Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Smothers Brothers Professor Erwin Corey
I've always loved Professor Erwin Corey. "Always" is possible for me, because the Professor is even older than I am. Something like thirty years older than I am. At least he was, until he died the other day.
This is a great act, and the Professor was a great guy. Personal stories where he shows up in people's lives in a pleasant, cheerful and friendly way are easy to find. He will be remembered fondly, which is more than most of us can hope for. Mainly on the issue of being remembered at all.
I have always thought of Corey as a giant. A giant of comedy, certainly, but specifically a giant of nonsense comedy, which I hold to be the greatest expression of the art. Not everyone will get this comedy, they won't all dig it. As the great man said, not the Professor, some other great man, "when the expression of an artist collides with the consciousness of the beholder and produces a dull thud, it remains to be established which of the two is at fault." So, if you don't think that Professor Corey is funny, just bear in mind that it might be your fault. (Look up other examples before you make up your mind. That's only fair in a world where such research is as easy as pie.)
And this is only one clip! One little clip! The Smothers Brothers were great, by the way. For all of you youngsters who weren't there yet, or you studious types who didn't have time for TV or youth culture while you were studying accounting or some shit, the Smothers Brothers were a very hip act. They were valued by many of us for sharing acts and cultural icons that didn't get a lot of mainstream exposure, acts and icons like Professor Erwin Corey. Thanks to them for that.
And Thanks, Professor, for everything. You were great for 102 years. We'll be missing you for longer than that, if there's any justice in the world at all.