Art Buchwald’s Video Obituary


Pulitzer-prize winning humorist and columnist Art Buchwald died of kidney failure yesterday at the age of 81. In a twist on the old newspaper tradition of have obituaries prepared for notable figures in advance, The New York Times is using the occasion of Buchwald’s death to introduce a new video feature, “The Last Word.” The segment features an interview with the Times’ Tim Weiner filmed last year.

More major newspapers are looking at adding video to their offerings as they begin to move online. While I can’t say obituaries are one of the first places I would look to explore a new medium were I a newspaper editor, the actual segment was put together in tastefully respectful way. Editor and Publisher has the details behind the show, the first in a series. What’s important is that, characteristically, Art managed to find the humor in it all. “Hi, I’m Art Buchwald and I just died,” he announces to the world, smiling into the camera.

Art Buchwald Obit


Deirdré Straughan

If they want to present people’s last words on video, they’d do better to start a little less close to death. The interview is so saddening that I can’t bear to watch it. I prefer to remember Buchwald for his razor-sharp wit, on paper, than to see him barely able to talk.

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