R.I.P. Drake Sather

We were all in love with you at one time or another and it did not make any impression on you, I think, but who could know, what went on in that beautiful head of yours?

I never knew you, but we standup comics are like cops. When one of us goes down, we all go down. Sure, we will make fun of it, tell bad jokes about it, set up a Standup Comedy Suicide Pool, but inside, we know we might be next. Then we will secretly, quietly, weep at the loss of another one of us, because in a way, we are all one tribe, a kind of insane secret nation, our very own special brand of idiot savants.

We, the fucked up aliens, with that weird gift, frighteningly sometimes a curse, of being able to make other people laugh, so that they always assume you are a happy person, that you got it all going on, that you got it all, you got your shit together and it’s all good, it’s all good. But you know, people like us, we don’t have it together – not in the least, and nobody knows. Nobody wants to know. Nobody wants to know how bad it is in here, in this head, in this body, and they just want the funny guy back, that is what the audience pays for, and that is what they will get, night after night, year after year. And that’s dangerous. That stupid mythology of the tears of the clown is really no myth. It is a pair of hard, cement block shoes of truth that will drown us if we don’t watch ourselves, keep our noses clean, watch our backs, protect ourselves from ourselves.

What happened? You had everything, as far as I could see, and then you had nothing, but then who can know what happens inside someone’s mind, and especially one that worked as well as yours did. You were so funny. My friend was very young, and loved you for a time, maybe twenty or so years ago, and she still loves you, and we said a prayer today for you, burned a candle, thought about the blue shirt you wore, the jaded look on your face, the hair so dark that it blacked out all reason for the young girls who crowded around you, to be near you. Your strange way of speaking, slow, methodical, sarcastic, and then just really perfect, because you looked so perfect. Everything you did seemed so perfect. But you killed yourself anyway.

I am sorry Drake. I love you, but I didn’t know you. You were so fucking funny. I am sad to see you go. Whatever that was, that made you take yourself out, I can only hope it is better now, and that heaven is nice, and that you are in the company of comics that you liked, and that everything is good. That it really is all good, it’s all good now. Good night. Thank you and good night.

11 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. Margaret,
    I dated Drake right after dating Chris Isaak (I know your full sub sandwich line about Chris was perfect.)
    I was there with Drake right before Letterman asked him on – he went on (three times(?) in all) – and talked him into some good lines…I’m not sure he ever did one bit we wrote together. Still remember it and it was very funny. The guy was very sad inside so I understand this suicide.
    I relocated him from a strange crackhouse environment on Page St. (he didn’t partake and jogging was his vice at the time) to a friend’s nice place on Oak St. She is the one that called me about his death ages ago.
    I wasn’t Lotion – he had written those jokes before – but we laughed about stuff that ended up in Zoolander.
    Anyway, I enjoyed what you wrote. I understand Tears of a Clown.
    Janet Parker

  2. I was a kid in my senior year of high school my parents had divorced, my girlfreind had just dumped me, and I had to repeat senior year while all my freinds went away to college. I was extremely depressed and was ready to take my own life. I was holding the gun to my head and I put the tv up real loud to mask the sound of the gun luckilly for me it was Letterman and Drake was doing his bit about the guy who wanted to use his bathroom because he had diariah. Needless to say I laughed so hard that I cried, and it felt so good to laugh that hard.I thought to myself if this guy could make feel this good at such a low point than maybe suicide was not the answer.the moral of this long winded story is that Drake Sather saved my life with his brilliance and never new it. I only wish that I could have returned the favor. Thank you Drake Sather.

  3. Shit, this was my favorite comic, BY FAR……..and I’m just finding out about his death, 5 years later!! I’m still mourning Hicks, Kinison, and Hedberg………but this has me completely numb!! I wish you really COULD have returned the favor, Russ.

  4. I saw Drake’s show back in the late 80′s. Out of all the comedians I’ve seen since then, Drake’s was the only name I remembered. His humor really stuck with me and I still remember some of his jokes from the night I saw him.

  5. Hi Margaret -

    I saw Drake at a Comedy Night at a tavern in West Seattle, Washington, called T. R. Garrity’s sometime around 1987 or so.

    It was around the time he first appeared on local television on the earlier form of “Almost Live” on King TV.

    The line that stood out that night was when he said: “My girlfriend thinks I don’t respect her privacy. Well, that’s what she wrote in her diary, anyway.”

    Great stuff.

    Miss him.

    – Mark Neuman

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  7. Show some class…there is no need to use obscene, vulgar words to make your point. The true mark of a great, talented writer is to avoid such words to emphasize points.

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  10. I was watching “The People’s Court” (with Judge Wapner) one afternoon and Drake appeared as a plaintiff suing his wife/ex-wife for something, I don’t remember what, maybe regarding their kids; I do remember he came off as bitter. He made the point of mentioning that she was a stripper.

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