Wow! I think it’s safe to say the Welcome Back Bob campaign has been a terrific success, thanks entirely to fabulous support from the classic film community’s online constituency. From Twitter (where #WelcomeBackBob was a trending topic last night) to Tumblr (which was featured yesterday in Slate Magazine) and back again, this celebration of the return of Robert Osborne to TCM has morphed into something unprecedented: an emotional rallying of classic film fanatics who were, for four days, able to band together and share exactly what it is that touches us so deeply about these movies— and just why Robert Osborne means so much to us.
And a tremendous thank you is definitely in order to the hundreds of folks who tweeted out their love for Robert O — the names are too numerous to mention here, but too fabulous to forget. (You know who you are. ;)
We’ve proved how truly special the classic film community classic really is. Wonderful work, all!
Carley & Will
OK. So. Two years ago, I was one of the lucky classic film fans in attendance at the opening night premiere of the restored A Star is Born at Turner Classic Movies first annual Classic Film Festival here in Hollywood. Halfway through the film, I had to make an emergency dash to the ladies room. If you’ve never been to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the ladies and men’s rooms are positioned down a steep staircase at opposing ends of the lobby, which means I had to pass by the men’s to get to the ladies… and who should be ascending the staircase just as I go charging past?
Yep. So, I pause, debating for two hot seconds on whether or not to introduce myself at such an awkward moment. Oh, what the hell, I’m an awkward gal. Made sense. And so I marched up to him and forcefully extended my hand, confident the impressively fashioned phrases up in my head were being reliably translated vocally: “Mr. Osborne, I must say, such a pleasure to make your acquaintance! I do so enjoy your academic yet still entertaining insights every evening, in fact, I daresay that I rather look forward to it.”
What came out was something along the lines of “Oh! Wow! Uh… you… you’re Robert Osborne! I.. I.. uh… I really … uh … love your stuff. I mean your work. I mean. I love what you do and … uh … so … yeah!”
No recovery from something like that.
But a chance at redemption came three nights later: the night after the Fest had wrapped, my buddy Nicole and I were having margarita at our favorite Mexican food restaurant in Hollywood which is strategically placed across the street from one of the city’s most beloved revival theaters. That night they were screening Gone With the Wind, which I’d never seen on the big screen, and eager to keep the warm glow of classic film heaven burning, we were both eager to attend. In the booth behind us?
Yep. Again. So I sit there for twenty hot minutes, debating. Mr. Osborne was enjoying some visibly wonderful one-on-one conversation with an elderly gent, most definitely a very old friend, and as much as I wanted to redeem myself … Nicole and I decided to let them be. He looked so happy that night, I could not bring myself.
But Mr. Osborne, if I’d had the backbone I pretend to possess… what I would have said was what I wanted to say that awkward men’s room moment at Grauman’s Chinese:
I adore you. Thank you for making THIS all possible. Words cannot express how very much it means to me and millions of classic film fans like me.
From Kiwi Grant (on Twitter @HollywoodLegacy) comes this whimsical well wish to the returning Robert Osborne:
Thank goodness Robert Osborne is back!! We have missed seeing him on TCM…
My friends Dorothy, Toto, Tinman, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion are so excited, they gathered for a cast reunion in front of the gates of MGM studio gates.
We are delighted that Slate Magazine gives a nod to Robert Osborne with their post “Welcome Back, Bob: An Iconic TV Host Returns”:
After a five-month absence, Robert Osborne, the primetime host for Turner Classic Movies, will return to the network tonight at 8 p.m. And it’s not a moment too soon for his diehard fans: As the day has neared, a surprising number of blogs—some created for the occasion, like Welcome Back, Bob: The Officially Un-official Robert Osborne Welcome Home Party—have been celebrating his resumption of duties, some even launching countdowns to his “homecoming.”…