(An except from “brain droppings.”)
“KILLER COMIC…It goes without saying I’m not the only person who has noticed this, but I never got to spell it out my way before.
Comedy’s nature has two sides. Everybody wants a good time and a couple of laughs, and of course, the comic wants to be known as a real funny guy. But the language of comedy is fairly grim and violent. It’s filled with [punchlines], gags, and slapstick. After all, what does a comic worry most about? Dying! He doesn’t want to die.
‘Jeez, I was dyin’. It was like death out there. Like a morgue. I really bombed.’
Comics don’t want to die, and they don’t want to bomb. They want to go over with a bang. And be a real smash. And if everything works out, if they’re successful and they make you laugh, they can say, ‘I killed ’em. I slaughtered those people; I knocked them dead.’
And what phrases do we use when we talk about the comic? ‘He’s a riot.’ ‘A real scream.’ ‘A rib-splitting knee-slapper.’ ‘My sides hurt.’ ‘My cheeks ache.’ ‘He broke me up, cracked me up, slayed me, fractured me, and had me in stitches.’ ‘I busted a gut.’ ‘I get a real kick out of that guy.’
‘Laugh? I thought I’d die.'”
(I’ve said all of those things about you and more…I am blessed that I grew up with you and your sense of humor…I miss you, George.)