When it comes to famous humorists, terminal depression is a nice-to-have, but nothing kick starts the good times like a rampant case of alcoholism. Parker, Cook, Sullivan, Stewart … All the great wits seem to share three things: Insight, irony, and cirrhosis. Then again, who doesn’t hate liver?
Ah well, yes. I’ve been breaking a cardinal rule again and reading bios. Let me tell you, in a biography, no one gets out alive. You never close one and say, “That was a pleasant life, and the people were ever so sweet.” No, you read some humiliating allegations about a fascinating person, and by the end, slam down a book stained with guacamole and Coors, and sigh: “Thank you Jesus! for sparing me the curse of genius and wealth.”
Anyway. I don’t need a bio to bring me to that conclusion. Genius makes your head hurt and great wealth requires – arithmetic. And either one means subsequent publication of a whole lot of nothing that shouldn’t mean anything to anyone anymore no how.
(I just discovered Peter Cook. Watch the clip, don't read his bio. Peter Cook.)