Comedy December 12, 2011
Don Ferguson on the Late, Great Roger Abbott

Air Farce actor Don Ferguson remembers his friend Roger Abbott, and talks about carrying the knowledge of Roger's leukemia diagnosis since 1997.

In this clip, Don talks about...

His last visit with Roger
GS: The last time you were here in the chair, you were here with Roger. You and Roger had done the interview. Roger's obviously not going to be here for this. What's that experience been like?
DF: That's been unbelievable. You know, Roger and I were friends for more than 50 years, and we worked together for more than 40. We were buddies and really, really close partners.

Being the only cast member aware of Roger's condition
GS: When Roger was sick with leukemia, you were the only cast member who knew, right? That's quite a thing to carry around together.
DF: I guess because we'd known each other so well, and for so long. He was diagnosed in 1997, and really, his sister knew and his niece knew and I knew, and that was pretty much it for maybe 10 years. And then, very gradually, as his condition began to deteriorate a little bit, he let other people in on it. But even, I would say, when Roger died in March, perhaps only 10 people knew that he was sick? Maybe a dozen, tops? So that's why it was such a shock to everybody when it happened. I mean, it just... I remember being in the office on Sunday when we let the news out; he died on Saturday night. And it was like, this tidal wave of interest. The phone ringing, the emails - I think I had over 600 emails in less than 24 hours.

Doing comedy
DF: You know, you can't do comedy unless you're enjoying it. If you're mad, or angry, and to do comedy is really difficult. Especially with other people. So we always, always made sure that whatever happened in the day time, we ended the day as friends.



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