Cover image for The other great depression : how I'm overcoming, on a daily basis, at least a million dysfunctions and finding a spiritual (sometimes) life
The other great depression : how I'm overcoming, on a daily basis, at least a million dysfunctions and finding a spiritual (sometimes) life
Lewis, Richard, 1949-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : PublicAffairs, 2000.
Physical Description:
284 pages ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN2287.L443 A3 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
PN2287.L443 A3 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Biography

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Comedian Richard Lewis considers his history with drug abuse, his path to recovery, his comedy, and the dysfunctions that created his career and threatened to destroy him personally. In this series of short essays, he discusses his family, his childhood, work, success, sex, love, drinking, therapy, eating disorders, creativity, the human condition, and of course, what it is that makes all these things so funny. c. Book News Inc.

Author Notes

Richard Lewis has taken his lifelong therapy fodder and carved it into a commanding and compelling art form. His early career as a stand-up comedian brought him to the top of the ranks, and he continues to broaden the scope of opportunities for others to share in his brilliantly warped world. Most recently he has a recurring role playing himself in Larry David's acclaimed new HBO comedy series, Curb Your Enthusiasm. His new double comedy album, Live from Hell: Before and After, will be released in 2001. Perhaps Mel Brooks put it best when he said, "Richard Lewis may just be the Franz Kafka of modern day comedy."

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fans of Lewis's bleak shtick are the natural audience for these searing, confessional riffs on the comic's angst, acute alcoholism and relentless sexual conquests, but it's hard to imagine that the uninitiated would enjoy the musings of "a bad-postured, guilt-ridden ball of confusion with a trace of paranoia, self-loathing and a little faith thrown in for some taste." Lewis attributes his misery to his parents: a sullen mother whose antipathy toward her son is not fully explored; his distant but admired father died young. The New Jersey boy found his escape route via jokes and isolation and, eventually, Ohio State University. Though he makes a sort of peace with his mother at the end of her life, the author reserves his moments of near-tenderness for members of comedy royalty: Buster Keaton's elegant widow, Eleanor, and Lenny Bruce's raucous mother, Sally Marr. (However, larger-than-life icon Jackie Gleason displays less-than-noble behavior to Lewis.) In his early 20s, Lewis found a mentor in the manager of a legendary Brooklyn comedy club. After the requisite struggles on the stand-up circuit, he made it big in many venues: HBO specials, a movie and a four-year stint in a TV series, Anything but Love. Bouts of debilitating drunkenness and the interventions of loyal friends led Lewis to the Hazelden clinic, though he dropped out in two days, opting to manage his own recovery. Though he now struggles to be monogamous with his current "lady," Lewis's mostly cynical rants about desperate women and PMS won't win him any new female fans. Agent, David Vigliano. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prologue: Roswell, New Mexico, 1947p. xiii
Introductionp. xv
Part 1 The Beginning
There's a Candle in My Belly, Thank Godp. 3
Prince of Pain, Jr.p. 5
Mistaken Identityp. 11
Set 'em Up, Joep. 14
He's Soooo Creativep. 15
He Only Hit Me Once and I Didn't Even Cryp. 18
The Virgin Richardp. 23
Jimip. 30
Group Therapyp. 34
Sunshine the Catp. 39
King of Caterers, Meet Your Prince of Painp. 43
Club Isolationp. 46
"You Got It"p. 48
Santa Claus Has a Big Nose and Is from Philadelphiap. 51
Mrs. Bruce and Mrs. Keatonp. 55
It Was a Blast Before I Got Hookedp. 68
"Good Night, Everybody!"p. 70
Thanks, Vinp. 76
Ninap. 79
PMS Diariesp. 85
Mr. First-Class Big Shotp. 90
Doing Stand-Up While Feeling Like Falling Downp. 94
Intervention #1p. 96
Fuck Stand-Up Comedyp. 99
Good Morning, Mr. President, I'm on My Way to Rehabp. 103
Before You Can Say the Word "Rehab"...p. 107
There Are No Accidents, Just Bad Driversp. 118
The Show Must Go Onp. 122
Encoresp. 131
I Fell on Good Timesp. 134
Part 2 The Middle
One Down, a Zillion to Gop. 139
An Addict's State of Mindp. 143
Dates from Hellp. 146
Last Tango in Parisp. 151
Foreplay Manp. 154
My Wife, My Daughterp. 157
A Lone Assassinp. 161
Phone Sexp. 164
An Open Letter of Apology to Practically All of the Women I Have Ever Gone Out Withp. 167
Don't Tell Anyone, But I Have This Really Gross Eating Disorderp. 170
Lustville, USAp. 173
Find the Relationship in This Picturep. 176
Is This My Last Lay?p. 180
"Marry Her, Asshole"p. 182
You Would Even Feel Bad About a Hookerp. 186
Joseph and Mary and You Gotta Be Kidding Me!?p. 188
Mirror Mirror on the Wallp. 192
She's Sitting Upstairsp. 196
I Guess It's Truep. 198
Part 3 Another Beginning
Right This Secondp. 203
King Fearp. 205
Powerlessp. 211
I Wish I Could Divorce Myself from Myselfp. 212
2001--A Space Odyssey?p. 215
I Have Inoperable Lung Cancerp. 217
Hey Buddy, Can You Spare an Autograph?p. 219
Before I Visit Mom in the Rest Homep. 221
Vacationsp. 227
I Think I Have to Go into a Nuthousep. 229
Things I Still Feel Shitty About in Recoveryp. 231
Little Triumphsp. 233
Actor, Writer, Comedian, Drunkp. 236
To Be or Not to Be ... Happy?p. 240
Deathbedp. 243
He Was a Great Manp. 244
Reflections After Seeing Mom in Her Rest Homep. 248
Superbowl Sunday, 2000p. 257
I'm Waving a White Flag to Every Fuckin' Thing from Now on, Because Almost Every Fuckin' Thing Drives Me Crazy, and I Can't Seem to Help Myself Without Believing in a God to Relieve Me of My Pain--So, I Hereby Turn in My Agnostic Badge for Lifep. 260
I Forgot I Was Jewishp. 262
I'm Alive and That's Plentyp. 267
Jigsaw Manp. 269
Don't Take My Word for Itp. 271
The Only Important Essayp. 277
Acknowledgmentsp. 281