Saturday, October 4, 2008

Making Cancer Funny Again

Satirist P.J. O'Rourke, one of my comedy writing idols, has been diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer of the ass.

Apparently, this is a real thing. O'Rourke has a malignant hemorrhoid. He doesn't go into detail about how this is possible (thank God), but I'm still very confused about it. How on earth did he find out he has cancer of the ass?

And is there a funnier cancer a comedy writer could possibly be diagnosed with? Honestly, cancer of the ass?

As I stated above, O'Rourke was one of my comedy writing heroes. In the mid-70's he was the editor of National Lampoon and was one of the writers who worked on the fantastic (and out of print)1964 High School Yearbook Parody (which if you haven't read, you must. It is perfect). Photobucket O'Rourke then went on to Hollywood, where he wrote the screenplay for the Rodney Dangerfield movie "Easy Money". After that harrowing experience, he turned his sights to the social satire in Washington D.C. His book "Parliament Of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government" is among one of the best political satire books ever written.


Since then, O'Rourke, like many of his age group, has gone from biting satirist to old complaining curmudgeon. His rants aren't really funny anymore, and now just sound like a more republican Dennis Miller. I haven't even bothered with many of his recent books---most of which require an annotated knowledge of the works of Adam Smith-- really, everything comes down to Parliament of Whores. That's his best post-National Lampoon work. Start there, and then go explore his further works (may I suggest "All the Trouble in the World: The Lighter Side of Overpopulation, Famine, Ecological Disaster, Ethnic Hatred, Plague, and Poverty")

Get well soon P.J.!

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