Ryan Davis: The Most Affecting Celebrity I've Never Met

During the first half of my life so far, time really felt like it stood still. For a long time, nothing seemed to change (the same TV shows were always on and people on TV and in my life were always around). So loss was not something I was familiar with until late in my teens or early 20's, when some more distant family members passed away.

During my 20's, celebrities I'd been familiar with while growing up began to pass away, with the rate increasing relatively drastically as I got older. Still, I haven't lost anyone really close to me, yet, and I try not to forget how lucky that makes me.

I remember the news of Michael Jackson having SOME affect on me. As did news of Heath Ledger, John Ritter, Christopher Reeve, and Brittany Murphy. But the affect was just a tinge of sadness. Unlike many fans, I never did develop any deep feeling toward celebrities, in the past, even ones I enjoyed very much. At least not enough to have a deep personal attachment.

But here, on this day, two days after first hearing the news, the passing of Ryan Davis still sticks with me. It's affected me on a deeper level than I could imagine for a web celebrity that I'd never met and only been following for a few months.

So, as I tend to do, I began to analyze why. It turns out the reason is incredibly simple. Though I enjoy the work of many actors and musicians, the side we see of those celebrities is seldom real. In fact, for many, I believe even they've lost track of who they really are in order to put the right face forward toward the public eye.

In a word, the side we see of most celebrities is FAKE. So you don't ever really know them and thus, unless you're delusional, it's impossible to make any connection with them.

What makes Ryan and the rest of the Giant Bomb crew different is that they aren't really putting up any sort of front. And despite the fact that they are humorists and showmen, they've mostly just been themselves, which is difficult to make entertaining. But they succeeded, and because of this, we've all spent time with them. And though most of us have never met the crew in person, that infectious sense of genuine-ness that they project makes us all want to. Not to get an autograph or fawn over them, but to hang out with them and share a conversation.

This is what you do with friends.

And that's why the loss of Ryan Davis has been so affecting.

R.I.P., big man. It would have been an honor to have had your face sweat-stained to my shirt.

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