Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"They All Stole From Me"

I occasionally (not too often, thankfully) use this blog as a dumping-ground for stuff I wrote and will never get to use anywhere else. Latest case in point: a song lyric I wrote a couple years back called "They All Stole From Me." The idea was that it was to be sung by a cranky elderly comedian, explaining that the reason his jokes seem stale is that he did everything first, and was stolen from by younger, more famous comedians. Like most song lyrics, it doesn't make much sense without a tune, but I might as well post it anyway, in lieu of fresh content:


I'm a comedy legend who's played ev'ry club
From this joint to... well, just here.
I remember the shoulders I once used to rub
With the greats of yesteryear.
Let me mention a few of them,
And the main thing I knew of them:

Refrain 1

They all stole from me,
They all stole from me,
From the highbrow guys
To the throwers of pies,
They all stole from me.
They all saw my act,
And they grabbed the jokes for free.
From the Catskill kvetch
To the SNL sketch,
They all stole from me.
From Ben n' Jerry Stiller
To that menace Dennis Miller,
I provided all the filler
That was killer.
Well, that's how it goes,
And my act ain't fun to see.
All the jokes I do
Sound familiar to you,
But they used to be new,
So if now I'm a bust,
Well, it's just
'Cause they all stole from me.


You're looking right now, all you lucky folks,
At the unsung inventor of lightbulb jokes.
I dropped comedy gold into others' laps
When I found out that men never look at maps.
The work that consumed me for half my life
Was finding two meanings for "Take my wife."
I got Richard Pryor's career on track
By telling him: "Take my advice, be black!"
But Seinfeld, that bum, was by far the worst:
Whatever he noticed, I noticed first.
My leastest-known triumph of all occurred
When I taught Lenny Bruce his favorite word.

Refrain 2

They all stole from me,
They all stole from me,
Even sour young hags
With their PMS gags,
They all stole from me.
They all paid me squat,
Not a single royal-tee.
At the improv club,
Ev'ry movie they dub
They all stole from me.
From hopeless Hope and Crosby
To that silly Billy Cosby,
They would hasten to me, view me,
Then they'd screw me.
Well, that's how it goes,
Now I think I gotta pee.
I'm a tired old coot
With a moth-eaten suit,
I missed out on the loot,
And if now I should fail,
If my schtick is all stale,
Just think back on my tale
And recall
That they all
Stole from me.

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