But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: The Passing of a Clown

August 14, 2014 8:06 PM

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But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: The Passing of a Clown

I wish I could take credit for #ButDoctorIAmPagliacci, but it seems like quite a few people had tweeted a reference to that old saw, most famously quoted in Watchmen, in response to Robin Williams’ death yesterday. I’m just the first one to turn it into an ironically unwieldy hashtag, probably due to my unhealthy fondness for ironically unwieldy hashtags.

It’s a predictable response to a comedian taking his own life, and the whole “Tears of a Clown” shtick is a predictable cliché enough now that most stand-up comedians I know kind of bristle at it. No one wants to be stereotyped as a superficial goofball just because they make their living telling jo...

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