Sonny Eliot, Detroit's Funny Weatherman, Is Dead At 91

November 16, 2012, 6:28 AM

"It will be as pleasant as diaper rash."

Beloved Detroit Weatherman Sonny Eliot has died at age 91.

"The storm is as suspicious as a dermatologist with acne."

Eliot's radio and television career ran longer than any other broadcaster in Detroit history, writes historian Tim Kiska in the Detroit Free Press.  

"Driving will be as hazardous as tap dancing in a canoe."

Friend and co-worker Don Swindell says Eliot died this morning at home in his Farmington Hills home after an illness.

Eliot began his career in the late 1940s, when he appeared on the then-infant medium of television. He was Channel 4’s star weathercaster from the 1950s until the late 1970s; a weathercaster on Channel 2 in the late 1970s and early 1980s; and a movie host on Channel 50, also in the 1980s. He rounded out his career at WWJ radio, where he served up two weathercasts each weekday at 4:18 p.m. and 5:18 p.m.

“The landscape of Detroit radio and television was built around Sonny Eliot,” remarked Jim Brandstatter, the Detroit Lions football commentator who was a longtime friend of Eliot’s.

Eliot’s persona was that of a clown. He peppered his weathercasts with puns and could be seen roaming Detroit Tiger baseball games with a goofy grin. He was a joke machine, churning out gags at a pace of what seemed one for every ten seconds. A typical one-liner: “If you’ve found the love of a woman, cherish her, appreciate her, enjoy her — and whatever you do, don’t tell your wife about it.” (The joke was ironic because Eliot was devoted to his wife, Annette.)

One-on-one, however, Eliot was a serious person. He read widely, particularly history; he spoke German and French, and could understand Spanish; he was a captain in the Air Force Reserves.

Click here for a YouTube tribute to Eliot's career.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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