Friday, June 22, 2012

Stand Up

Contest to follow.

Only when we have drunk from the river of darkness can we truly see.

Brother Theodore
Hello Kate
The comedian Brother Theodore, Theodore Gottlieb (1906 - 2001), probably saw more and drank more of the river of darkness than most of us, even the most sinister of us, can imagine.

He was captured by the Nazis and taken to Dachau Concentration Camp where he witnessed all the terrible tortures, including seeing the guards laughing loudly as they watched men being eaten alive by vicious dogs.

He escaped Dachau by signing over his family's fortune to the Germans hoping t see his family again, which he never did. Having run into trouble in Europe he moved to America with the help of Albert Einstein, a family friend.

He worked at many odd jobs while developing an act as an anti existentialist monologist. He tried performing it in California whiteout success. During the time of his greatest struggle his wife left him and his son, his only child, went with her.

He eventually found a place for himself playing small out of the way clubs in NYC and developed a cult following. He was finally recognized by some of the TV talk show hosts and made appearances on TV, particularly toward the end with David Letterman.

Starting from an absurdist premise such as that we should walk on all fours, or that we shouldn't eat food because it's bad for us, he would weave a speech that challenged all the pretensions and broke all the rules.

The title of his act was "Stand Up Tragedy"
Fortunately most of us never have to look into a river of darkness, much less drink from it, though we may have approached it sometimes during a dark night of the soul. We can be thankful for Theodore who knew it well, witnessed it, drank from it and yet could make humor out of it. Dark humor, for sure, but there's nothing wrong with that.
DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never Give Up

Here's a contest for you.

How hot is it?

When I first ran this contest the winner was a school teacher who wrote:
"It's so hot my hot flashes cool me off."

Now it's your turn. How hot is it?

It's so hot my toaster pops up before I push it down. (DB)

Its so hot we are using our dog's panting as an extra fan (SH)

it's so hot that sweat runs uphill. (BK)

It's so hot....the microwave popcorn packets are popping in the cupboard (LS)

It's so hot I saw two trees fighting over a dog.

It's so hot here in Texas that people have been deliberately committing crimes so they can go to hell and cool off. (JV)It's so hot....

Good luck, prizes will be awarded, the decision of the certifiably mad judge is final.

1 comment:

Jon said...

I remember Theodore Gottlieb but I never knew anything about his tragic history. Thanks for sharing the information. There are times when humor is the only antidote for drinking from the river of darkness.