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"I live on the smell of daffodils." Brother Theodore lives again.




Every once in a while, I need a dose of the absurd logic of Brother Theodore.

Theodore Gottlieb was a monologuist probably best known for his Letterman appearances. He was born in Dusseldorf in 1906 and died in New York in 2001. His once very wealthy family was nearly destroyed by the Nazis, and he admitted that when he came here, he didn't have the job skills of a "16-year old punk."

He told pop culture historian George Stewart:

Then it occurred to me that I had always this craving for weird and bizarre literature, the German literature, the French literature of two centuries ago. So I thought, maybe I can become a story teller! It wasn't too easy, believe you me, because my English was far from perfect. ... Slowly, reluctantly, I began to write my own stories, and told them to people who tended to shake their heads and say that I should be in a straitjacket. And people tend to say the same thing now, which is a success of sorts, but in a totally microscopic way. I always felt that if I had the connection, things would have been so much different. My show appeals mostly to students, who are of little help because they will not get me to Broadway, they will not get me into films. I could be as good as Peter Lorre was. I live now from hand to mouth.

Brother Theodore became a cult attraction and was on the major talk shows for years -- 36 times on Merv Griffin alone.

This monlogue, a full 7-1/2 minutes long, exhorts the Letterman audience to give up eating.

Poke your finger into your flesh, he says, and "the dent will stay there til the cows come home to roost. And they won't come home, they can't come home. They have no legs. You tore them off and ate them, remember?! You are corpse eaters. You are goulash ghouls! You are foodlums!"