Funnyman Richard Lewis didn't become a comic because he wanted to be a celebrity or even because he wanted to make people laugh.
"I went into this for psychological reasons," said Lewis, who was nicknamed the Prince of Pain for his self-deprecating humor.
"My family — it wasn't an abusive family — they meant well, but they were in their own world," noted Lewis, who wore his customary black pants and shirt during a recent interview.
"My father died so young, my sister had four kids before I was 19 and my brother was off in the Village reading 'Howl' on the street corners. I am [home] with my mother, and that slowly disintegrated. I was...