Sunday, March 13, 2005

On the Juiciness of Roasting Chickens

Frank Rich draws attention to an act of moral courage in the wake of September 11 that's new to me. At a Friars' Roast of Hugh Hefner on September 29, 2001, Gilbert Gottfried had the grit to crack wise about the World Trade Center disaster.

My estimation of Mr. Gottfried as a humorist has risen by several notches. The joke he made--a funny one, to me--doesn't exactly place him in a league with "Martyrs of Humor," like Arthur Sullivan (who managed to be funny despite misfortunes like kidney disease and financial ruin), Charles Lamb and Gracie Fields, but it's admirable nonetheless. As Stan Freberg once said, "Extremism in the pursuit of comedy is no vice."

On a not entirely unrelated subject, much hysteria has been generated over Ward Churchill's On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. It might be amusing to learn how many contributors to the hysteria have actually read what Mr. Churchill wrote. The widely disseminated claim that he referred to the victims of the World Trade Center as "Nazis" suggests that very, very few of them have done so.


Blogger sallie parker said...

Gilbert Gottfried? Wasn't he one of those sad sacks in the new SNL lineup for the 1980 season, most of whom disappeared into the ether quickly and later turned up in bit parts on cable? Hadn't thought of him in years. Figured he'd become an accountant.

6:09 PM  
Blogger npetrikov said...

I have a hunch that he's subsisting on residuals from cartoons like Disney's "Aladdin" and what they pay him for cameos on "The Tonight Show" (probably scale).

6:18 PM  

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