Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Durante on Writers"

Jimmy Durante was my favorite performer. He played piano with vitality and “voive.” He gargled songs with a soulful simplicity. He wrestled with multi-syllabic verbiage, and lost. He had sparkling eyes, a child-like innocence, and a smile could illuminate the universe. Durante was a lovable mutt. With a gigantic shnoz.

The “Great Durante” also uttered the most honest summarization of writers I ever heard.

I don’t know the name of the movie, but in it, Durante’s character co-starred on a radio show with the Mexican spitfire, Lupe Velez.

On the street, Jimmy bumps into a friend, who congratulates him on the new writer who’s been hired for the show.

“I hear he’s a genius,” the friend enthuses.

To this, Durante replies:

“They’re all geniuses. Until they write something. Then they stink up the place.”

Sad but often true. The only comforting part is that Durante’s hilarious indictment was concocted by a writer.

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