Ripping at his hair and describing nearly everything as the function or individual “from nightmare,” comedian Richard Lewis turned his overriding angst and neuroses right into a fruitful comic character that served him in stand up as well as in many television appearances. Produced in Brooklyn, Ny, in 1947, and after moving to Englewood, New Jersey, he became lifelong friends with Larry David at summer camp. When he recognized he was overserved in life, he wrote a memoir about becoming sober. And after an effective show and sold out stand up concerts, he reunited with his childhood pal on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Richard Philip Lewis was born in Brooklyn, Ny, on June 29, 1947, and quickly plunked onto a “touristy” blanket his grandparents purchased in a World’s Fair. This, he says, is about when his incessant whining began and pretty much never quit. The family moved to Engle wood, New Jersey, where his dad, who was employed as a caterer, had a love of baseball as well as the atmosphere of William Holden, Lewis said. He describes his “trendy-looking” older brother as “Wally to my Beav.” His sister Janet, the oldest sibling, is 11 years older than Richard.
He also developed a lifelong love of Buster Keaton and his master. His dad’s magnetic existence had loomed large in his life, and his passing proved to be a crushing strike. Lewis eventually made a decision to pursue his own career as a comedian after writing advertising copy and comedic content for some other comedians.The truth is, Lewis’s first cable special for Showtime was titled I am in Pain.
As well as TV, Lewis has turned in certain memorable movie characters, including Prince John in Mel Brooks’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights. He’s also racked up an variety of accolades and awards, and a tight knit group of comedian pals including David Brenner, Robert Klein, Richard Belzer and Albert Brooks.
His mercurial, high speed comedic riffs have earned him comparisons to jazz musicians. A Chicago Tribune article noted: “Audiences that have seen Lewis on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm or in nightclubs for the previous 40-odd years intelligibly view him as a human quip machine as well as a maniacal monologist, however there is music deep inside his work, at the same time. Should you listen carefully, it is clear that Lewis, like Lenny Bruce before him, brings to the art of humor the impetuousness and element of surprise which can be in the core of jazz.”
Richard Lewis wed his “soulmate,” Joyce Lapinsky, whom he nicknamed “Gina Lolamatzobrei,” in January 2005, however they’d been together for a long time. He’d taken her to meet his therapist after they was dating for seven years, admitting he had “no confidence in my own capability to choose a partner.” His therapist essentially threw cold water in his face.
But that was not the only sobering encounter he’d. In 2000, Lewis released The OTHER Great Depression, his memoir about his anguish as well as the substance and booze dependency that had developed out of that. In the novel, he chronicles his battles with quitting drinking as well as the journey of sobriety: “… as full of busts and obsessions as I ‘m, the one thing I am most proud of is that I ‘m no longer ruled by booze.” And he is still amusing.