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Richard Lewis        

Comedian and Actor; Known for his HBO Specials and "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

Tearing at his hair and describing almost everything as the event or person "from hell," comedian Richard Lewis turned his overriding angst and neuroses into a successful comic persona that served him in standup and in many television appearances. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1947, and later moving to Englewood, New Jersey, he became lifelong friends with Larry David at summer camp. When he realized he was overserved in life, he wrote a memoir about getting sober. And after a successful series and sold-out standup concerts, he reunited with his childhood friend on "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Lewis studied marketing and communications at Ohio State University, a time he describes as one of the happiest of his life because he felt seen and heard, and like he had his own identity-- things he did not feel at home.

Lewis finally decided to pursue his own career as a comic after writing ad copy and comedic material for other comics. His first break, aside from a fluke appearance on "Candid Camera" when he was 17, was at New York's Improvisation comedy club in 1971. His successful appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1974 led to more television work, including regular appearances on The Sonny and Cher Show. His angst-ridden persona, which included pacing, tearing at his hair and dressing all in black, earned him the nickname The Prince of Pain.

In fact, Lewis's first cable special for Showtime was titled "I'm in Pain." He had worked up to it with stints on Saturday Night Live, tours and numerous television appearances, and the special earned him a sold-out solo comic concert at Carnegie Hall and headliner status in a series with Jamie Lee Curtis, called "Anything But Love."

In addition to TV, Lewis has turned in some memorable film roles, such as Prince John in Mel Brooks's "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." He has also racked up an array of accolades and awards, and a tight-knit group of comic buddies including David Brenner, Robert Klein, Richard Belzer and Albert Brooks.

In 2000, Lewis published "The OTHER Great Depression," his memoir about his misery and the drug and alcohol addiction that had developed out of that. In the book, he chronicles his struggles with stopping drinking and the journey of sobriety: "... as full of tears and obsessions as I am, the one thing I'm most proud of is that I am no longer ruled by alcohol." And he's still funny.

Speech Topics

An Evening With Richard Lewis


Richard Lewis Joins 'Squirrels to the Nuts' - The Hollywood Reporter

The Peter Bogdanovich film Squirrels to the Nuts has added stand-up comedian/ actor Richard Lewis to the cast. The comedy, produced by Wes Anderson and ...

Richard Lewis finds laughter in his misery - SFGate

Comedian Richard Lewis, a stand-up star who became one of the highlights on Larry David's HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” recently published a ...

Not My Job: Comedian Richard Lewis Gets Quizzed On Confidence ...

KURTIS: Just before 2015 began, we talked to comedian Richard Lewis. Our interview started weird and got weirder. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED ...

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