Adieu Art

I've heard Art Buchwald's name far more often than I've read his work. As I seem to recall, while I didn't always agree with the angle he took, I generally couldn't help but at least let out a *snort* or two when reading him.

It seems to me that Buchwald's legacy lives on fiercely in the culturally relevant snark and satire of so many bloggers whom I read or have read. He took chances in his life and made fun of Big Bosses from Ike through Shrub, some maybe not as bitingly as I would've enjoyed. Other's perhaps more so. But again, I was only a very casual reader so am sure that I missed a lot.

Is a wonderful Obit in the WaPo. One I'm thinking Art would appreciate.

Just as long as we keep on talkin' 'bout him, eh.


This excerpt from the story is about his origins in New York city. I found it interesting how hard he had it when young and how much he made of his opportunities and his innate wit and upbeat disposition.
Art Buchwald, 1925-2007

By Patricia Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 19, 2007; Page A01

Buchwald was born in New York City on Oct. 20, 1925, to a struggling, Austrian-born drape installer and a mother who suffered from chronic depression. Shortly after his birth, his mother was institutionalized. She lived for 35 more years but never saw her son again.

He had rickets and lived his first year in a foundling home before being sent to a Seventh-Day Adventist home for sick children. He stayed there until he was 5, with one of his three sisters. Their father, unable to support his children during the Depression, then placed them with the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in Manhattan.

In "Leaving Home," Buchwald wrote that, at about 6 or 7, he realized he could deal with the loneliness and confusion by becoming the class clown. He said he recognized that he could draw laughs by making fun of the people in charge.

"It was a dangerous profession I had chosen," he recalled, "because no one likes a funny kid. In fact, adults are scared silly of them and tend to warn children who act out that they are going to wind up in prison or worse. It is only when you grow up that they pay you vast sums of money to make them laugh."

[For the rest of the three web-pager. Is well worth the read, IMO.]


  1. I used to love to read Buchwald's daily column. He made both political parties a farce and also the leaders of our land. You had to respect someone like that, who took the respect from the elite.

  2. That's what my somewhat fuzzy recollection of him is, Ed.

    Definitely a master amongst satirists in the 20th century.

  3. I too loved reading Art - he could make us laugh and anyone who makes me laugh - owns me. I sell out cheap. In these tough times, a laugh can save our lives.

  4. Did it indeed! I seem to be reminded of that somewhat regularly, don't ya know.


  5. The world has lost a good one.

    Rest in peace, dear Art. You were a good man and we'll miss your wit and humor.

  6. Wow, what a sad childhood. I hadn't realized he died, either. Thanks for sharing the info.

  7. His last column was pretty darn good. I read it last week at WAPO.


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