This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 1, 2010 7:08 AM. The previous post in this blog was Orwell rolls over in grave, collides with Kafka. The next post in this blog is Someone must have said something at the yacht club. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, August 1, 2010

John Callahan's finest moment

There have been many remembrances of the famed Portland cartoonist since his passing last weekend. He never made me laugh harder than he did with this one.

Comments (4)

That was in poor taste. I'm offended.

Ironically, this cartoon is one of the ones I don't like because it's overexposed as an example of John's most offensive work and distorts his overall sense of humor.
I'm still pretty choked up about this - I had many great conversations with John Callahan over the years - so let me just copy the most recent email I sent my family:

The funeral was yesterday. I met his stepmom - a sweetie in her 80s(?) I talked with Terry Robb whom I've seen on Conan's old show playing with Steve Miller. I talked to Tom D'Antoni who interviewed me once for the Oregonian - and who also once had PJ O'Rourke as his roommate. I was interviewed by a radio station and I said I was there representing the comedy writers of America - which I sort of was. Sat with Phil Stanford former columnist and current author of a new crime book.

My favorite story came from the eulogy given by his brother who was 9 when the car crash happened and still broke down trying to describe the impact it had on his family. Anyway, he said John's biggest gripe with being a "quad" was being treated differently than other people. He'd roll onto an elevator and everyone would get weird and quiet. John would try and say something nice but often they'd just all freeze in discomfort. Then he would say, "Darn it, I knew I should have crawled up those stairs."

Funniest - (to me) - cartoon on display outside in the courtyard: Two flamingo parents with a teenage flamingo standing nearby, smoking a cigarette and looking threatening. All three of them have one leg down and the other folded up like they do. The mother is looking at the teenager and talking to her husband: "You're really going to have to put your foot up with that kid." Love it.

Most moving display: The many pictures of John before he was paralyzed. I had never thought of him that way and it was a trip seeing him play baseball, etc....

Best bit of information that sums up the whole thing: When you ask standups who the greatest comedian of all time was, they often say Richard Pryor. I read in the LA Times that Richard Pryor was a John Callahan fan. What more can you say? ---BMCD

My favorite was his parental warning sign: "Contains language strong enough to knock a buzzard off a shit wagon".

The greatness in this cartoon is in the statement that we are all ultimately completely vulnerable.

It also cleverly contrasts a great man's life and work with the heartless anger of a parent who blames and shames a child for things totally beyond their control. In that sense, the cartoon is a twisted, brilliant celebration of resisting and transcending tyranny.

I'm so tired of people who get offended.

Clicky Web Analytics