Mr. Petersen was the flesh-and-blood half of Otto and George, a comedy team whose act was so scurrilous that it once proved too much for a historically thick-skinned crowd.
I rarely go to comedy shows. I do enjoy a chuckle every now and again, but it’s rare that I’m in an audience in front of a stand up comedian. The last time I saw any live comedy was last spring, and it was to see Otto and George. I also had my Yashica-Mat with me, since I wanted to see if he’d consent to my taking his picture after the gig.
I spoke to him quickly and nervously before the show, asking if I could take his picture afterwards. We had previously exchanged light pleasantries via the internet — definitely not anything of any great depth. He agreed to let me take his picture.
I’ll just cut to the chase here instead of going on with the rest of the night. Long story short, I chickened out after the show. I didn’t take his picture. I was too timid to approach him, or even continue to wait outside the venue (which I did for a little while). So I didn’t take the picture and now he’s dead. That’s what timidity gets you; no picture and a guy who a year and a half later lies down to take a nap on a Sunday afternoon and never wakes up.
He was an old soul, a man born before his time. As to what I mean by that, I’ll let him explain in his own words. He was a fascinating guy with a great story.
Since Monday, I’ve been wanting to post a clip of him performing, but haven’t been able to decide on one. Even his clean set on Letterman is enough to lose me any number of followers. Mind you, I don’t care about losing followers because of the violent and vulgar (and hilarious) imagery coming out of the mouth of a wooden dummy. I guess it’s hard to pick just one great clip when there are so many great ones out there.
Or maybe just listen to this interview with him if you have the time. I was in the audience. Just put it on in the background while you’re working on your photos, or clicking on hearts, or whatever it is you do at the computer when you’re not working on photos or clicking on hearts. Maybe I’m just trying to get across why I feel the world’s just a bit more bland and a lot less fun now that he’s gone.