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Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 16 Nov 2005 08:59:14 -0600
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
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Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]>
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Folks;  my 2 cents on the MT Award.

I saw the program (most of it, anyway), and found it to be splendid.

Martin is among the 3 or 4 people who can make me laugh just by walking out
on a stage.  Just by his looks, or his deadpan.  Twain was like that, from
what I hear.

The program reminded me of how funny Martin has been for a pretty long time.
The Award seems to be about that:  being very funny for a very long time.
Plain and simple.  The acceptance speech by Martin was priceless.  The guy
is a rip.

Conclusion:  we should all be thrilled that this Award, which is by now a
pretty big deal, and which awards a person for brilliant stand-up or
performance humor, is named after MT.  That is one of the several facets of
MT's legacy, though of course not the only one.  It clearly is not a
literary award (though Martin is a bit of an author).

It seems to me that some of the sadness, or perhaps anger, of some
LIST-members about the nature of this award has to do with how MT is
remembered, or who today best represents that memory.  People can be very
possessive about these memories ( a point I have written about elsewhere).
And, as books like Lou Budd's OUR MARK TWAIN remind us:  we cannot really
control those memories; they sort of take on a life of their own.  That
alone makes me want to chill out a bit; why take it so seriously?  Americans
will remember Twain in a variety of ways, some of which are acurrate.

Personally, I am glad he is at least being remembered at all, and for his
greatest trait--the guy was a rip.  So is Steve Martin.

Harold K. Bush, Ph.D
Saint Louis University