Thursday, December 2, 2004

by Jessica Delfino

Lucien Hold passed away recently, and for anyone visiting who doesn't know who Lucien is, he was a notorious hard-assed booker who very much enjoyed breaking and busting the balls of many a new and seasoned comedian who would try to "pass" the Comic Strip at 82nd and 2nd Ave.

He had a rare disease which I don't know much about, called "Scleraderma" (I'm not sure if I'm spelling it right, I'm no spelling doctor) but it made him have trouble swallowing, so he'd often cough and spit on people while he was crushing their dreams. It was a very awkward experience to come sit in the booth with him and get verbally desecrated as he tried not to choke to death on soup, while all you could do was watch helplessly. Sometimes I secretly bet that even if I saved his life one of the two times he shat on my set, he still wouldn't have hired me to work at the Strip. The fact that Lucien wouldn't hire me made me hate him. It made me despise him. Why couldn't he see the good in me? He compared me to Sarah Silverman, and said I just tell ass sex jokes. (I think I do have one ass sex joke, and it's regarded among friends and audiences as one of my best jokes.)

Kurt worked there a lot. I don't know if he still does. Lucien liked Kurt very much. Kurt is a mostly likeable person. There was something about him that appealed to Lucien, as it often does to comedy industry types.

Kurt called me the other night, mostly drunk, having had been at some kind of memorial or gathering after hearing the news of Lucien's passing. He got all teary because he had lost a friend, and also, because Kurt and I spent many hours at The Comic Strip together, because we shared an apartment just a few blocks south on 76th St., which brought back bittersweet memories for him. I guess it was another stitch in the patch which mends the hole we made, a reminder that our time together came and went.

There will be a memorial for Lucien at 2 PM today, at 2 W. 64th St., between Central Park West and Columbus Circle. I probably should go, because I did know Lucien and though I didn't like him much, he was someone who helped to shape me, even if just the part of me which eventually became my blanket hatred for comedy industry dicks.
But I probably won't go, because I don't want to.

Rest in Peace, Lucien, you old hard-ass.

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