Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Professor Irwin Corey (7/29/1914--2/6/2017) and Thomas Pynchon's National Book Award

I was surprised to hear today that Professor Irwin Corey, "The World's Foremost Authority" and an absolutely unique comedian, has just passed away. Most of my surprise springs from the fact that I thought Professor Corey was 80 years old when I first saw him on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1966, more than fifty years ago. So, needless to say, I was more amazed that he had still been alive earlier this week, and only 102 years old, than long gone and 130 years old.

I immediately thought about the Professor's greatest moment (at least for someone whose favorite book is Gravity's Rainbow). The following video (with oddly appropriate German subtitles) even includes the audio of Irwin Corey impersonating Thomas Pynchon, or "Richard Python," at the 1973 National Book Awards ceremony and video of him reading the novel's opening lines.

Rest in Peace Professor.

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