October 24, 2012

“Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.”


THE FAMOUS QUOTE ABOUT DYING VS. COMEDY:

“Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.” 
      
Peter O’Toole, playing the washed-up actor Alan Swann
       In the 1982 movie
My Favorite Year 
      
Also attributed to English actors Edmund Kean and Edmund Gwenn (among others)


A HUMORIST’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“Dying is easy. Parking is hard.”

      
Art Buchwald(1925-2007)
       American humorist and journalist 
       A joke he told while dying from kidney failure 
      
Quoted in Time magazine, shortly after his death


A POW’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“Cook said POWs must realize simple truths: dying is easy, living is hard, and surviving the day is always in doubt. Thus, he said, to awaken each morning to a new day is a victory.”   
       Donald L. Price  
       Retired Marine Colonel and author 
      
In his book The First Marine Captured in Vietnam (2007)
       Referring to U.S. Marine Col. Donald G. Cook, who died in a Viet Cong prison camp in 1967


A REAL LIFE SUPERHERO’S COUNTERQUOTE:

“I've slipped into that ‘numb zone’ many times. That’s when creating humor and appreciating it becomes very difficult, but even more necessary....If you get stuck in it for a long period of time you may end up going back to square one, when life after a catastrophe has no meaning....I agree with the dying comedian; sometimes humor is hard but it’s worth it.”
      
Christopher Reeve (1952-2004)
       American actor and patient advocate
       In his inspiring book
Nothing is Impossible (2004)


THE SYMPATHY VS. EMPATHY VARIATION:

“Sympathy is easy. It's always given from a position of power...But when you have empathy, you empathize with the person. You put yourself on equal footing. Sympathy is easy. Empathy is hard.” 
      
Dennis Lehane 
       American novelist
       In a commencement speech he gave at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2004
       Quoted in
Here We Stand: 600 Inspiring Messages the World’s Best Commencement Addresses (2009)


THE LUST VS. LOVE VS. LIKE VARIATION:

“Lust is easy. Love is hard. Like is most important.”
      
Carl Reiner (b. 1922)
       American comedian, actor, director and producer  
       In an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2005

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