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AICN Remembers Robert "Bobby" McCurdy...

Massawyrm here.

You never even begin to imagine that you’ll ever have to write an obituary for someone like Robert McCurdy. He’s not the type of person you hope to eulogize; he was the kind of guy you hoped would one day eulogize you. Most of you have probably never heard of him. In truth, when those of us in the Austin Film Critic Association received the e-mail announcing his death, most of us weren’t quite sure who it was either. You see, we didn’t know a Robert McCurdy. We knew Bobby. And Bobby wasn’t the sort of person you expected to receive this sort of e-mail about.


A few years ago when Bobby was still in college at the University of Texas, he and his best friend Cole Dabney got it in their heads to become film critics. They started a website, got on all the requisite lists and soon realized that it took a lot more to establish a readership than simply existing – you needed to also be recognized. At their young age, they figured the only way to get fast recognition was to join a film critic association, and since Austin didn’t have one, they decided to start one. The two set out to get all of the town’s prominent critics onto the list, with most of us accepting the invitation thinking nothing would ever actually come of it. As it turns out, we had all underestimated the determination and tenacity of these two young men. What began as the whim of a pair of college kids is now an association 20 members strong boasting writers from not only AICN (Myself, Quint and Harry are all proud members) but, Cinematical,, Film School Rejects, Gordon and the Whale, Austin News 8 and every major print outlet in the city. We are now one of the earliest voting bodies in the industry. 


So it came as a great surprise to us all last year when Bobby told us all that he was leaving town to join the armed forces. He’d been waiting for a spot to open up because he had long dreamed of being a pilot. He left town last year and gained his commission as an officer in the United States Navy, where he proudly served until the time of his death; the events surrounding it are still being investigated, but I’m told they were not military related. He had just spent the weekend helping Cole compile the AFCA ballot – still involved despite having left.


Bobby was a movie fan, one of us through and through. My fondest memory of him comes from May of 2008 when he and Cole showed up to the IRON MAN screening, each wearing the powder blue Mondo Tees limited edition t-shirt commemorating the big Alamo event from the night before. Each was so excited to see the film again that they wore the shirt in honor of the big day, not thinking that their partner in crime would be doing exactly the same. When I walked past them I casually remarked “Isn’t it cute when couples dress alike?” A good half of the AFCA, all sitting within earshot, laughed out loud and the joke stuck. We hazed the living hell out of those two for a year straight. Bobby always met the joke with a huge grin, taking the hazing like a man and even throwing out the occasional joke of his own, playing along. It was through their hard work on the AFCA and their good humor through all the ribbing that these two young men earned a place in the community alongside the other critics, some of whom were twice their age.


I’m not certain how others in the community felt, but I can honestly say I was proud to see Bobby go off to fulfill dream as a military pilot. Having been raised by a career Air Force NCO, I knew exactly what he was giving up and getting himself into. And I admired him for it. It takes a certain type of person to mount up for the challenge he had ahead of him, and I was very much looking forward to seeing the man he was going to become. The last time I saw him I shook his hand and told him “You can be my wingman anytime.” He smiled and with a firm grip said “Bullshit, you can be MINE.”

He was 23 years old.

We here at AICN extend our sincerest heartfelt sympathies to the McCurdy family.

Until we meet again, amigo,


Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 23, 2010, 10:12 p.m. CST

    my condolences..

    by The_Cliffster

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Hey Massawyrm,

    by Troy

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 10:20 p.m. CST

    Hey Massawyrm,

    by Troy

    I love you, man!

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 10:22 p.m. CST


    by Grendy

    Why do you have to be a wanker about this? There are plenty of places who talked about those losses...and often AICN does too. However, this is someone they all knew, and knew well, it seemed. And if Massa wanted to write something about a friend lost, then who are you to be a jackass about it? Oh wait... not anyone who knew Bobby, that's obvious. Because if you did, (and I did not know him) you would realize that being such a jerk here is way out of line. So... knock it off. I'm done here.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 10:22 p.m. CST

    How about you don't

    by Ben Whipps

    How about you don't lambaste someone for "neglecting" to post something you want in the comments of a eulogy for their friend. "and now an homage to somebody we've never heard of" That's uncalled for and rude even by talkback standards

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Condolences to his family

    by Fremen

    and his family of colleagues.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 10:33 p.m. CST


    by rodnunley

    This is awful news. I am humbled by his service and sacrifice for our country.

