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Lewis in 2013
|Birth name||Richard Philip Lewis|
June 29, 1947 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Medium||Stand-up, television, film|
|Genres||Black comedy, surreal humor|
|Subject(s)||Self-deprecation, neuroticism, psychotherapy, hypochondria, paranoia, depression, human sexuality, Jewish culture, pop culture, family, eating disorders|
|Spouse||Joyce Lapinsky (January 2005 - present)|
|Notable works and roles||Marty Gold in Anything but Love
Himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm
Richard Philip Lewis (born June 29, 1947) is an American stand-up comedian and actor.
He came to prominence in the 1980s as a comedian specializing in self-deprecating humor before turning to acting. He is known for co-starring in the comedy series Anything but Love (1989-92) and for his recurring and semi-autobiographical role in Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-present).
Lewis was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Englewood, New Jersey. His father worked as a caterer and his mother was an actress. Lewis is Jewish. He later attended The Ohio State University. He was a member of the Eta chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity during his time in college.
Lewis began performing stand-up comedy in the 1970s. He worked as a copywriter for an ad agency by day, while honing his stand-up act at night. The ad agency was named Contemporary Graphics (now defunct) and was located above Lovey's pizzeria in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. Lewis gained popularity in the 1980s with numerous appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and his own television specials on HBO. He co-starred with Jamie Lee Curtis on Anything but Love, which ran for four seasons, and with Don Rickles on Daddy Dearest. He had a recurring role in Rude Awakening, as Rabbi Richard Glass in 7th Heaven, and appeared in the Tales from the Crypt episode "Whirlpool." Lewis has written comic articles for magazines such as Playboy, and endorsed the popular early-1990s beverage Boku, as well as Snapple and Certs breath mints. In 2007, he made a cameo appearance as Phillip in George Lopez. Recently, he also made cameos in Everybody Hates Chris as an old man in the hospital bed next to Chris Rock and as Charlie Sheen's accountant in Two and a Half Men.
Lewis has also achieved moderate success in films, appearing as Prince John in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, as a frontier doctor in Wagons East!, as an unemployed actor in Once Upon A Crime and as himself in The Wrong Guys. He played the lead role of Jimmy Epstein in Drunks and in Game Day. Lewis also appeared in the dramatic pictures Leaving Las Vegas, Hugo Pool, and The Maze. He made his acting debut in Diary of a Young Comic.
Lewis claims to be the originator of the phrase "The ______ from hell" as in "the night from hell", "the date from hell" or "the roommate from hell". This theory is expounded in the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "The Nanny from Hell". Lewis has petitioned the editors of Bartlett's to be given credit for the coinage, but the editors claim that the phrase was a common idiom prior to Lewis's use of it. For example, during World War I, kilted Scottish soldiers were given the nickname "The Ladies from Hell" (translation of German "Die Damen aus der Hölle") by German troops. However, the Yale Book of Quotations does attribute the phrase to Lewis. There is a 1939 short story by John Russell Fearn called "The Man from Hell", published in Fantastic Adventures.
Lewis is noted for always wearing an all-black outfit.
