Jonathan Winters made me laugh whole-heartedly

How does one fittingly eulogize a comedian? Are tears the best farewell? I’ve been thinking about this since Jonathan Winters died.

I loved Jonathan Winters. He was wildly inventive and brilliantly spontaneous. It’s fitting that such a physical comedian made my whole body shake with laughter. We live in an age where ROFLOL is virtually meaningless. As a kid, I literally rolled on the floor with side-splitting laughter thanks to Jonathan Winters.

Following Winters death, many have mentioned Robin Williams, who became stale for me, and Jim Carrey, who had a similarly plastic face capable of such rapid transformation and exaggeration. But I’m thinking, too, of Red Skelton. (Am I imagining an appearance of Winters on Skelton’s show, another staple of my childhood?) Both men shared a kind and gentle manner — true gentlemen — as well as a quick child-like wonder.

Thinking of Winters also brings to mind my dad, who looked a lot like Winters. I imagine, more than remember, watching Winters with my parents and sharing our laughter. My thanks to Winters and the many comedians of my youth. Laughter never grows old.

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