John McLaughlin Is Remembered

The McLaughlin Group host passed away at 89.

Over the weekend, John McLaughlin, host of The McLaughlin Group, missed the show for the first time in 34 years, explaining in a written message as the show aired that he was “under the weather.” The message continued, “The final issue of this episode has my voice, but please forgive me for its weaker than usual quality. Yet my spirit is strong and my dedication to the show remains absolute!”

Less than a week later, the 89 year-old host would pass away from prostate cancer, with The McLaughlin Group’s Facebook page posting Tuesday:

Earlier this morning, a beloved friend and mentor, Dr. John McLaughlin, passed away peacefully at the age of 89. As a former jesuit priest, teacher, pundit and news host, John touched many lives. For 34 years, The McLaughlin Group informed millions of Americans. Now he has said bye bye for the last time, to rejoin his beloved dog, Oliver, in heaven. He will always be remembered.

McLaughlin’s show, which first aired in 1982, pioneered a style of combative, partisan punditry so distinctive for its time that news of McLaughlin’s death brought out a large swath of people on social media mourning McLaughlin and sharing their memories of watching the show, whether as children or adults.

Many fondly referenced the SNL sketches that parodied McLaughlin.

“We will miss his signature phrases, beginning with Issue One, and ending with Bye-Bye,” writes McLaughlin Group panelist Eleanor Clift in The Daily Beast. “And we will miss the man, who was always a blast to be around. John was an original, and while there are many imitators, he will never be overtaken. He got there first, and he created something that in its own way is as iconic as The Honeymooners with Jackie Gleason, a comparison I know John would love.”

You can read her entire remembrance here.