I was think about the top FIVE people throughout history with whom I’d like to spend an hour…
5. Groucho Marx- great comedic mind, but also an underappreciated author. How could you not be intrigued by a guy who said “I would never want to belong to a club that would have a guy like me for a member”. He wrote many articles and a few books that were praised by legit writers, all of which display an unparalleled wit- particularly since he was self-educated. I was gonna call him an autodidact, but that would be pretty pretentious of me to use a word like that.
4. Robin Williams– yeah, I know, another comedian. Perfect example of a razor-sharp comedic mind jammed into the personage of a troubled human. I get the feeling that I wouldn’t get a chance to ask many questions, though. He’d just wear me out riffing on his observations. Unbelievably quick mind with a keen eye for irony.
3. Any one of the Medici clan from Renaissance Italy. These peeps basically were the financial engine behind the Renaissance, which of course was a turning point in human history. They lifted the whole perception of artists and created the whole “rock star” thing. Oh, and Catherine de Medici taught the French how to use dining utensils otherwise they’d still be eating with their feet.
2. Leonardo da Vinci- perhaps the most brilliant person in history. An endlessly curious and unsurpassed polymath whose mind seemed too vast & dynamic for his human persona to contain. (as you might surmise, I’m a fan). He had a habit of starting something, then once he figured it out he didn’t finish it and went on to the next idea. Sculpture, painting, anatomy, poetry, music, physics, geometry, botany.. nothing escaped his raging intellect. Sadly, his last words were allegedly, “Tell me, was anything ever done?”
1. Jesus– OK, couldn’t leave the big guy off the list: the king of kings, son of God, Messiah, great shepherd, lamb of God, son of man.. wow he had a lot of titles. Mostly I’d like to ask him whether he was the proto-hippy, flowers-in-his-hair, peace-and-love guy from Godspell— OR — the badass wearing a leather jacket and ripped jeans who opened up a can of messianic whup-ass in the temple that day. Oh, and I want to ask him when the hell he’s coming back. Seems like he’s overdue.
- Napoleon, who had a short-man complex which up to that time had no name.
- The persons who invented fire, the wheel, and St Joseph’s zeppole.
- Frank Sinatra (come on, he’s Sinatra!)
- Queen Isabella (she wore the pants, Ferdinand was a wimp)
- Buddha – I’d like to see if I could piss him off. Also, want to ask him who’d win in a fight, him or Jesus
- Cleopatra- Had a lot of power in an era when that was very unusual for a woman. Also heard she had a killer Asp (sorry).
- WC Fields- yeah, another comic. Fascinating life of the ultimate curmudgeon. “I love children, especially when they’re properly cooked”
- Al Capone- he was running the largest criminal empire in America by the time he was 27! OK, maybe had a couple of minor character flaws.
- Thomas Jefferson- almost a mini-Leonardo da Vinci. Tommy was into everything from Botany to fine wines. And he wrote the original version of “Movin’ on up” for the TV show (sorry again)
- Musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughn, Robert Johnson, Bob Dylan (yeah, I know, he ain’t dead), Ella Fitzgerald, Mario Lanza, Billie Holliday…