Buchwald: Still Laughing

Three Buchwald related items:

  • The Washington Post ran a moving, poignant column by ailing Art Buchwald entitled “The End. Or Maybe Not.” Buchwald, who continues to handle his declining health with a positively admirable outlook and optimism, wrestles with whether Heaven exists (same with Hell) and what happens once you’re there.

      The thing that is very important, and why I’m writing this, is that whether they like it or not, everyone is going to go.

      The big question we still have to ask is not where we’re going, but what were we doing here in the first place?

  • Reliable Source reports that French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte “visited the columnist at the D.C. hospice center where he’s been residing the past several weeks to present him with the highest grade of the nation’s Order of Arts and Letters. Only about 20 people a year receive the honor at the ‘commandeur’ level.”

  • ABC ran a nice interview with Buchwald on Sunday’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Full transcript of the segment after the jump…


    STEPHANOPOULOS: Our voice this week, Art Buchwald. The Pulitzer Prize winner is best known for his razor-sharp columns published in more than 300 newspapers. And now, Buchwald is scripting his final days. Refusing dialysis, the 80-year-old author has decided it’s time to die. From a bed in his Washington hospice, he tells us why.

    (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

    BUCHWALD: It was a tough decision, because you’re affecting other people. You know, yourself, you’re affecting your family. But I made it. I was relieved. It was over. The decision was made. The only part of it that I don’t understand, and nobody else understands, is why I’m still here.

    But, you know, it’s a no-no. You’re not supposed to talk about death. You’re not to talk about where you’re going. Yet everybody that’s listening to this show knows they’re going to go. And so it shouldn’t be a secret. It shouldn’t be banned. It should be a good thing. At least, you know, the way you go, I can’t predict that. But you don’t have to make it a terrible thing.

    I’m having the best time of my life. Wouldn’t you, to be sitting here, and everybody thinks you’re a wonderful person? And you can’t take it all, because first of all, you know, you start to feel like John Glenn. The big question that keeps coming up all the time with anybody — an interviewer talks to me — is: Do I believe in God?

    The answer is: I believe in God, but I’m not too certain that the people that are telling me, “It’s God’s will” are the ones I want to listen to. I’ve found a way that not a lot of people have to make other people laugh. And I’m proud. I hope I can be remembered for that. Because everybody wants to be remembered for something when they go.

    Well, I enjoyed talking to you. And I hope I see you next week and the week after and the next month. And we’ll say something’s wrong with the camera. He’s still going.

    (END VIDEOTAPE)

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Here’s to broken cameras and Art Buchwald. Now, the Sunday Funnies.