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Richard Lewis and ‘The (clean) From Hell’

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Go forward and name Richard Lewis the comic from hell. You’d be paying him a praise.

The slapstick comedian, who died on Tuesday, was identified for his darkish garments, darkish humorousness and a recurring position as a, sure, even darker model himself on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” He was a fixture within the comedy world for over half a century. However his most indelible legacy might be one easy phrase, spoken so usually that its origin may by no means be questioned by anybody who says it.

“The (insert hated factor right here) from hell.”

It’s a phrase that seemingly has been round since time immemorial. The flight from hell, the day from hell, the lunch from hell. We’ve all been there, and everyone knows what it means, however the place did it come from?

In keeping with Richard Lewis and the “Yale E-book of Quotations,” it got here from him.

Posting on X, identified then as Twitter, Mr. Lewis asked, “The place was my Nobel Peace prize?” and linked to a 2006 UPI article about his look within the “Yale E-book of Quotations.”

In a 2008 interview with Interview Journal, Mr. Lewis said that “the reality of the matter is that no matter reward I’ve as a comic, most of it was within the phrase ‘from hell.’”

“I’m credited with popularizing that phrase as a result of I felt victimized by every part,” he mentioned.

Mr. Lewis elaborated in a 2014 interview with the Nashville Scene.

“I completely popularized the phrase within the late ’70s,” he mentioned. “In the event you go on YouTube, you may see on Letterman, David would lower me off, and go, ‘You imply it was the bar mitzvah from hell?’ ‘That’s proper!’ And I finished saying it. I felt self-conscious. I used to be getting applause for it. I suppose subconsciously I believed I used to be a sufferer of every part.”

Bartlett’s “Acquainted Quotations” didn’t give him credit score for the phrase, which turned a narrative line within the episode “The Nanny,” throughout season three of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

The episode, which aired in 2002, weaves in Lewis’s makes an attempt to get into Bartlett’s.

“It was an actual stable for Larry to try this for me,” he mentioned. “That actually immortalized it in some respects.”