Legendary comedic actor Fred Willard was fired by PBS today after being arrested for "lewd conduct" in Hollywood, California.
Willard was the narrator of Market Warriors, a spin-off of the long running Antiques Roadshow.
The arrest was made at the Tiki Theater, an adult movie theater in Hollywood. And obviously that will bring to mind the infamous 1991 arrest of Paul Reubens a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman in a Sarasota, Florda adult theater.
My honest initial reaction to the news of this arrest is that adult theaters still exist in the United States. One would think that with modern… ease with which to enjoy certain kinds of media that that would be a thing of the past.
And the second quick thought to come to mind is why PBS had to be so hasty to fire Willard. It's 2012. Willard was not hurting anyone and was arrested at a location where… such things are to be expected, I'd think (see: Paul Reubens a.k.a Pee-wee Herman circa 1991). Willard wasn't hurting or bothering anyone as far as we know (and we have no reason to think that he was).
The guy's not running for president or public office. He's a comedic actor and performer. If he was arrested for cheating on his taxes or insider trading or some such, does anyone think that he would be fired in that case? And it should be noted, even as silly as it seems to write the words, that United States citizens are considered to be innocent before proven guilty in a court or law.
Recent television highlights for Willard include two appearances as Frank Dunphy on Modern Family, as well as a memorable run as Hank MacDougal on Everybody Loves Raymond from 2003-2005.
On a final lighter note, bonus points for anyone who can get the indirect reference of the picture above.