This is a few days late, but I was away this weekend, so…
I am pleased to bestow my first Great Human Being Award to actor and comedian Eddie Izzard.
In the Friday, January 2, 2009, final edition of the New York Daily News, on page 22, a story caught my attention. Its headline: “Victim's dose of humor”
In summary, a 28-year-old Londoner named Will Pike suffered grievous injuries during the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai. He might be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life. Because of his continued forced convalescence, he was unable to use tickets he had purchased to see Izzard's sold-out live show last month.
Pike's father, Nigel, wrote Izzard a letter asking if the comedian could send his injured son a note to buoy his spirits.
Eddie Izzard visited Will Pike in the hospital and performed his entire 90-minute routine for the injured man, gratis. It was Pike's father who praised Izzard to the Times of London, while Izzard and his people sought no PR for the visit whatsoever.
I've long been a fan of Eddie Izzard's work, both as an actor and as a comedian. Now I can say I am an admirer of the man himself. And so I name him the first recipient of my Great Human Being Award.
Future awards will be given out as a I see fit. They need not go to celebrities. Great acts of kindness, charity, and compassion will be deserving of recognition no matter who performs them. I just wanted to start off 2009 talking about something good.
ETA: Link to the Daily News's story online.