Lewis Grizzard is a known quantity — his books of Southern-fried humorous musings frequently make the best-seller lists, and he’s a big draw on the lecture circuit. Still, it’s always something of a shock actually to read what makes Grizzard so popular.
Here are some of the words of Grizzardly wisdom to be found in his new book, I Haven’t Understood Anything Since 1962 and Other Nekkid Truths:
”Rap (music) is getting people killed and raped.”
”Some men may have even gone the homosexual route once they became so turned off by the new assertiveness of women…that what many of them really want is your testicles in a jar.”
”If you were in a jail cell with Jeffrey Dahmer, would you rather he be horny or hungry?”
And finally, the author, speculating on what would happen if he contracted AIDS: ”I’d die, and that’s bad enough. But worse than that, I know my friends, all straight Southern white guys (would say), ‘I knew that sumbitch was queer all the time.”’
Have you stopped laughing yet?
The title of this book represents something more than the lame jokes that usually characterize the Grizzard oeuvre (Chili Dawgs Always Bark at Night, etc.). Grizzard maintains that, before 1962, he ”had a handle on things.” Then, he says, ”the Beatles came.” Grizzard has some goofball theory that the Beatles led to godlessness, and ever since, anarchy has prevailed: ”So much of what I had been taught was right, suddenly was wrong. Girls wanted to be in the Boy Scouts. Later, homosexuals wanted to be in the Boy Scouts.”
Do you notice a pattern here? While he says that what bothers him most about contemporary America is political correctness, that’s not what’s munching on Grizzard’s mustache at all. Nearly every time he wants to score a cheap punch line, Grizzard takes a slap at homosexuals or women. Here’s why I don’t like the image Grizzard presents here: He seems just plain mean.
And lest you think this low opinion is due in part to the fact that, not being a Southerner, I don’t ”get” Grizzard, it gives me great pleasure to quote an editor I used to work for, a man from Arkansas, who said that to him and all the Southerners he knew, Grizzard was considered a writer who came across as ”a horny little moron who likes to hurt people.” No way I could have put it better myself. F