Richard Lewis invented a phrase that everyone uses

Richard Lewis invented a phrase that everyone uses
Richard Lewis dead at 76
Fox - LA / VideoElephant

Richard Lewis has died at the age of 76 after suffering a heart attack at home in Los Angeles on Tuesday night (27 February).

The much-loved stand-up comedian was known for his dark humour and appearances on shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and Anything But Love.

As well as his back catalogue of stand-up shows and screen appearances, he is also credited with inventing a phrase that is part of the everyday lexicon for millions of people.

It’s such a widely used phrase that it’s hard to believe that “The [insert word] from hell” could have been the creation of a contemporary figure like Lewis.

After all, how many times have you heard someone talking about “the neighbour from hell” or “the journey from hell” and not thought twice about it?

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However, he is credited in the Yale Book of Quotations as originating the phrase.

Speaking to Interview magazine in 2008, Lewis said “the truth of the matter is that whatever gift I have as a comedian, most of it was in the phrase ‘from hell.’ I’m credited with popularizing that phrase because I felt victimized by everything.”

The quote featured in the storyline of an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm in 2002, which saw Lewis try to get the phrase into Bartlett’s “Familiar Quotations”. Lewis later said that the episode “immortalised” the quote.

His great friend and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator and star Larry David released a statement following his death, saying: “Richard and I were born three days apart in the same hospital and for most of my life he’s been like a brother to me.

“He had that rare combination of being the funniest person and also the sweetest. But today he made me sob and for that I’ll never forgive him.”

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