Money Made Her Nice Maybe

Vanity Fair has a teaser for their interview with comedy duo Elaine May and Mike Nichols (they performed together for five years until they broke up in 1962 when Elaine wanted out). In the interview they both acknowledge that quitting was a mistake, but what’s REALLY interesting is the juxtaposition of these two quotes:

1. Elaine explains that they became friends because they were both really hostile: “The other thing is, let’s face it, we were peculiar and geeky—but we got much nicer. But we’re also richer and more successful. I don’t know what we’d be like if we weren’t.” 

2. Mike to Elaine, after discussing their breakup: “You’ve changed more than anybody I’ve known in my entire life … you changed from a dangerous person to someone who is only benign.”

!! I MEAN !! My reading and analysis of this is that her humor and drive for success came from a feeling of inferiority and hostility and once she made some money and got comfortable she wasn’t angry anymore and lost her funny!??! OR lost her desire to be funny!?!

So really this is saying success ruins you, is how I am reading this. Too much extrapolation?!? OR EXACTLY RIGHT.

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2 Comments / Post A Comment

Fig. 1 (#632)

I don’t know about you, but I’m funny when I’m comfortable, and angry and mean when I’m not.

janestreet (#1,123)

This makes sense. I can totally see funny coming with a fight and drive and anger about inequality (financial here, i guess). I can also see that being mean. Isn’t that the entire concept of mean girls? Women are fighting with inequality so much that sometimes they just fight against each other. MOVIE IDEA: MEAN COMICS.

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