Friday, April 28, 2023

TV Quote of the Day (‘Anything But Love,’ With Richard Lewis in Full Anxiety Mode)

[Hannah Miller, an aspiring writer, has exchanged seats with another airline passenger to sit next to Marty Gold, a reporter for a Chicago magazine—unaware that he has an intense fear of flying.]

Marty Gold [played by Richard Lewis]: “We’re right next to the engines. I can’t believe this! Where’s the safety card?” [starts looking on the floor]” Bags, gifts. Oh, yeah, here it is.” [opening it to read, then frantically grabs Hannah by the back of the neck, bringing her down to the floor with him.] “Head between knees!” [At last they come up, with him exhausted.] “Why?”

Hannah Miller [played by Jamie Lee Curtis] [smiling, attempting to get him through the flight]: “Look, what’s your favorite city? Come on!”

Marty: “Why, uh, I have two: Paris and Teaneck, New Jersey.”—Anything But Love, Season 1, Episode 1, “Fear of Flying,” original air date Mar. 7, 1989, teleplay by Wendy Kout and Dennis Koenig, directed by Michael Lessac

When I first came across this exchange on YouTube, it made me chuckle—and desire, someday, to try to see full episodes of the sitcom Anything But Love, which I was never able to catch during its four-season run on ABC more than three decades ago.

From what I have heard, the dialogue capitalizes on the anxiety that Richard Lewis has long made a part of his stand-up routine. But the last line especially made me smile: a tip of the hat to Lewis’s roots in Bergen County, New Jersey, also my longtime home.

But this week, I had a different feeling about Lewis, after the news broke that he will be retiring from stand-up because of four surgeries and a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease. Having watched my mother struggle for a decade with the latter medical condition, I can only feel sympathy for him as he deals with its debilitating impact.

Lewis revealed the diagnosis with the same candor that he related his past crisis with alcoholism. I’m sure he’ll face his coming battle an equal amount of grace and courage.

In the meantime, let’s all work for a day when we never have to watch a loved one be stricken by Parkinson’s—or receive the diagnosis ourselves. Anyone who wants to see that day can contribute to either the Parkinson’s Foundation or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

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