Even a long-time Casey Kasem fan like me was surprised by this news. Not the fact that he was retiring his countdown show(s), but that he was still even doing a countdown.

Casey Kasem ending his run on radio this weekend –

“Hosting various versions of my countdown program has kept me extremely busy, and I loved every minute of it,” Kasem, 77, said in a statement. “However, this decision will free up time I need to focus on myriad other projects.”

Naturally, I’ve reflected a bit on this. You know Casey was a big part of my childhood. And while much of the music I listen to today has no direct connection to the music he played, the 80s pop sound still played a huge role in developing my musical ear. While obviously not on the same level as a Sinatra or Carson, Casey was one of the last monolithic cultural icons left from those simpler times (can we put him at the same level as Dick Clark?). Back then, famous people became institutions and you could count on them as tastes, both cultural and personal, changed. Today, our hyper-culture demands that our cultural icons constantly be refreshed and replaced. Like Ryan Seacrest is still going to be around in 30 years.

So best of luck to my man Casey. I love that quote. He’s been active with animal rights and various other political causes for most of his career. I would imagine most people don’t know that, though, and wonder what his “myriad other projects” consists of. Only an entertainment legend, feeling a little full of himself, would bust out the word myriad there.

Oh, and do check out the YouTube vids attached to that story. They’re brilliant.