JEFF CAPLAN'S MINUTE OF NEWS

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Fat shaming is not cool

May 20, 2024, 7:30 PM

Cass Elliot was a member of the singing group the Mamas & the Papas. After the group broke up, she ...

Cass Elliot was a member of the singing group the Mamas & the Papas. After the group broke up, she released five solo albums. (YouTube)

(YouTube)

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Fat shaming is completely uncool. But it was not always this way. The ultimate instance came in 1974. Mama Cass Elliot — an effervescent personality and a beautiful singing voice — punched her ticket to stardom with this song.

 

Mama Cass became such a celebrity that she even guest-hosted the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson was off. Back then, everyone knew who Mama Cass was — because of her star power, and because she weighed 300 pounds. She even joked about her weight all the time. 

When she was 32 she died in a London hotel room, cutting short a magnificent career. Her obituary said that her cause of death was she choked on a ham sandwich. When you have a 300-pound star choking on a sandwich, it becomes a punchine. It becomes your legacy. In the music world, it’s what she’s most remembered for.

But turns out, that story is not true. The person who found her admits Mama Cass was on a 48-hour bender doing drugs and her heart gave out. Her publicist found her and didn’t want to admit she was doing drugs. Saw the ham sandwich on the table and told a reporter… uhhh… she choked on a sandwich. Better than saying drugs.   

This summer it’ll be 50 years since she died. Cass Elliot has been fat-shamed for half a century after her death. Her music… all but ignored.

Jeff Caplan is the host of Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Facebook and X. 

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Fat shaming is not cool