|1977||Diary of a Young Comic||Billy Goldstein||Gary Weis||TV movie|
|1980||House Calls||Dr. Leon Prometheus||Bob Claver||TV series (1 episode: "The Phantom of Kensington")|
|1985||Temporary Insanity||TV movie|
|1986||Riptide||Andrew Fitzsimmons Carlton III||Michael Switzer||TV series (1 episode: "The Wedding Bell Blues")|
|1987||Harry||Richard Breskin||TV series (7 episodes)|
|CBS Summer Playhouse||Joey||James Komack||TV series (1 episode: "King of the Building")|
|1988||The Wrong Guys||Himself||Danny Bilson|
|Tattingers||Longo||Allan Arkush||TV series (1 episode : "Death and Taxis")|
|1989||That's Adequate||Pimples Lapedes||Harry Hurwitz|
|1989-92||Anything But Love||Marty Gold||TV series (56 episodes)|
|1992||Once Upon a Crime||Julian Peters||Eugene Levy|
|The Danger of Love: The Carolyn Warmus Story||Edward Sanders||Joyce Chopra||TV movie|
|1993||Daddy Dearest||Steven Mitchell||TV series (13 episodes)|
|TriBeCa||Joseph||Melanie Mayron||TV series (1 episode: "Stepping Back")|
|The Larry Sanders Show||Himself||Todd Holland||TV series (1 episode: "Life Behind Larry")|
|Robin Hood: Men in Tights||Prince John||Mel Brooks|
|1994||Wagons East!||Phil Taylor||Peter Markle|
|Tales from the Crypt||Vern||Mick Garris||TV series (1 episode: "Whirlpool")|
|1995||A.J.'s Time Travelers||Edgar Allan Poe||Mike Finney||TV series (1 episode: "Edgar Allan Poe")|
|Leaving Las Vegas||Peter||Mike Figgis|
|1996||A Weekend in the Country||Bobby Stein||Martin Bergman||TV movie|
|The Elevator||Phil Milowski||Arthur Borman
|1997||Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child||Old Beggar||Ed Bell||TV series (1 episode: "The Golden Goose")|
|Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist||Richard||TV series (1 episode: "Undercover")|
|Hugo Pool||Chick Chicalini||Robert Downey, Sr.|
|The Maze||Markov||Joëlle Bentolila|
|1997-98||Hiller and Diller||Neil Diller||TV series (13 episodes)|
|1998||Rude Awakening||Harve Schwartz||TV series (6 episodes)|
|1999||Hercules||Neurosis||Eddy Houchins||TV series (1 episode: "Hercules and the Tiff on Olympus")|
|Game Day||Steve Adler||Steve Klein|
|V.I.P.||Ronald Zane||Patrick R. Norris||TV series (1 episode: "Big Top Val")|
|Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm||Himself||Robert B. Weide||TV movie|
|2002||Presidio Med||Francis Weinod||Christopher Chulack||TV series (1 episode: "Once Upon a Family")|
|2003||Alias||Mitchell Yaeger||Ken Olin||TV series (1 episode: "A Dark Turn")|
|2002-04||7th Heaven||Rabbi Richard Glass||Ken Olin||TV series (9 episodes)|
|2004||Two and a Half Men||Stan||Rob Schiller||TV series (1 episode: "I Can't Afford Hyenas")|
|The Dead Zone||Jack Jericho||Anthony Michael Hall||TV series (1 episode: "The Cold Hard Truth")|
|2005||Sledge: The Untold Story||Himself||Brad Martin|
|Las Vegas||Stan||Tim Matheson||TV series (1 episode: "Fake the Money and Run")|
|George Lopez||Phillip Nickleson||Victor Gonzalez||TV series (1 episode: "George Finds Therapy Benny-ficial")|
|2006||The Simpsons||Golem||Matthew Faughnan
|TV series (1 episode: "Treehouse of Horror XVII")|
|Everybody Hates Chris||Kris||Victor Nelli, Jr.||TV series (1 episode: "Everybody Hates Kris")|
Matthew D. Panepinto
|2008||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Sportsman Larry||Peter Leto||TV series (1 episode: "Closet")|
|2009||The Cleaner||Henry||David Barrett||TV series (1 episode: "Trick Candles")|
|2010||Funny or Die Presents||Shades||TV series (1 episode)|
|'Til Death||Miles Tunnicliff||Rob Schiller (2)||TV series (3 episodes)|
|2000-||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Himself||TV Series (32 episodes)|
|2011||Lewis on Film: The Oscar Edition||Seth Morris||Short|
|Pound Puppies||Buddy||Greg Sullivan||TV Series (1 episode : "Rebel Without a Collar")|
|2014||She's Funny That Way||Al Patterson||Peter Bogdanovich|
|2015||Blunt Talk||Dr. Weiss||TV series (6 episodes)|
But his sense of disconnect could just as easily be attributed to his Jewish upbringing in New Jersey.