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Congresswoman, Reporter Pay Tribute to Gary Coleman

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Rep. Diane Watson (D-Calif.), who represents the Los Angeles area, offered this floor speech captured by C-SPAN in memory of former child actor Gary Coleman who died last week.

“Although short in stature Gary stole the hearts of American viewers with his humor and his infectious smile,” Watson said. “He lived his life with a spunky sense of humor. She never uttered the popular one-liner, “whatchootalkin’boutWillis.”

But WaPo‘s pop culture Style writer Hank Stuever did in an online chat Friday on Coleman’s death. “…He was very ill — even back then, it was dialysis several times a week, I seem to recall. It made me ache for him, even as I was just one of many who wanted a piece of the very long “Watchootalkin’bout” punchline and jokey narrative that trailed him forever. I was with him about five minutes before it stopped being funny and became something else.”

Stuever spent a morning with Coleman in August 2003 as the actor ran for governor of California.

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