Aw, man.This guy — who looked like this for 40 years, by the way — was part of my favorite running gag on the old Police Squad series. This article mentions it, but like any comedy obituary, completely sucks the joy out of it.
The bit was this — Duell was Johnny, the shoeshine man with his ear to the street, and for a buck, he would give Lt. Drebin the lowdown on what was happening in the underworld. AND THEN, Drebin would leave and someone, say, Dr. Joyce Brothers would sit down and ask for the lowdown … on the Elektra complex. And Johnny knew all about that, too. It was an amazingly smart gag and like everything on the show, was deadpan, specific and wildly influential to me.
Here’s a dollar, William. What’s the good word?