Thursday, February 18, 2010

You Can Bid On Redd Foxx's Life!

Some press releases just deserve to be printed verbatim. Not many, but this one, for sure. I've never seen anything like it. Some thoughts at bottom:

For Immediate Release
ednesday, Feb. 17, 2010

Rights to Life Story of Redd Foxx to Be Marketed
Public Administrator Action Would Need Probate Court Approval

The rights to the life story of comedy star Redd Foxx will be advertised for sale by his estate if the Probate Court approves the petition filed by Clark County Public Administrator John J Cahill.

"We hope to settle Redd's estate, pay all taxes owed, and get money for his heirs," Cahill said. "Redd deserves that, he was a Las Vegas celebrity classic and he loved our city."

Petitioning the Court to market Foxx's life story will notice all parties with standing and clear any questions about the title to those rights.

"We have always been confident that the estate owns the rights, but there have been questions and some confusion in the past. When buyers come to the table it's important that the rights are clear and available," Cahill said.

Foxx's life as a TV comedy pioneer and the wealth, fame and all that goes with celebrity would merit a screenplay but there is much more to his story. Foxx was a man of his times and those times included the civil rights turbulence of the 1950s and 1960s. In Chicago Foxx once roomed with Malcolm Little, later known as Malcolm X. Both were critical observers of social justice for African Americans in America. One took a path toward political activism and one pioneered what would be called, “Black TV Comedy.”

Foxx's pioneering comic career influenced many who followed him, including Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Bernie Mac, Chris Rock, Jamie Foxx and others.

Foxx was born John Elroy Sanford in St. Louis, Mo., on December 9, 1922, and died in Los Angeles on October 11, 1991, but was a resident of Nevada and is buried in Las Vegas. It is reported that Eddie Murphy paid for the funeral because Foxx died broke after the IRS seized his assets.

"We tried some negotiations last year and had offers ranging from $20,000 to $2 million, but it was all lunches, meetings and talk,” Cahill said. “I did get to visit with some producers and a star but they asked not to be identified.”

As estate administrator Cahill's duty is to get the best return for the sale of property.

"I'm hiring professionals to market the deal and adding a twist at the court hearing to confirm,” Cahill said. “The deal will be put to auction in the courtroom. The terms, conditions, details and rights will be locked but the final offer by a qualified bidder will determine who wins. If a deal favors the buyer rather than the estate it could get taken away at court by a higher bidder."

The petition filed by Cahill’s office is tentatively scheduled to be heard on April 2 at 9:30 a.m. in probate court at the Family Court and Services Center, 601 North Pecos Road. The Public Administrator is an elected County office and may be ordered to administer a probate when there is no eligible administrator available or able to serve.

Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 15th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to more than 2 million citizens and 40 million visitors a year. Included are the nation’s 7th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The county also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to almost 900,000 residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation,

OK. So. Wow, huh? The county's probate office is selling off the rights? That's weird. And the public administrator is doing lunch in Hollywood? Also odd, no?
Also weird is the extra paragraph about what a "dynamic and innovative organization" our county's guvmint is. Although, truth be told, apparently they ran out of things to say and just gave up mid-sentence.

Can't wait to see how this one plays itself out. Usually deals for rights like this are private matters. It seems like we're about to find out, down to the penny, what Redd Foxx's story is worth.