A Tribute to Ed Koch

14 Feb

February 14, 2013

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died last week. He was Mayor for three terms, from 1978 to 1989.

I am old enough to remember NYC back in the 70’s. It was crime ridden and dirty. The city had no money. Sanitation workers went on strike. Things were not good. But Mayor Koch turned things around. And he was a true people person. He loved not only New York but the people of New York. He loved to be among the people and of course, even more so, he loved the spotlight. Growing up, he was the first mayor I was old enough to be politically interested in and I thought he was great. Even today, long after he left office, I still consider all the Mayors who followed him to be sitting in Ed Koch’s office. The man cast a long shadow.

After his term in office, he hosted a radio show and did movie reviews. He always kept in front of the microphone or the camera and always stayed in the news. Did he have an ego? Sure, a big one, but he was one of us.

One thing that the tributes and obituaries mention only in passing is that, from September 8, 1997 to June 25, 1999 (with reruns airing until September 10), Ed Koch hosted The People’s Court. There are not many clips of him on the TV bench on the internet. The show has not aired anywhere since 1999, long before any and every scene put to film ended up on YouTube.

Luckily, I was- and still am- a big People’s Court fan and as I cleaned out a closet this week I found an old videotape and what was on it? An episode of The People’s Court featuring Ed Koch. And what an episode it was! Koch was presiding over the case of Titanic Tony, a wannabe wrestler, suing The Behemoth, his trainer. The best part? They are all in costume and demonstrate their moves in the courtroom. Little wonder that toward the end of the clip Koch tells Titanic Tony he needs to see a psychiatrist. (Ed Koch was not one to mince words.)

I won’t say any more, the clip speaks for itself, though Allan Keyes has a few things to say on this subject next week. So right now, sit back and enjoy.

I also need to mention that this is the first video on the brand new Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride YouTube channel! Stay tuned for more great stuff!

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