Richard Lewis (comedian)

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Richard Lewis
Lorenzo Tartamella and Richard Lewis.jpg
Lewis (left) with Lorenzo Tartamella (right), 2013
Birth name Richard Philip Lewis
Born (1947-06-29) June 29, 1947 (age 67)
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Medium Stand-up, television, film
Nationality American
Years active 1971–present
Genres Black comedy, surreal humor
Subject(s) Self-deprecation, neuroticism, psychotherapy, hypochondria, paranoia, depression, human sexuality, Jewish culture, pop culture, family
Influences Buster Keaton, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, [1] Jonathan Winters, David Brenner
Influenced Kevin Richard, Artie Lange[2] Paul Rothbart[3]
Spouse Joyce Lapinsky (January 2005 – present)
Notable works and roles Marty Gold in Anything But Love
Himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm

Richard Philip Lewis (born June 29, 1947) is an American comedian and actor.

Early life[edit]

Lewis was born in Brooklyn, New York City, and was raised in Englewood, New Jersey. His father worked as a caterer and his mother was an actress. Lewis is Jewish.[4][5] He later attended The Ohio State University and was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity.

Career[edit]

Lewis began performing stand-up comedy in the 1970s. He worked as a copywriter for an ad agency by day, while honing his stand-up act at night. The ad agency was named Contemporary Graphics (now defunct) and was located above Lovey's pizzeria in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. Lewis gained popularity in the 1980s with numerous appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and his own television specials on HBO. He starred with Jamie Lee Curtis in the ABC sitcom Anything But Love which ran for four seasons. He co-starred with Don Rickles on the short-lived Daddy Dearest. He had a recurring role on the Showtime series Rude Awakening, as Rabbi Richard Glass on the dramatic series 7th Heaven, and appeared on the Tales from the Crypt episode "Whirlpool". Lewis has written comic articles for magazines such as Playboy, and endorsed the popular early-1990s beverage, Boku, as well as Snapple and Certs breath mints. In 2007 he made a cameo appearance as Phillip, the school counselor of Max's school, in the T.V Series George Lopez. Recently he also made cameos in Everybody Hates Chris as an old man in the hospital bed next to Chris Rock and as Charlie Sheen's accountant in Two and a Half Men.

Lewis has also achieved moderate success in films, appearing as Prince John in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, as a frontier doctor in Wagons East!, as an unemployed actor in Once Upon A Crime and as himself in the film The Wrong Guys. He played the lead role of Jimmy Epstein in the dramatic film Drunks and in the 1999 comedy Game Day. He also appeared in the dramatic pictures Leaving Las Vegas, Hugo Pool and The Maze. He made his acting debut in the 1977 TV movie mockumentary Diary of a Young Comic.

On January 9, 2001, Lewis visited The Howard Stern Show to promote his book The Other Great Depression, which described his recovery from alcoholism. Richard has been sober since August 4 1994.

He had a frequent recurring role as a character based on himself on Larry David's critically acclaimed Curb Your Enthusiasm on HBO. Lewis and David met at summer camp in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York when they were thirteen.[6]

He is #45 on Comedy Central's list of 100 Greatest Standups of All Time.[7]

"The ______ from hell"[edit]

Lewis claims to be the originator of the phrase "The ______ from hell" as in "the date from hell" or "the roommate from hell". This theory is expounded in the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "The Nanny". Lewis has petitioned the editors of Bartlett's to be given credit for the coinage, but the editors claim that the phrase was a common idiom prior to Lewis's use of it.[8] For example, during World War I, kilted Scottish soldiers were given the nickname "The Ladies from Hell" (translation of German "Die Damen aus der Hölle") by German troops. However, the Yale Book of Quotations does attribute the phrase to Lewis.[9][10] It is not known whether this attribution was partly or completely a result of Lewis' petitioning them.

Trademarks[edit]

Lewis is noted for always wearing an all-black outfit[11] and Converse sneakers. During his routines, he commonly places his right hand on his forehead, then stretches it outward as he makes his point. He also performs with long pieces of paper with notes on them, refers to the notes, then extemporaneously delivers his material.

Filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Director Notes
1977 Diary of a Young Comic Billy Goldstein Gary Weis TV Movie
1980 House Calls Dr. Leon Prometheus Bob Claver TV Series (1 Episode : "The Phantom of Kensington")
1985 Temporary Insanity TV Movie
1986 Riptide Andrew Fitzsimmons Carlton III Michael Switzer TV Series (1 Episode : "The Wedding Bell Blues")
1987 Harry Richard Breskin TV Series (7 Episodes)
CBS Summer Playhouse Joey James Komack TV Series (1 Episode : "King of the Building")
1988 The Wrong Guys Himself Danny Bilson
Tattingers Longo Allan Arkush TV Series (1 Episode : "Death and Taxis")
1989 That's Adequate Pimples Lapedes Harry Hurwitz
1989-92 Anything But Love Marty Gold TV Series (56 Episodes)
1992 Once Upon a Crime Julian Peters Eugene Levy
The Danger of Love: The Carolyn Warmus Story Edward Sanders Joyce Chopra TV Movie
1993 Daddy Dearest Steven Mitchell TV Series (13 Episodes)
TriBeCa Joseph Melanie Mayron TV Series (1 Episode : "Stepping Back")
The Larry Sanders Show Himself Todd Holland TV Series (1 Episode : "Life Behind Larry")
Robin Hood: Men in Tights Prince John Mel Brooks
1994 Wagons East! Phil Taylor Peter Markle
Tales from the Crypt Vern Mick Garris TV Series (1 Episode : "Whirlpool")
1995 A.J.'s Time Travelers Edgar Allan Poe Mike Finney TV Series (1 Episode : "Edgar Allan Poe")
Drunks Jim Peter Cohn
Leaving Las Vegas Peter Mike Figgis
1996 A Weekend in the Country Bobby Stein Martin Bergman TV Movie
The Elevator Phil Milowski Arthur Borman
Nigel Dick
Rafal Zielinski
1997 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Old Beggar Ed Bell TV Series (1 Episode : "The Golden Goose")
Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist Richard TV Series (1 Episode : "Undercover")
Hugo Pool Chick Chicalini Robert Downey, Sr.
The Maze Markov Joëlle Bentolila
1997-98 Hiller and Diller Neil Diller TV Series (13 Episodes)
1998 Rude Awakening Harve Schwartz TV Series (6 Episodes)
1999 Hercules Neurosis Eddy Houchins TV Series (1 Episode : "Hercules and the Tiff on Olympus")
Game Day Steve Adler Steve Klein
V.I.P. Ronald Zane Patrick R. Norris TV Series (1 Episode : "Big Top Val")
Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm Himself Robert B. Weide TV Movie
2002 Presidio Med Francis Weinod Christopher Chulack TV Series (1 Episode : "Once Upon a Family")
2003 Alias Mitchell Yaeger Ken Olin TV Series (1 Episode : "A Dark Turn")
2002-04 7th Heaven Rabbi Richard Glass Ken Olin TV Series (9 Episodes)
2004 Two and a Half Men Stan Rob Schiller TV Series (1 Episode : "I Can't Afford Hyenas")
The Dead Zone Jack Jericho Anthony Michael Hall TV Series (1 Episode : "The Cold Hard Truth")
2005 Sledge: The Untold Story Himself Brad Martin
Las Vegas Stan Tim Matheson TV Series (1 Episode : "Fake the Money and Run")
George Lopez Phillip Nickleson Victor Gonzalez TV Series (1 Episode : "George Finds Therapy Benny-ficial")
2006 The Simpsons Golem Matthew Faughnan
David Silverman
TV Series (1 Episode : "Treehouse of Horror XVII")
Everybody Hates Chris Kris Victor Nelli, Jr. TV Series (1 Episode : "Everybody Hates Kris")
2007 BelzerVizion Himself Richard Goldstone
Matthew D. Panepinto
Short
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Sportsman Larry Peter Leto TV Series (1 Episode : "Closet")
2009 The Cleaner Henry David Barrett TV Series (1 Episode : "Trick Candles")
2010 Funny or Die Presents Shades TV Series (1 Episode)
'Til Death Miles Tunnicliff Rob Schiller (2) TV Series (3 Episodes)
2000-11 Curb Your Enthusiasm Himself TV Series (27 Episodes)
2011 Lewis on Film: The Oscar Edition Seth Morris Short
Pound Puppies Buddy Greg Sullivan TV Series (1 Episode : "Rebel Without a Collar")
2012 Vamps Danny Amy Heckerling
2014 She's Funny That Way Al Patterson Peter Bogdanovich

References[edit]

  1. ^ Interview with Bill Zehme, Richard Lewis: Concerts from Hell: The Vintage Years, Image Entertainment, Released 2005-09-13
  2. ^ Kirschling, Gregory (2008-11-07). "Artie Lange: 'F--- It, I'll Write a Book'". EW.com. Retrieved 2008-11-11. 
  3. ^ http://pro.imdb.com/name/nm4757466/
  4. ^ Firestone, Jay (2008-03-13). "Richard Lewis, comedian from heaven". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2010-06-23. "But his sense of disconnect could just as easily be attributed to his Jewish upbringing in New Jersey." 
  5. ^ http://www.juf.org/news/local.aspx?id=417463
  6. ^ Inside Media: Top TV Stars in Their Own Words / Curb Your Enthusiasm: Larry David On Richard Lewis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0by1eaJJ96E&feature=PlayList&p=CCA7829EA1851A41&index=1
  7. ^ http://www.listology.com/list/comedy-central-100-greatest-standups-all-time
  8. ^ Flamm, Matthew. Between the Lines. 60 Minutes. 11-01-2002. Retrieved on December 28, 2006
  9. ^ Yale Press Log: Yale Gives Richard Lewis Hell, 2006-10-11. Retrieved on 2008-04-13.
  10. ^ Zwicky, Arnold. Language Log: Yet Another Snowclone Omnibus, 2007-08-11. Retrieved on 2008-04-13.
  11. ^ Fine, Marshall. "Richard Lewis: The Metamorphosis," The New York Observer, February 25, 2007.

External links[edit]