11 of Richard Lewis’ best lines on his 73rd birthday


Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer

Because his birthday, June 29th, is just one day after Mel Brooks’, we thought we’d lead off with a Brooks quote about fellow comedian Richard Lewis:

“Richard Lewis may just be the Franz Kafka of modern-day comedy.”

Today, is Richard Lewis’ 73rd birthday, and to celebrate we thought we would:

A) Remind you of who Richard Lewis is…

B) Remind you of some of his funniest work.

The Back Story

Richard Philip Lewis was born on June 29, 1947, in Brooklyn, New York. He was raised in Englewood, New Jersey. His father was a caterer and his mother was an actress. He also has an older brother and sister.

In 1959, Lewis went to a summer camp where he met Larry David. The two then started to form a life-long friendship. After finishing high school, Lewis went to study marketing and communication at Ohio State University. He has described this time as the happiest in his life. During this time, he also experienced a major personal loss. He was working at the University library when his brother called him to tell that his father had died.

The Career

Lewis has taken his lifelong therapy fodder and carved it into a compelling art form. With tenacity and a love for his profession, Richard used his personal struggles through an anxiety provoking childhood, through alcoholism and other addictions and his deep need to overcome the early passing of his father who never had the chance to see his son perform.

In general, he felt an alienation that fueled his creative talents that connect with so many others who appreciate his honesty. His early career as a standup brought him to the top of his ranks and that brought with it the apropos nickname, “The Prince of Pain.”

Over time, and through a variety of mediums, the exposure to his work broadened, and more devotees came along for the ride.

The NY Times said, “This renowned comedian, often considered to be the heir to Lenny Bruce, is a master of long form storytelling who turns his endless neurotic energy into brilliant comedy.”
Comedy Central has recognized Mr. Lewis as one of the top 50 standup comedians of all time and he was charted on GQ Magazine’s list of the ’20th Century’s Most Influential Humorists’. In December of 1989, Lewis achieved a very personal goal…he performed at Carnegie Hall to a standing room only audience.

In 2020 Mr. Lewis returns to Curb Your Enthusiasm for the 10th season and continues to add select cities to his touring schedule.

Richard Lewis’ 11 Best One-Liners

Believe it or not, a website has ranked Lewis’ best lines based on fan vote. Here are the top 11.

11: “If I stop complaining I’ll have nothing to complain about.”

10. “As a recovering addict I know resentments are trouble so I have none except resenting myself.”

9. “My grandparents – life was food. I go, ‘Grandma, I don’t feel well. I’m suicidal.’ She says, ‘You’re hungry. You’re just hungry.'”

8. “Nothing matters until you realize that nothing really matters other than helping others who live as if nothing will ever really matter.”

7. “I think most politicians are more bisexual than bipartisan.”

6. “Most Texans think Hanukkah is some sort of duck call.”

5. “Celebrities are just normal, screwed up people like everyone else who just don’t know who you are. You’re just as important.”

4. “A woman can have sex with whoever she wants, a man only with whoever allows him.”

3. “I quit therapy because my analyst was trying to help me behind my back.”

2. “Political views divide faster than marriages.”

1. “Life and mental illness aside, the only reason to stay miserable is life or mental illness.”