And Richard Pryor. And Eugene McCarthy.


It must be dying season. The latest casualties: one of the great stand-up comedians, and one of the few politicians I admired.

As far as Pryor's concerned, I'll point out that while his film career rarely was as impressive as his stand-up work, he did co-write Blazing Saddles. And was great in Paul Schrader's first and best movie, Blue Collar. And helmed one of the better sketch shows of the '70s, the short-lived Richard Pryor Show. I was showing my father a skit from one of my Richard Pryor Show DVDs just this afternoon, in fact, completely unaware that the star had died.

And McCarthy? He was one of the few genuinely principled men in politics, and one of the few true wits in the field as well. It's hard to imagine myself voting in a Democratic primary, but if I'd been alive and 21 in 1968, I would have happily pulled the lever for him. (I'm fond of his quirky and quixotic later campaigns as well.)

Rest in peace, both of you.