sarah & Olivia de Havilland from Year One intact all the way through the history of the pool. These 21 points extend my lead, and really folks, I’m just as unhappy about this as you are. My new longest tenured person and default face of my team – The Honeymooners’ Joyce Randolph, solidly on the squad since 2008! This only leaves three people on one team for the last ten years (ODH, Randolph, and Sam’s Stephen Hawking), but barring their demises, eight people will join this list in January, assuming keepers go as expected, and plus three other non-consecutive ten year team members. Longest Tenured facts!

Replacement picks due by next Wednesday!

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