Charles Rocket died on 10.07.2005.
Charles Rocket originally came to my attention as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. He was one in a long line of specially gifted who presented the news to viewers, during the 1981-82 season. He was a tall and and good looking guy, but you never quite knew what he was going to pull off on a live show.
We were all younger then, and my particular situation was that of a recently divorced female. I was leading rather a wild and crazy life myself.
Have you ever had the experience of seeing something on television, and then when it's over with, you can't believe you saw what you just saw. I've never seen a rerun of SNL that shows what I saw.
During each close of the show, the guest host thanks the cast and crew, surrounded by the regulars. The on-stage group these days is always very large--but it wasn't always that way.
It must have happened toward the end of the season of 1981-82. Charles Rocket pulled up his long sleeve shirt, exposed an arm that had obviously been vein injected, multiple times, and rather recently. HE said something, the actual text I have no memory of. Vague recollections were of something along the lines of "party on," this being before the days of Garth and Wayne's catch phrase. This was in the final two minutes of a live show that ended at midnight.
I've never run into anyone who also saw that particular SNL. There was no personal instant replay, and I didn't have any kind of recorder in those days. However, my biggest recollection of Charles Rocket was that particular scene on Saturday Night Live. It could have been staged, with make-up, but it seemed very real and very frightening at the time. I knew people who ruined their lives shooting drugs, and here he was, advertising it on national television. I've never seen it again, but I don't think I dreamed the scene.
I often cruise background on movies and shoes before I start watching. I enjoy westerns, and "Wagons East," released in 1994, caught my attention. In scrolling through the cast and crew, there was the name Charles Rocket. Wikipedia lists a dozen movies or so that he starred in, as well as appearing as a guest actor on television shows. He was born in 1946 and died in 2005.
"He died from a drug overdose," I blurted out loud, to myself. I had to know more, and I get my first overview of the situation from Wikipedia. His career did have highlights, and the section on his death was short.
Charles Rocket was found dead, in a field near his residence. His throat had been slit. Investigating authorities ruled his death a suicide.
My mouth is still open in awe. Charles Rocket lived, and died, to shock and awe. So much turbulence
remained hidden, and a unique comedian is lost.
If you saw the SNL I'm referring to, would you drop me an e-mail? I still can't believe that original broadcast made it past the seven second censor. My dreams are not as specific as the visual of his arm that I remember! I KNOW I wasn't the only one watching that night. Anybody remember that show?