For those of you who haven't heard the sad news, today is Richard Lawson's (second) last day here at Gawker. We're very sad to lose him. So we're expressing our grief with this documentary about his life here as an internet scribbler. Enjoy!
Here are some of the quotes from his co-workers that didn't make it into the video.
Maureen O'Connor: Everyday there comes a point when I ask myself, WWRLD? His is the slyest wit on the internet. To read him is to become his fan.
My favorite Richard Lawson posts: What To Do When you Fall Down, Car-Driving Five-Year-Old Almost Makes It, Gwyneth Paltrow Is the Most Perfect Person in the World.
My favorite Richard Lawson turns of phrase: "lemon-scented floor mop Gretchen Carlson," "fiery cocaine golem Lindsay Lohan," "Dr. Phil, a butterball turkey with a master's degree," "Billy Bush, the human embodiment of a Teddy Ruxpin doll," "peasants."
Hamilton Nolan: "Richard Lawson is the best writer in the history of Gawker."
Max Read: "I'm not really going to miss Richard because I am really sick of being asked if I know him. That's all that people want to know when they hear you work for Gawker, really: Do you know Richard Lawson? What's he like in real life? Is he funny? Will you introduce me to him? And the worst part is that he actually is as smart and funny and fun as you'd expect from his writing. (And, no, I will not introduce you to him, though if I ever did, be prepared to stay out late, and I hope you can hold your liquor.) The best compliment I've ever received at Gawker was a commenter telling me I reminded her of Richard-if that sounds like bragging, it is; there are very few writers I'd rather sound like. And it'll be a lot easier to look original when he's gone."
John Cook: When I started working at Gawker I thought it was post-modern and horrible that we used a group chat program to communicate, even when most of us were all in the same room. But after working with Richard for two years, I am grateful for that little window every day because it's a running repository of his joyous and voluble wit. He's like a digital Dorothy Parker. I throw stories in there not to pitch them as blog posts, but just as little joke softballs in the hopes Richard will swing at them. I'll still be able to read him and laugh everyday—his written-on-a-matchbook recounting of our nation's founding as the time "our nation's Algonquin fathers joined up with a group of Portugese fur miners" still comforts me on dark days—but I will sorely miss his private jokes. In summary, Richard Lawson is the funniest motherfucker I know.
Brian Moylan: I'm not saying goodbye to Richard because I'm still mad at him that he's leaving because John Cook doesn't know Bethenny Frankel from a Bernadette Peters and Hamilton just doesn't find it nearly as amusing when I send him links from Tap that Guy, so that kind of sucks. Instead of goodbye, I'm going to tell the universe that one day Richard and I dreamed up a show called Departures, which is a procedural where Cherry Jones plays an obituary writer who solves crimes. It will be amazing. I hope some CBS executive reads this and orders a pilot so that we can quit our jobs and work together once again. Until that happens, I hate him forever.
Jim Newell: "Richard is so funny it's intimidating. I am scared of Richard. Sometimes I'm not scared of Richard and then I read a post where he calls someone "the living embodiment of tuna noodle casserole and the triceratops poop from Jurassic Park" and I am scared again. I will miss having such a competent monster as my colleague."
Ryan Tate: Good riddance. I am tired of being the "other commenter who got hired" and having to endure the painful contrast of my paint-by-numbers attack posts to Lawson's imaginative, hyperliterate and whimsically surprising cultural deconstructions. Now we can all look better without the comparison to Mr. Glasses Beard Savant over there. Now we just need to get Atlantic Wire moved to a different internet.
Leah Beckmann: Not only does Richard Lawson have this insane imagination, an inimitable voice, and perfect sense of humor that anyone who's read his work is instantly jealous of, but he also looks like Hunter Parrish's better looking and smarter younger brother. So it's like, maybe give the rest of us a chance? My biggest regret in life—past, present, or future—is that Richard and I only got to work together a short time. But in that short time, he has been so incredibly supportive and encouraging in every way. Encouraging in my pursuits as a newborn writer, sure, but mostly encouraging of my pursuits as a big ol' bag of booze. It's really too bad that Richard's biggest regret in life—past, present, and without a doubt, future—will be showing me where he lives. "Hi, Richard! Hey, hi! It's me, Leah! From Gawker? PLEASE hang out with me!! Please? Please!"
Remy Stern: Hamilton and John said it best: Richard Lawson is the funniest motherfucker I know and the best writer in the history of Gawker. I'm going to miss him terribly. But I'm looking forward to relaxing poolside at the giant Beverly Hills mansion he buys just as soon as the big Hollywood paychecks start rolling in.
Adrian Chen: At the risk of making Richard feel old—wait, no—with the express
intent of making Richard feel old: I was a fan of his long before I became his co-worker. As an avid Gawker reader, I celebrated his rise from commenter to staff writer like you might a friend's promotion: Richard Lawson represented all of us trying and failing to be half as funny as he was, in comments and on personal blogs during lunch. What's so great about Richard is that he never really left the comments. Even as he noticeably decreased our nation's GDP with his recaps, Richard's insane riffs and hilarious voice remained that of the World's Best Internet Commenter: a true personality, triple-starred, infinitely-hearted and +1'd forever. That's what made him my favorite writer when I was a Gawker reader, and an amazing coworker. It's been fun, Richard. See you in the comments.
Matt Cherette: As the "other other commenter who got hired," I'd sympathize with Ryan about playing second fiddle to Richard if it wasn't for the fact that everyone plays second fiddle to Richard. Because Richard is the best.
Seth Abramovitch: Reading Richard Lawson is like having hot laugh-sex with your brain. Now I'm going to have to have hot brain-laugh-sex all over the unsullied Atlantic Wire! Can't wait!
Lauri Apple: Hmmm! Well, I've always thought of "reading Richard Lawson" as akin to watching Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly (whichever one was the better dancer). I've always been struck by how elegant his writing is—it never comes off as contrived or clunky. His prose wears a top hat and coattails and subtly guides you across the room, twirling you around a bit and making you feel gleeful. Also, he writes these big long television recaps that go on for miles yet never seem too long. Finally: he called Fox News people "dilapidated horseshoe crabs." That's amazing.