Update: Irwin Corey Has Passed Away. "IF WE DON'T CHANGE DIRECTION SOON, WE'LL END UP WHERE WE WERE GOING" Professor Irwin Corey

Update: Irwin Corey has died at the advanced age of 102 on Monday February 6th 2017. I was a huge fan since childhood. Most people don't know he was a good man who helped get medicine to Cuba due to our country's evil. He spent the last years of his life on the street panhandling for money to send to Cuba to help the children. People thought he was homeless, but no he just wanted to help and could care less what people thought. I posted this in 2009 and have reposted it in honor of his beautiful life and his example to us all to always do the right thing and speak up about wrongs even if people hate you for it.
I never knew him, but I love him. 
When I first started hearing Sarah Palin's speeches one of the first thoughts that came to mind was, is Professor Irwin Corey writing her speeches? I said this to several people and none of them knew who he was. He is a comedian who has been playing a crazy professor since the 1940s billed as "The world's foremost authority". This character talks in word salad and seems confused much of the time. It is believed he pretty much invented improvisational comedy. He use to constantly be on the talk show circuit doing a word salad speech which would start with, "However". Sometimes a pretty girl would walk by and he would stop speaking, walk off stage and just follow her, eventually making it back to his podium. He usually wore black tails, sneakers and a string tie. His hair looks uncombed. He got his start in vaudeville. This year he celebrated his 95th birthday on July 29th in a very public gathering in New York where he has continued to perform and make public appearances.
I have always been a fan since I saw him on TV as a child. As an adult I saw a live performance where he could be himself without the constraint of censors and then realized how brilliant he is. I could not find very many videos of performances which were not full of expletives, which do not bother me, but I realize may offend others. He has some very strong opinions about politics. Here is a link to his performance at the age of 92 at the Lord Buckley Bash, he is very sharp for 92. I am not putting it on this post because of language, but I recommend it highly for those who can tolerate a bit of blue language. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXFTG893daM&NR=1. Here he is on the Smothers Brothers in 1966.

Professor Irwin Corey was black listed during the McCarthy era because of his left political views. He has always been a political activist and has donated thousands of dollars to buy medication to send to the people of Cuba. I do not agree with everything he says, but it is clear he is motivated by altruistic motives and is very courageous. The beauty of Professor Irwin Corey is he has always said what he thinks whatever the consequences. In fact it seems the more they tried to blacklist him the more outspoken he was. I have to admire a man like that.
Professor Irwin Corey Accepted the National Book Award for Thomas Pynchon April 18, 1974 Pynchon was a recluse. This video begins with Corey reading from Pynchon's book, and listening to an audio recording of the speech.

Later New York writer and newspaper columnist Jim Knipfel wrote:

"One of Corey’s most notorious public appearances came on April 18, 1974, when he showed up at Alice Tully Hall to accept the National Book Award for Gravity’s Rainbow on behalf of Thomas Pynchon.

'Thomas Guinzberg [of the Viking Press] first suggested the idea,' he says, 'and Pynchon approved it.'

So, after being mis-introduced (as 'Robert Corey'), the little man with the wild hair and the rumpled suit walked to the podium and addressed some of the most esteemed figures in American publishing and literature:

Professor Irwin Corey: However…I accept this financial stipulation – ah – stipend in behalf of Richard Python for the great contribution which to quote from some of the missiles which he has contributed… Today we must all be aware that protocol takes precedence over procedure. However you say – WHAT THE – what does this mean… in relation to the tabulation whereby we must once again realize that the great fiction story is now being rehearsed before our very eyes, in the Nixon administration…indicating that only an American writer can receive…the award for fiction, unlike Solzinitski whose fiction does not hold water. Comrades – friends, we are gathered here not only to accept in behalf of one recluse – one who has found that the world in itself which seems to be a time not of the toad – to quote Studs TurKAL. And many people ask “Who are Studs TurKAL?” It’s not “Who are Studs TurKAL?” it’s “Who AM Studs TurKAL?” This in itself is an edifice of the great glory that has gone beyond, and the intuitive feeling of the American people, based on the assumption that the intelligence not only as Mencken once said, “He who underestimates the American pubic – public, will not go broke.” This is merely a small indication of this vast throng gathered here to once again behold and to perceive that which has gone behind and to that which might go forward into the future…we’ve got to hurdle these obstacles. This is the MAIN deterrent upon which we have gathered our strength and all the others who say, “What the hell did that get?” – WE DON’T KNOW. We’ve got to perforce with all the loving boy… And as Miller once said in one of his great novels – what did the … that language is only necessary when communication is endangered. And you sit there bewildered, and Pinter who went further said “It is not the lack of communication but fear of communication.” THAT’S WHAT THE GODDAMN THING IS that we fear – communication. Oh – fortunately the prize has only been given to authors – unlike the Academy Award which is given to a female and a male, indicating the derision of the human specie – God damn it! But we have no paranoia, and Mr. Pynchon has attained, and has created for himself serenity, and it is only the insanity that has kept him alive in his paranoia. We speak of the organ…of the orgasm…WHO THE HELL WROTE THIS? And the jury has determined to divide the prize between two writers – to Thomas Pynchon for his Gravity’s Rainbow. Now Gravity’s Rainbow is a token of this man’s genius…he told me so himself…that he could…in other words, have been more specific, but rather than to allude the mundane, he has come to the conclusion that brevity is the importance of our shallow existence. God damn. Ladies and Gentlemen. To the distinguished panel on the dais and to the other winners, for poetry and religion and science. The time will come when religion will outlive its usefulness. Marx, Groucho Marx, once said that religion is the opiate of the people. I say that when religion outlives its usefulness, then opium…will be human… All right…However, I want to thank Mr. Guinzburg, Tom Guinzburg of the Viking Press, who has made it possible for you people to be here this evening to enjoy the Friction Citation – the Fiction Citation. Gravity’s Rainbow – a small contribution to a certain degree, since there are over three and a half billion people in the world today. 218 million of them live in the United States which is a very, very small amount compared to those that are dying elsewhere…Well, I say that you will be on the road to new horizons, for we who live in a society where sex is a commodity and a politician can become a TV personality, it’s not easy to conform if you have any morality…I said that myself many years ago…But I do want to thank the bureau…I mean the committee, the organization for the $10,000 they’ve given out…tonight they made over $400,000 and I think that I have another appointment. I would like to stay here, but for the sake of brevity I must leave. I do want to thank you, I want to thank Studs TurKAL. I want to thank Mr. Knopf who just ran through the auditorium and I want to thank Breshnev, Kissinger – acting President of the Unites States – and also want to thank Truman Capote and thank you.

Corey’s speech was accentuated by a nude man who streaked across the stage as he spoke. The audience, needless to say, was dumbfounded by the entire spectacle."

I am sure now you can see why I would wonder if he was involved in Sarah Palin's speech writing, and my research tells me I was not the only one. It is clear by the posts being made on Sarah Palin's facebook page by her new ghost writer that her speech writer has changed. But, I came to the realization that not only could Sarah Palin not have word saladed some of the large words the professor uses, but he probably launches into a diatribe with string of explicative’s at the mention of her name. His politics are centered around caring about people, just the opposite of Governor Quitter. It would be like oil and water. I would so love to hear what the professor has to say on the subject of Sarah Palin.


Roger Owen Green said...

Irwin's gonna be 100 this month!

Celia Harrison said...

Roger Owen Green, thank you for telling me that. He's amazing.