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Richard Lewis: I'm Doomed

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In the great tradition of Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and the young Woody Allen, Richard Lewis uses stand-up comedy essentially as a way to write a thinly veiled confessional novel. In this particular Lewis performance titled Richard Lewis: I’m Doomed, taped in Chicago in 1990 for HBO, his Most Neurotic Man on Earth act yields some great lines — at one point Lewis notes that 17 years of therapy have enabled him to ”masturbate to less destructive women.” But the star’s comic momentum takes longer than usual to build. And too often when he does start to roll, the camera cuts away to an unnecessary and generally strained framing story about celebrities (including Robert Goulet and Angie Dickinson) dissing him in a group-therapy session. C+