Saturday, January 20, 2007

Buchwald's Cigar

192 Buchwald’s Cigar

In the end, did anyone actually READ Art Buchwald? Mostly it was the Washington crowd and other writers. The Washingtonians either loved or hated to see their name in print, any print. The other writers were looking to steal.

Some were brazen (Marvin Kitman comes to mind.) Some were more subtle (Dave Barry comes to mind.)

The rest SAID they read, but didn’t.

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There’s a newsroom saying “fooled ‘em again.” It’s usually said when the newscast is over or the paper comes out. It’s said sardonically.

But Buchwald really DID fool us again. When he went into that hospice, he was supposed to die. That’s what hospices are for. But he didn’t. Now, THAT is fooling us. And then, there’s the posthumous video that starts out “Hi, I’m Art Buchwald, and I just died.”

But, what was the secret of his delayed death? Cigars. The miracle life prolonging of cigars.

The guy always had one in his mouth. He lived well beyond what the doctors say was his expected exipiration.

And Buchwald’s not the only one.

Look at Castro. When did he get sick? A few years after giving up those famous cigars.

Famous cigar smoker George Burns lived to 100.

How old was Groucho Marx when he died? Not as old as George, but, nevertheless, old.

Bill Clinton –fairly young – had a major health scare a few years back. He’d probably be dead now if it weren’t for the cigars. Same with Schwarzenegger. He also isn’t that old. But if you abuse yourself with all those years of weight training, and whatever “supplements” go with it, and DON’T smoke cigars, you die.

Buchwald “fooled us again…” and again and again. But he didn’t GET fooled. Not by the politicians who were in his cuddly crosshairs, and not by the people who outright stole from him.

The makers of the movie “Coming To America” come to mind. The movie, you may remember, is about a prince from Africa who comes to America and tries to live as an ordinary citizen while he searches for a wife.

Buchwald wrote “King for a Day” in the 1980s. There was an option for a movie, which expired and wasn’t renewed. And all of a sudden up pops the Paramount picture starring Eddie Murphy. Art and a cohort sued for a large bunch of money (a bunch is slightly smaller than a passel, for you technical types.) The studio promptly opened its books and demonstrated how the picture didn’t really make any money. A judge says that’s as phony as an African prince – the kind who sends out those scam e-mails asking for your bank account number so he can “deposit” money in your account, and awarded $900,000 (which is smaller than either a bunch or a passel.)

You can copyright a book or a script or a column, but you can’t copyright a style.

Anyone who’s written anything even faintly funny about politics in the last 50 years has “borrowed” from Buchwald.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

1 comment:

Jim K said...

Wes, I'm going to go out and buy some cigars after church today!