The unique and never forgettable Blake Krikorian smile
The unique and never forgettable Blake Krikorian smile
Blake Krikorian, Sterile Aesthetics, Indie Record Stores, Pop Star Jihad, Call Centers, Trump Fails...
Jason Hirschhorn, curator August 7, 2016
quote of the day
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Maya Angelou
rant n' rave

This week I lost someone very dear to me. I met BLAKE KRIKORIAN 12 years ago when I was at MTV NETWORKS. He had just launched a product called SLINGBOX that allowed you to watch your TV on your computer and phone. Loved him the minute I met him. He passed away on Wednesday right after surfing, one of his great passions. I’m having a hard time accepting that I’ll never have another conversation with him. They were reflexes, not thoughts or actions. We spoke almost every day. Sometimes many times per day. He lived life the way one should. With an unlimited passion for every single thing he did. He loved his family. He loved to create and tinker daily. There was always a table wherever he was with wires and parts that looked like he put a device in a blender. He was the most curious person I know. And I do curious for a living. Much of what I pick each day would come from conversations with him. He loved his friends and there are a lot of friends. I’ve never met anyone who’s met Blake that didn’t come away with a wow and a smile. Working with him was the best experience I’ve ever had. Shortly after he and his brother JASON KRIKORIAN started Sling, Blake asked me to join as President. I loved the product and the idea. But after being in a traditional media company for a bit I was skeptical and cynical about the reaction the industry would have. They didn't like change at all. His pitch to anyone else would have been the worst ever. But like me, Blake loved unfair fights. We relished being the underdogs. He assured me that while this was the right idea we'd likely be sued by cable, media, and sports companies. The spirit of this scene from MISSION IMPOSSIBLE is really an accurate portrayal of the conversation. Blake as TOM CRUISE. Me as VING RHAMES. "We're going to do it." He had the same s*** eating grin. I was in. We loved media. We didn't necessarily want to disrupt anything. We wanted them to evolve. But we weren't going to wait around. Please watch. It changed the media business. But most of all, he was a wonderful friend. Some of us have a hard time asking for help. I know I do. With Blake, I never had to ask. He was always there and knew what to do. Last year, I had a very close call and had to have emergency heart surgery. I'm not married, both my parents are gone and at the time was estranged from my sister. He was the first person I called. What was the first thing he said? "You have to call your sister." I did and we reconciled. I thought childhood friends or ones I've known for 20-30 years would be the ones that helped. It was Blake. He came to LA and took me to every single doctor. Listened and asked questions when I couldn’t. He was the last face I saw when I went into surgery and the first I saw when I woke up. “Hey, Dude. You made it kid!” All with a big smile. That smile is what I keep thinking of. When I could walk on my own I recuperated at his house in MALIBU with him watching over me. And there were so many good times. My favorite month every year is January. A bunch of our friends would go to CES for a dinner and a few days checking out the new toys. I'd usually arrive after him and when I walked into our suite at THE WYNN, without fail, the TV would be off its mount. He would be rewiring something and hooking up video games or new devices. Later in the month, Blake, his wife CATHY and I would go to SUNDANCE and see 3-5 movies a day. And god forbid it was a documentary on some social injustice. He would just go off. He felt stuff. He felt stuff deeply. No more deeply than about his family. Many know Blake through his business success. But his real success was his family. He loved Cathy and his daughters LAUREN and EMMA without measure. The secret to Blake is Cathy. Together for 31 years. Since the age of 17. The perfect partnership. She is his rock. When he spoke of his daughters. His face lit up. And his brothers Jason and ADAM. So proud of all of their accomplishments and the people they’ve become. I have so much more to say and share about him. It seems endless and hard to gather my thoughts right now. There are so many great stories on his FACEBOOK page right now. An amazing testament to who he was and the impact he had on so many. I’ve had friends for much longer than I know Blake, but I’ve never had a better friend. I can hear his voice. "Dude, dude, dude." or "That's exactly right, that's exactly right." Two of the many sayings in his canon. Blake loved movies and television. We watched hundreds together. He loved SOUTH PARK. Just a week ago we were discussing how this CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM clip perfectly captured the TRUMP/KHAN situation. His favorite movie was THE BIG LEBOWSKI. References to it were hidden in his products. Ironically, on the day we lost him, the real Lebowski passed on too. I miss my best friend. Just heartbroken. It hurts. But I have endless memories and every single one makes me smile and laugh. It's not fair and he was far too young but he was the happiest and most content I've ever seen him. That gives all who knew him some comfort. Our friend, MIKE MARQUEZ, reminded me that we've never had an argument with Blake. The last time I saw him in person right before July 4th was down in Malibu. I got out of the car and he said to me: "Dude, can you believe it's been a year since the surgery? Look how good you're doing. I'm so glad you're here." I'm so thankful that I got to hug him, say thank you and "Love ya Dude."

Jason Hirschhorn, curator

August 7, 2016