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Grillin' and Chillin' with President Obama The Daily Show's Best Spain Moments (Los Mejores Momentos de EspaƱa en El Programa Diario)
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By now you've probably already heard Harvey Pekar has passed away. While the man was not a comedian or even a comedy writer, his appearances on Late Night with David Letterman led many a comedy fan to his autobiographical comic books. His confessional, warts-and-all approach has no-doubt influenced more than a few comedians and writers to craft more honest work.

Harvey Pekar, who was still working and creating books, was found dead this morning

Pekar, 70, was found dead shortly before 1 a.m. today by his wife, Joyce Brabner, in their Cleveland Heights home, said Powell Caesar, spokesman for Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death…

While he probably does not want to be remembered solely for his appearances on that show, Harvey really shook the concept of Late Night. Letterman crafted the image of a spontaneous haphazard, lets-see-what-sticks environment. When Harvey was on, Late Night really was an unpredictable ramshackle mess. Sure, Letterman presented him as an oddball, but Harvey was an intelligent, self-educated man who one-upped Dave more than once. On Late Night, he maybe amplified and exaggerated some of his curmudgeon aspects, but he was still being funny while being honest, and he was doing it on national television.

Harvey wrote comic books when they were considered either A.) crass kiddie entertainment or B.) strange, surreal, psychedelic hippie art. If there's one lesson that comedians can take from Harvey Pekar, it's that any medium can be treated seriously, respectfully and, probably most importantly, without pretension.

If there are two lessons, the second one is that anything can be interesting, anything can be compelling, no matter how mundane, painful or humiliating. But there are probably a lot more lessons to be learned from what Harvey Pekar was able to accomplish while attempting to stretch the limits of a medium. RIP Harvey! You will be missed!



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