  • Dec. 23, 2010, 11:55 p.m. CST


    by matt_od


  • Dec. 24, 2010, 12:08 a.m. CST

    My condolences...

    by Brookboy

    I've never felt the need to post to a single talkback on any story that has ever come up on AICN, but I truly appreciate it when one of the editors/writers on this site eulogize a person who most of us have never heard of or knew. It shows a great dedication and care to their friend, who they will surely miss. My condolences to the McCurdy family, and to the Austin Film Critics who will most definitely miss their friend. I wish I had gotten to know him, and I applaud him for following his dream.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 12:23 a.m. CST


    by mrsheldrake

    in the Austin Film Critic's Society?

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:05 a.m. CST

    great...just like River Phoenix...

    by Meadowe

    as far as passing away at the age of 23. Well Bobby, I'm sure you've got a great wingman in that great big Top Gun school in the sky. God bless you.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:27 a.m. CST

    I'm very sorry to read this man.

    by The Great One

    23 is definitely too early to go. :(

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:30 a.m. CST

    Rest in peace

    by dukeroberts

    It is so tragic to be taken at such a young age. God bless his family.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Rest In Peace

    by Sean Moore

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:35 a.m. CST

    "...only the good die young."

    by DrMorbius

    Did not know Bobby... but am very appreciative of his, and all the men and women serving in the armed forces, for their service to our country.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:52 a.m. CST

    I'm sorry to read this.

    by RobinP

    My condolencies go to his family and friends.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 4:17 a.m. CST

    and is he any relation...

    by emeraldboy

    to the really annoying actress on on you that really annoying show about the kid who has the web series on nickeledeon.....

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a true good dude, Wyrm. Update us if you can.

    by Yotz Von Frelnik

    I was expecting something like "shot down in the line of duty" or something. Damn, it sucks to think he was taken by the act of an average human douchebag. Unless it was accidental circumstances of course.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 10:09 a.m. CST

    hey emeraldboy

    by Cyan09

    Why don't you shut up and show some respect. If you read the whole piece you would see why it's newsworthy, and if you had any class or decency you wouldn't be trivializing the death of a fellow man and friend of the site.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 10:30 a.m. CST

    My condolences

    by Darth Thoth

    May God bless his soul and grant you, his friends and family, peace.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 12:53 p.m. CST


    by longlivethenewflesh

    I'm sorry for your loss, everyone here at AICN and Austin at large. He seems like a great guy and accomplished a lot in his short time. Kinda makes me feel like a chump being about the same age as he was. Rest easy.

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 1:37 p.m. CST

    Nice work, Massa

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    And RIP to a young man who was obviously held in high esteem by his friends. 23 is no fucking age to go! And kudos on following his dream. Too many people aint got the balls to follow that! RIP young man!

  • Dec. 24, 2010, 3:30 p.m. CST


    by Phildogger

    Very saddened and sorry to hear this news. I never met him, but I can tell he was a terrific person. Rest In Peace, and from all of us in the USA, thank you for your service.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 1:50 a.m. CST


    by cowboysfandavid

    Great insight to the man we knew as Bobby. I loved this piece and I will remember him always. Good friend, smart and never short of a word. My thanks again to Massawyrm for taking the time.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 2:03 a.m. CST


    by Babba-Booey

    Its nice to know a little about the people behind the handles. I'm sorry for your loss, guys.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 1:59 p.m. CST


    by sam jacksons wig

    It takes a special kind of useless whoring cunt to spam up an obituary column. It's Christmas day, and I have aken this time out to tell you that you are the lowest form of life in existance- even lower than Michael Bay..... you fucking faggot.

  • Dec. 25, 2010, 5:15 p.m. CST


    by emeraldboy

    elizabeth beresford...creator of the wombles. wombles of wimbledon...common are we. remember youre a womble.

  • Dec. 28, 2010, 8:10 p.m. CST

    Damn, man - so young! And I'm willing to bet no one laughed

    by Professor_Monster

    - at Massawyrm's joke. It does sadden me when a life is taken without ever having the chance to really get started living. RIP, man. RIP.