Mike Nichols Was One of the Good Ones

REMEMBERED-Mike Nichols never raped anyone. He never beat any of his (four) wives. He was never the subject of a scathing thinkpiece, nor the target of online indignation. He was a good man, a decent man, respected by his peers, and the recipient of much-deserved professional accolades. It is sad that this is what makes him an exception to most comedic legends, but what can you do (other than, of course, hate everything)? 

His recent death affected me much more than I thought it would, for the simple fact that the tidal wave of articles that have been written about the horrific misdeeds of my former comedic idols has destroyed my ability to truly trust anyone I once admired who has XY chromosomes. If Bill Cosby, America's garishly sweatered rubber-faced dad, is capable of what over a dozen women claim he's capable of, the world is an even worse place than I thought it was. (And I've always been of the opinion that it's quite bad.)   

With each revelation that someone I worshipped as a child allegedly molested a child, drugged and raped multiple women, beat his wife, etc., my desire to find a quick exit off this mortal coil increases, as does the love I have for men like Nichols. He proved you didn't need to be tortured in order to be an artist; he proved that well-adjusted people could still be funny, and that biting social commentary is best delivered through a wide, "Ah, shucks," grin. 

● Video: Elaine May provides a profile of Mike  

(Megan Koester writes for Vice.com … where this piece was first posted.)




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Vol 12 Issue 95

Pub: Nov 25, 2014