Weekend at Bernies impersonator Sumner Redstone has shocked the world by actually dying aged 97. Redstone was a tax expert who became CEO of his father’s theater chain, and used the stock market to leverage investments in Columbia, Fox and Paramount. In 1979 he was nearly killed in a hotel fire and told to rest. He took the doctors at their word by launching a successful hostile takeover of Viacom.
Through Viacom he owned MTV and Nickelodeon. Needing more money, he bought Paramount and funded some of the biggest movies of the 90s and 00s including Titanic, There Will Be Blood and fucking Braveheart. In the 00s he promoted Michael Bay, bought Dreamworks, and CBS (who had been split from Viacom in the 70s over monopoly fears which were clearly entirely unfounded…), and continued a long standing feud with Rupert Murdoch, the loser of which was anyone who wasn’t a billionaire. A lifetime supporter of the Democrat party, he backed George Bush Jr because of his tax cuts for the rich. He was also recorded asking for the source of newspaper information against him, reassuring the reporter – who did not name names – that “we’re not going to kill him”. Worryingly specific denial, there…
In recent years, Sumner Redstone became less known for his ruthless takeover of all entertainment from the cradle to the grave, and more for a long running court battle over his health and money. His ability to respond solely to food and sex was mentioned as evidence of his decline, a decline clearly shared by most of the planet. He spent all of his time in his house away from the public eye next to the Bates Motel.
For years there has been rumours of skeletons that would appear if Redstone died. That they are yet to suggests either that they didn’t exist, or that people are waiting just to double check he is safely dead. Rumours that the crew of the ship carrying his coffin home, the Demeter, have all mysteriously disappeared cannot be confirmed, but the new Viacom-CBS CEO, Mr Raculad, says there is no need to worry…
Sumner Redstone was picked by a lucky thirteen teams, including Heads in a Bag, Living in a Box (living in a cardboard box), and Sicilian Actuaris Snorkeling. And if he really does turn out to be one of the undead, I’m not rescinding these points.
27 May 1923 – 11 August 2020