A laugh before he goes
February 24, 2006 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author Art Buchwald is dying. On today's The Diane Rehm Show on NPR, he was interviewed in the Washington hospice he has moved to, about many topics, including his decision to suspend treatment for his advanced kidney disease, and live out his life in hospice.[more inside]
posted by paulsc (18 comments total)
The interview was compelling in its honesty, and as perhaps the last public statement from a well known iconoclast about the end of his life, and his view of his 80 years. Buchwald talks about his marriage, his decision to suspend dialysis, and looks back on his life and work with humor and honesty. This is a compelling, human discussion with a guy that I, for one, am gonna miss...;-( Perhaps this isn't strictly "best of the Web," but the Web can make this interview available to those who would otherwise have missed it, and for that, I hope for agreement that this is proper MeFi fodder.
posted by paulsc at 8:48 AM on February 24, 2006

Thanks a lot for the link. This is something I will certainly want to listen to, as I respect Buchwald quite a lot. I wish I didn't think that Rehm was about the worst interviewer working in radio, but I'm sure that Buchwald more than makes up for it.
posted by OmieWise at 8:53 AM on February 24, 2006

Leonard Lopate had a rather strange segment with him on WNYC last October. Now I know why.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:00 AM on February 24, 2006

He'll always have Paris. One of the greatest (generation and all).
posted by stbalbach at 9:04 AM on February 24, 2006

When I was a kid (maybe 10 or 11) I found a paperback copy of Buchwald's And Then I Told The President and read it cover to cover. I didn't get a lot of the jokes at the time, but it was my first exposure to political humor, and the affection has never waned.

What a funny, insightful man.
posted by padraigin at 9:20 AM on February 24, 2006

I know him and I can assure you all, that no matter what you think about his work or if you are not of an age to really get his brand of humor, he is a sweet, funny, rare and wonderful person.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:29 AM on February 24, 2006

Bio and some notable quotes:
  • An economist is a man who knows a hundred ways of making love but doesn’t know any women.
  • Just when you think there's nothing to write about, Nixon says, "I am not a crook." Jimmy Carter says, "I have lusted after women in my heart." President Reagan says, "I have just taken a urinalysis test, and I am not on dope."
  • I worship the quicksand he walks in.
Some of Art Buchwald's more recent columns are at the Washington Post.
posted by cenoxo at 9:33 AM on February 24, 2006

[this is sad]

thanks for the post
posted by matteo at 9:33 AM on February 24, 2006

Thanks for this.
posted by tkchrist at 9:52 AM on February 24, 2006

The broadcast will remain archived here. (Once it is posted)
posted by pithy comment at 10:31 AM on February 24, 2006

Thanks, paulsc. I still remember The Washington Triangle and his other books. I always wondered what happened to him.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:00 PM on February 24, 2006

Interesting legal case pitting him against "the system" -- he eventually won something.

He is a really funny guy and will be missed. I'm sure he already misses his leg.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:51 PM on February 24, 2006

In the 80s, while staying on Martha's Vineyard a friend's mom ran over Art Buchwald's foot while backing out of a parking space. I have this nagging feeling she started the poor man on a precipitous decline that led to amputation...at least that's what I'm going to tell her.
posted by lazywhinerkid at 3:03 PM on February 24, 2006

Divine_Wino, please thank him for me; like padraigin, above, he was my first exposure to political humor. I'd like to think he knows how much peole appreciate him.
posted by cookie-k at 4:10 PM on February 24, 2006

My dad has a copy of a form letter Buchwald sent to people who wrote him. About twenty sentences with a checkbox next to each. One read:
"I could not be the father of your baby. I was in the Pacific theater during the war."
posted by atchafalaya at 7:05 PM on February 24, 2006

Aww man, this is very sad news.

He's a wonderful, insightful, witty writer, and came across as a sweet good-natured guy in interviews. I always thought his voice/speech pattern (lisp?) was really endearing too.
posted by Devils Slide at 12:42 AM on February 25, 2006

This is sad. My high-school english teacher in France, "Mizz", lent me one of his books and from then on I was hooked on intelligent political humour.
Art, you'll always have Paris.
posted by ruelle at 6:19 AM on February 25, 2006

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