Sunday, April 14, 2013

America's Favorite Drunk


Today when I arrived at church, my old friend Lori Howell asked me if I'd like a drink.  I went into my best Foster Brooks and told her yes I would.  I told her that I had been drinking since I woke up and that I'm always ready for another.  She meant iced tea.  Lori then asked if Foster Brooks was still alive.  It was a compliment to me because she knew who I was impersonating.

I didn't know the answer until I returned home and searched him in Bing.  Old Foster died in December 20, 2001.  I guess his death went under the radar in the terrible wake of the Muslim September 11 attack.  I didn't know that Foster had died.  I knew if he was still alive, he had to be pretty old by now.  As it turned out he has not been with us for quite sometime.  It had been decades since I'd seen him do his sot routine on television.

Foster Brooks was a brilliant comedian that made me laugh every time I saw him work.  The only thing is, Foster had only one shtick, playing a drunk.  He really was good at it and milked it for all it was worth.  He had great material and perfect comedic timing.  Foster Brook wasn't a drinker when he was at the peak of his career.  He drew from his experience as an years of drinking before he took the bet.  He once stated that he quit drinking on a $10.00 bet.  He said at the time he really needed that $10.00.

I read where he got out of doing the alcoholic bit as times changed and the audiences got politically correct.  The routine that worked for Brooks for decades was no longer appreciated.  Sorry about that Mr. Brooks, I still think you are funny as all get out.


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