Thursday, July 21, 2005

comedy: Steven Wright at Bob Newhart roast

My favorite comedian Steven Wright was at "The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor 2002" award to Bob Newhart. Here's his speech:

[Announcer: From the state of Massachusetts, please welcome Steven Wright]

Thank you very much
I'm happy to be here in this ceremony acknowledging this great ah humorist of American culture, to be part ot this ceremony honoring Mark Twain with the prestigious Bob Newhart award.
When I first heard about this ceremony I was quite shocked to hear that Mark Twain was actually still alive.

Or so I like to imagine. I like to imagine many things, I like to imagine Pulitzer prize fighting.
Imagine two writers just beating the hell out of each other

I don't remember seeing any of Mark Twain's television programs. Where I live you don't get very good reception. Growing up as a boy in Massachusetts I remember wearing little girls' dresses, and putting on lipstick and running through fields, and gaily skipping and singing to myself... But that has nothing to do with this.

In high school we were required to read some of the classic books that influenced me my whole life, books such as Huckleberry Bob. The story of a pychiatrist floating on a raft down the Mississipi river with 22 patients and a wife.

It's no coincidence that this ceremony is taking place in this theater, the Kennedy Center in Washington, named after the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

A lot of people don't know that Bob Newhart went to college with Neil Armstrong in Chicago, they were college roommates in the late fifties and when they graduated they became a comedy team: Bob and Neil. They played the comedy circuit in the US and parts of Canada. There became some friction between the two and Bob's instincts told him he would be better off going it alone and one night after a gig in Houston, Bob told Neil that it was over,that he wanted to be a solo act, and not only that, that Neil should get as far away from his as possible.

Ladies and gentlemen, I use lithium as a salad dressing.


Congratulations Bob.

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