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15 Years Ago Today

My father passed away 15 years ago today. If you have followed my previous posts marking this significant date, you will see how sad previous years have been, not just for me, but for so many others he touched. Oddly, this is the first time in 15 years that I truly am relieved that he is no longer with us. Howard was a force. A performer. He craved putting it all out there, putting it all on the line pleasing and getting that tremendous feedback wave from his audiences. Covid-19 changed all of that by shutting in so many talented older folks, just like Howard. I have some very talented friends now locked inside, as though in prison. They have been emotionally hobbled and can no longer do what they do. These are funny people that thrive on being funny, now struggling to make it through each day. This virus has been rough on all of us. It is a horrible way to live life. For performers and entertainers it is devastating, akin to the millions of folks who have lost their jobs with no hope in sight.

Howard, had he still been alive, would have lived in Los Angeles, a city in total lockdown with an unknown and unpredictable path towards reopening. I have no doubt Howard would’ve suffered massive depression by this point.

So I say to you, my dear father, as much as I wish you were still here, I am relieved that you do not have to suffer through this. You already dealt with enough good as well as crap in your life.

I love you, dad. Always have, always will.


{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Jim Silvester May 21, 2020, 2:55 pm

    Dear Dave:
    It seems this is the only time we communicate….Lost my Dad 49 years ago April 30, 1971, but I still hear his voice and laugher at the antics of Ernest T on Andy Griffith Show….Even today I watch the show at Dinner Time and love it when Ernest T appears as he did last week…..He stole the show when he appeared and made millions smile….Be proud of his comedic and directorial accomplishments…..He did a few Hogans Heros episodes and I can only smile when I see his name in the credits….God Bless Dave…..Jim Silvester

  • Gail McIntyre May 21, 2020, 4:32 pm

    Hello David,
    I with I were reaching out to you on happier circumstances. While I always knew about the Ernest T. Bass character, I became a huge fan of your dad this past December when I came across the Thriller episode “Lethal Ladies”. I was so stunned by his performance that I went to his IMDB page because I was skeptical that it was the same person. Then I went to his Wikipedia page and two things jumped out at me. One made me sad and the other brought a big smile to my face. The sad thing was the year “2005”. Talk about being late for the party. The other was the word “Bronx”. I’ve gotten a chance to see a lot of your father’s work in the last 6 months. It’s unfortunate that he did not have the chance to do more dramatic roles. People just don’t know the incredible range he had.
    Like your dad, I am also from New York City. I wouldn’t worry about him with regard to this virus. He was tough; New York tough! He was conceived during the last pandemic and born just as the Spanish flu was coming to an end. He survived the Depression, World War II, and some 60 years in in the entertainment industry which I’m sure you know can be a cold, heartbreaking business.
    Obviously, I did not have the joy of being able to really know him the way you did. You certainly had a personal connection to his soul. But when I think of him, I picture him in heaven directing a Zoom call with Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke. Jerry Stiller is sitting next to him. They’re all brainstorming corona jokes. I hope this visual brings a smile to your face and peace to your heart on this sad anniversary.

    Gail McIntyre

  • Babe Cook May 25, 2020, 4:05 pm

    I live to see anything with Howard Morris in it. He was before my time but my crush Still Remains and my heart beats every time he’s on the screen. I laugh hysterically and have seen the same episodes probably over a hundred times. He is an eternal classic and we’ll never go out of style. How I wish I’d lived to have met him. Resting euphoria and I cannot wait to see you in heaven!
    All of my love your greatest admirer, …
    Mrs. Ernest T . Bass.

  • Terri Solomon McGhee August 3, 2020, 10:38 pm

    I was a huge fan of Howard Morris, through his character Ernest T. Bass on the Andy Griffith Show.
    I loved his character and how wonderful and passionate he was to
    About the character

    “ Charlene.” I was absolutely shocked when I found out recently, that Charlene was Andy Griffith’s biological daughter in real life.

  • Ellen October 21, 2020, 5:20 pm

    I love Howard Morris. He could act with his eyes. He could just change his expression in his eyes. I loved the Voices he made for the Cartoons and I loved him in the Twilight Zone Season 4 episode about a Genie. I also thought the was great in Hitchcocks Most Likely To Succeed where he shared that episode with Joanna Moore aka Tatum O’Neils Mom. A massively talented Artist. I only watch The Andy Griffith Show when Ernest T is on! Thank you for sharing your memories of your Dad.

    • Mrs. Cook October 21, 2020, 7:12 pm

      I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for creating this page and giving us all an opportunity to express our love for your father how he touched all of our lives. He certainly is still touching my life today and my children’s as well. Nothing makes me laugh as much as he does and I never miss an opportunity to see him perform on Andy Griffith. Thank you most kindly for keeping this page up. Godspeed.

  • Donna November 14, 2020, 7:41 am

    How I love Ernest T. !!! What a great talent your Dad was!! Versatile!!! I love to watch anything Howard Morris has been in, directed or voiced. I truly love all the work he’s done.His spirit lives on forever in his work and all the reruns. ?

  • Karen Franklin November 14, 2020, 10:30 pm

    After watching an episode of Andy Griffith today and laughing so hard at the antics of Earnest T. Bass, I had to look into your father’s other credits. I had no idea he was involved in so many other aspects of television during his lifetime. You have so much to be proud of. Your father was a wonderful person. I realized while looking at all his credits, I had probably watched most of them without even knowing it was him.

    • David Morris July 21, 2022, 1:28 am

      Hi Karen! I’m thrilled to hear this! Laughter is absolutely the best medicine, especially these days. Yes, most folks don’t realize he played so many different characters. I’m glad you recognized them! Early on with cartoons, many voices sadly were left uncredited, but you can still hear them!

      Best wishes to you!

      David M.

  • Ron February 12, 2021, 2:15 pm

    Hey David, sorry about your dad, I lost mine 12 years ago and still struggle at times. I just wanted to share with you what your dad did for me through the character he portrayed. As a young kid growing up in nor cal. My mom was a fan of the show, we had this cockatiel bird that learned the whistle of the show’s beginning because it was within ear shot of the TV set, anyway sometimes my mom would call me Ernestt T Bass I’m sure it had to do with the fact that my middle name is Ernest which was her dads, my grandpa’s, first name. I don’t recall the reason or situation that made her choose to call me this but I do recall her being playful and happy whenever she did and as a result I felt the same, almost famous like and when the show was on and I wasn’t in school or outside roaming the neighborhood with my friends like kids did back then I was glued to the TV hoping to see Ernestt T Bass the guy mom sometimes referred to me as. Still today the show your dad’s performance and his name on the show conjures up fond memories of mom and a happy childhood and I’m sure you know how cherished that can be.

    • David Morris July 21, 2022, 1:21 am

      Hi Ron, thanks so much for this. It’s great to hear how HM was a part of your childhood! That’s really cool. Special memories.

      All my best,

      David M.

  • Melanie May 9, 2021, 3:46 pm

    It is almost 16 years now…and I still feel that sadness that he is gone. He never failed (or fails) to make me smile.

    • David Morris July 21, 2022, 1:12 am

      I know. Me too. Time moves really really fast.

      Thanks for your kind words.

      David M.

  • Michael Mondary April 15, 2022, 9:38 pm

    I really miss Ernest t bass. His character was one of the best on the Andy Griffith show . Howard Morris was a comedy genius that blessed us with his unique ability.

    • David Morris July 21, 2022, 12:58 am

      I couldn’t agree more. HM didn’t know how special he really was, and still is.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      David M.

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