Brother Theodore/Jerry Lewis/Merv Griffin (1966)

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Richard M Roberts
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Brother Theodore/Jerry Lewis/Merv Griffin (1966)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:06 am

A triple-threat combination, from 1966:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2Fg2H3sucI

This is better than wrestling

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Rob Farr
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Re: Brother Theodore/Jerry Lewis/Merv Griffin (1966)

Postby Rob Farr » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:51 pm

I "get" most performers even if I don't find them funny or moving. I never got Brother Theodore. He didn't seem like he was playing a nutty character, like Professor Irwin Corey or Rip Taylor. He seemed to be genuinely paranoid/schizophrenic. And it felt like the height of cruelty to be parading him in front of a TV audience to be goaded into a rage by the likes of Griffin, Letterman and in this case, Lewis. I got the same kind of feeling about Harvey Pekar. If the performer isn't in control of his act, but his mental illness is his act, it's not show business, it's bread-and-circuses.

That's my two cents anyway.
Rob Farr
"If it's not comedy, I fall asleep" - Harpo Marx

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Brother Theodore/Jerry Lewis/Merv Griffin (1966)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:39 pm

I can understand someone not "getting", or even "getting but not liking" Brother Theodore's act, and sadly, television talk shows were not really the form in which he shined. His one-man shows, several of which were recorded, show someone who knows what he is doing, and it's basically sort of a horror/humor act, but he really was not one to do discourse with other performers in an informal, ad-lib sort of session.

Here is a better example of what Brother Theodore did:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC0DYqQiaWw

And oddly enough, he did go on for quite a darn while as one of those New York performing eccentrics, he was 94 when he died, he found some way to make his personal demons make him a living, something most artists strive for.

And come to think of it, he may have been more personally well thought of by more folk than Jerry Lewis was.

RICHARD M ROBERTS

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Brother Theodore/Jerry Lewis/Merv Griffin (1966)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:03 am

Here Rob, are a few more things to help you understand Brother Theodore:

Talking about Brother Theodore:

Joe Dante

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2dhjKPfaXY&app=desktop

Tom Schiller:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-NpGMN5WDg&app=desktop

Dick Cavett:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGMxB-cQ29g&app=desktop

Henry Gibson:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajd-vVI5GrU&app=desktop

and who better than Harlan Ellison:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WALGZt8Suxc&app=desktop


Here's Brother Theodore on a public access program in which he may be the most normal guy in the room:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wFqzPOCN9o&app=desktop


RICHARD M ROBERTS

Rob Farr
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Re: Brother Theodore/Jerry Lewis/Merv Griffin (1966)

Postby Rob Farr » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:48 pm

Wow! Lots of Brother Theodore to explore. Thanks.
Rob Farr
"If it's not comedy, I fall asleep" - Harpo Marx

Robert Moulton
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Re: Brother Theodore/Jerry Lewis/Merv Griffin (1966)

Postby Robert Moulton » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:24 pm

Once Brother Theodore's Lps from the 1960s started showing up on YouTube it became clearer to me than ever that he was a masterful performer: Some of those rants he appeared to do spontaneously on Letterman actually can be heard word for word on the LPs. I always figured he was performing but never caught on to when he was sliding in and out of prepared material.

Richard M Roberts
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Re: Brother Theodore/Jerry Lewis/Merv Griffin (1966)

Postby Richard M Roberts » Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:40 am

Robert Moulton wrote:Once Brother Theodore's Lps from the 1960s started showing up on YouTube it became clearer to me than ever that he was a masterful performer: Some of those rants he appeared to do spontaneously on Letterman actually can be heard word for word on the LPs. I always figured he was performing but never caught on to when he was sliding in and out of prepared material.



Yep, Theodore Gottlieb was indeed one of those performers like Andy Kaufman who let people wonder whether he was kidding or not, but as Woody Allen said in his interview, the act didn't change in the ensuing years between the times he saw the two performances. Gottlieb had a bizarre and incredible life, and he was definitely a survivor, but it was indeed an act, and one that gave him a living for much of his long life and a small degree of immortality.

And he gave me several good lines that I have used frequently in my life, like "I am squirming with delight to meet such an intellectual colossus!", when I hear someone say something especially stupid (frequently said by me after reading Nitwitvile).


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