You know what we haven't seen lately? A tragically dead fat comedian. For a while there they were dropping like flies, and now... nothing. Maybe it's because there are fewer comedians? Maybe it's because younger people listened to Jared from Subway and dropped 100 pounds? All I know is that lately I haven't heard of someone living fast, dying young, and leaving a king-sized corpse. And if this kind of talk makes you feel uncomfortable, just remember, they would have wanted it this way.
Fatty Arbuckle. The name says it all, and he endured a sensational scandal and career-ending trial. The tragedy is that his career was back on the upswing when he had a heart attack and died.
John Belushi. Ah, Bluto Blutarski, we hardly knew ye. John died at the age of 33 in the Chateau Marmont, after a night of drug indulgence. While he died much too young, I think he was spared the kind of embarrassment of a career most of the Saturday Night Live original cast has since endured.
John Candy. Died of a heart attack at age 38. The heart attack came on after a solid month's eating binge while on a movie location shoot. He was also Canadian, and you know how they are.
Sam Kinison. Also died at age 38, though - incredibly - not as a result of drugs, alcohol, or any other personal demons. If you wrote a fictionalized account of Sam's life no one would believe it. He was a child preacher for his daddy's Pentecostal church. He lost his faith, abandoned the church, and became one of the smuttiest comedians since Redd Foxx. There was nothing beneath Mr. Kennison, no chemical too vile to try, no vice too perveted to do. Then he began to turn his life around, and some idiot crashes into him on the highway and kills him. Talk about tragedy, Mr. Kennison's story has it all.
Chris Farley. Dead at age 33, like John Belushi. He died the best death in recent memory, though: after a solid week of round-the-clock booze and whores, he died of a heart attack while trying to take his heart medicine.