Andy Richter might not be the ideal second banana: he has so many credits that don't involve second-bananahood that you might not even know he's done over two thousand shows with Conan O'Brien. (Compare this record to, say, that of Ed McMahon, who was always Ed McMahon even if he was hawking some tchotchke on The Garage Sale Channel.) Wikipedia lists Richter as a contributor to the genre of "cringe comedy," which they define thusly:

The protagonists are typically egotists who overstep the boundaries of political correctness and break social norms. Then the comedy will attack the protagonist by not letting them become aware of their self-centered view, or by making them oblivious to the ego-deflation that the comedy deals them. Sometimes, however, an unlikable protagonist may not suffer any consequences, which violates our moral expectations, and also make the audience cringe.

But if you find Andy Richter unlikeable, well, so does he:

This description could also apply to me, with one notable exception: I'm quite a bit older. Were there a Misery Continuum, we'd probably fall somewhere between Joe Btfsplk and Eeyore.

I didn't hand my life over to the pillmakers until I was 35. Still, "decades" applies. And I am not so sanguine about therapy: I talk for most of an hour, I write a check, and for the rest of the week I wonder just what the hell I said. Then again, I have had only five sessions since resuming the practice earlier this year. And the therapist seems to think I respond more readily to the couch than to the tablets, though I can't swear that I'm reading her correctly. (No, not that kind of couch. What are you thinking?) I suspect I'd resist cognitive therapy, perhaps the way Andy seems to:

"Unlucky" suggests a point on the scale closer to Joe Btfsplk, though what would you expect? Joe Btfsplk is the greatest jinx the world has ever known, surpassing even whoever picks the covers for Sports Illustrated. And I don't think of myself as being particularly unfortunate, although both the wrong place and the wrong time seem to summon my presence with disturbing frequency. One or the other may bring me a respite or a kindness — or they may not; one inevitable consequence of living a long time is that you're going to be wrong. A lot.

The Vent

  18 November 2017

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