With the assassination of the president, Meader's career was over too. Years later, he told the New York Times Magazine about what happened to him on November 22, 1963: "I was in a cab in Milwaukee, and the cabdriver said, 'Hey, did you hear about Kennedy in Dallas?' And I said, 'No, how does it go?' because I thought it was another Kennedy joke. But it wasn't. So I went to my hotel, grabbed a bottle of booze, went back to New York and just kind of drowned myself.
"Everything got canceled, and everything stopped. I remember walking down Second Avenue, and this big huge construction worker in a hard hat stopped his riveting and ran over to me with tears in his eyes wringing my hands and saying, 'I'm sorry.' It was weird. Most of my show-business friends dropped me -- I was no longer a commodity to them. So I got barroom heavy. I got into cocaine, heroin. And I went down South and drifted from place to place to place."
Eventually he pursued a career as a local musician in Maine, his home state, but he died mostly forgotten in 2004. A radio obit is posted here.