Fans of Turner Classic Movies have no doubt seen the promo:
We're almost there! TCM did their best to spoil us with some great hosts during Robert Osborne's time away, but all that did was make us all realize how spoiled we were just to have him in the first place!
(PS: Anyone notice that most of the film critics who guest hosted composed themselves better on camera than a handful of the film stars?)
The outpouring of love for this man among his fans is so strong that the classic movie community can barely contain itself. In fact, it's burst through to claim its own space.
Will McKinley and The Kitty Packard Pictorial have created a special Tumblr site called Welcome Back, Bob: The Officially Un-Official Robert Osborne Welcome Home Party, where they are compiling posts, well, welcoming back Bob all this week.
Robert Osborne's celebrity via TCM is very interesting. Social media has made many of us here in the USA realize that Osborne is pretty much unknown overseas. Other countries have their own versions of the channel with their own hosts (makes sense). And taking that a step further, if you have friends who don't tune into TCM they probably don't know him either.
But I've yet to encounter a single TCM fan in America who doesn't have some sort of affectionate connection to Osborne as the face of the channel. Oftentimes an extremely deep affection, the man has become like family to many of us.
It's a very pure sort of celebrity that Mr. Osborne has cultivated. Far from the tabloid pages it most reminds me the way that baseball fans used to feel about their hometown announcer. You let somebody into your home every night you're bound to develop some feelings for them.
He's so low key that I don't expect him to make more than a casual mention, if any mention at all, to his having been absent when we tune in to watch him introduce Jewel Robbery (1932) on Thursday night.
Here's hoping December 1 is the start of a long streak. Welcome back, Bob!