Richard Lewis, The Prince of Pain in The Washington Post

by Chris Murray on March 5, 2020
Richard Lewis. Photograph by Arthur Grace.

The Washington Post published a front page feature story today on comedian and actor Richard Lewis. It was an excellent story. In 1994, I exhibited photographer Arthur Grace’s photos from his book Comedians at Govinda Gallery. This beautiful portrait of Richard Lewis was from that exhibition.

I first got to know of Lewis from frequent viewings with my son David of the film Robin Hood: Men in Tights in 1993. It was a hilarious movie, and Lewis played Prince John.

Richard Lewis as Prince John in Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993).
Polaroid of Richard Lewis and Chris Murray, Washington, D.C., 2001.
Govinda Gallery Archive.

I first got to meet Lewis at a book signing in Washington, D.C. in 2001. His book The Other Great Depression had just been published, and I heard he would be in town to launch the book. Lewis had been collecting from Govinda Gallery limited edition autographed books by George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and many other musical artists, published by Genesis Publications in England. Richard inscribed my copy of The Other Great Depression and made a joke out of how much money he spent on those beautiful books.

It was a remarkable thing for me that 14 years after I first met Lewis at that book signing I ended up editing and having published Richard Lewis’ book, Reflections from Hell: Richard Lewis’ Guide On How Not To Live (powerHouse 2015). That book features Lewis’ humor with drawings accompanying each of his ‘reflections’ by the artist Carl Titolo. Larry David contributed a foreword to the book. Both Lewis and Larry David collected Carl Titolo’s art and were friends of the artist.

It was an amazing year working on that book with Lewis, and I learned so much from him. It was a great time… and a great book.

Reflections from Hell is available from the powerHouse Books Arena Shop and Amazon.

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