Irwin Corey, R.I.P.

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On Monday, Irwin Corey, the world's foremost authority, died at the age of 102. A characteristic clip from his later years:

Interviewer: Could I introduce you?
The world's foremost authority,
Professor Irwin Corey. Welcome.

Irwin Corey: Well I feel not only honored,
but I feel the confrontation on which we have set our sights can no longer endure
at the propensity of a developing prognosis.
Now you say what- it doesn't matter that we- what was the question?

Interviewer: What's your name, sir?

Irwin Corey: Oh, Professor Irwin Corey, the world's foremost authority.
Not only has my
uh deterred those
who have contributed financially to this
uh tremendous establishment realize that we can
have another diphthong
or a telethong
in order to raise money for some
needy dictators that are outside,
and we have to have the phone calls
otherwise we cannot cooperate
with those
who intended
to sublimate their- their curiosity,
bringing about as these once said
uh uh the various president uh what's his name?
mayor uh no George
George Bush,
memories of
read my lips and kiss my-
But he didn't know
the- the- the- the result
that uh could uh proglemate a source
from that innuendo.


  1. Irwin Corey, R.I.P. • Zhi Chinese said,

    February 9, 2017 @ 6:11 am

    […] Source: Language Irwin Corey, R.I.P. […]

  2. PickeringPast said,

    February 9, 2017 @ 7:01 am

    He sounds like he could have written some of the responses cabinet members are making during their senate confirmation hearings. RIP

  3. Ralph Hickok said,

    February 9, 2017 @ 7:59 am

    I had a delightful interview with him years ago when he was appearing at a supper club near where I live. It began about like this interview and then got crazier.

  4. shubert said,

    February 9, 2017 @ 10:23 am

    Reminds me of artist Joe King

  5. Victor Mair said,

    February 9, 2017 @ 10:48 am

    Free association.

    I was going to say stream of consciousness, but it's not quite that because there's no narrative.

  6. Amy Stoller said,

    February 9, 2017 @ 3:14 pm

    Aww. What a loss. Brilliant comedian.

  7. Ed M said,

    February 9, 2017 @ 3:57 pm

    OT — who is "Zhi Chinese" and why do their odd posts occur so frequently in LLOG?

  8. Chris C. said,

    February 9, 2017 @ 4:29 pm

    @Ed — Following the link, it's a web content aggregator for learners of Mandarin Chinese. My guess is that they mainly follow Prof. Mair, but are happy to reblog anything of interest.

  9. Rob Chametzky said,

    February 9, 2017 @ 4:35 pm

    A wonderful line of his, fully appropriate for Language Log:

    “I feel more like I do now than when I first got here.”

    It's the last sentence of the obituary in the NY TImes (online 7 February, print 8 February, 2017).


  10. Edwin Schmitt said,

    February 10, 2017 @ 5:21 am

    @Rob Chametzky
    It was also the name of one of his albums. Watch him "talk" about it on Letterman in 1983, classic:

  11. Graeme said,

    February 14, 2017 @ 7:23 am

    His schtick, of the shabby mad professor, seems quaint now. In this long era of corporate universities and branded specialists

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