the distance between a performer and an audience is a tenuous space. this was a quick read, but not an easy one. the difficulty for me comes from the gutters-i’m inferring what lies beneath. i’m still thinking about this…but i did laugh out loud at the idea of the dalai lama declaring the closure of barney‘s a great tragedy.
“When anger and hatred turn into passion and sex.
When loneliness and love turn into boredom and fear.” (29)
“When blondes fall, they fall so hard.” (49)
“Germans invented Monistat.” (123)
“I wanted to feel the cold, but the weather just hung there as uncommitted as an affair with a married man.” (127)
“When Jackie was redecorating the White House, citizens were donating money right and left. When my cousin sent in her contribution, she received a handwritten thank-you note from Jackie. So of course I wanted a handwritten letter from Jackie Kennedy. I sent in my five dollars. And I never got my handwritten thank-you from the First Lady. So I sent a letter saying that I had mailed in a contribution, but had never received a letter from Mrs. Kennedy. Soon thereafter, I received not only a letter of apology from the White House but a genuine, handwritten thank-you from Jacqueline Kennedy-which I lost, along with a letter of apology from Jerry Lewis for making fun of my lips on the set of The King of Comedy. Two of the coolest things in the entire universe, and I lost them. I think this is maybe the only thing that I regret in my life.” (198)
“How this city has changed! There used to be hookers up and down this strip dressed to the nines, right across the street where I used to perform sometimes. I would go on at one in the morning in front of ten people. Paul Mooney was my mentor, and we used to scare everyone. Me in big funky heels, Paul in cowboy boots. After one night of dancing, I observed, ‘Now I know why there’s no Jewish hookers,’ and Mooney replied, ‘Now I know why there’s no nigger cowboys.’ We would eat at Ben Franks. All the pimps in those wide-brim hats would not to us and pay their dues to those funny motherfuckers.” (187)
and that’s a super-comedy team.