P.J. O’Rourke, one of the best known and respected journalists and writers of political satire, and certainly the most famous humor writer in the conservative-libertarian spectrum, passed away on Tuesday, February 15, at the age of 74.
A member of the Cato Institute — one of the world’s leading libertarian think tanks — he also held very important positions in the world of journalism, most notably as editor-in-chief of the humor magazine National Lampoon, and his contributions to outlets such as Rolling Stone, The Atlantic Monthly, The American Spectator, The Weekly Standard, Playboy, Vanity Fair, and The Daily Beast, among others.
With irreverent, funny writing and a very original approach to the news, his political satire from a libertarian point of view transcended his ideology and was recognized, admired and respected by readers and professionals of all political persuasions. With 16 books published — 3 of them on The New York Times Best Sellers list — his most successful and recognized period was during her participation in the humor magazine National Lampoon.
Founded in 1970, National Lampoon reigned for nearly two decades in the world of comedy. P.J. O’Rourke joined the staff in 1973 and ended up as editor-in-chief of the magazine, leading it to an era of splendor. The success of National Lampoon’s surreal humor and wacky parodies with P.J. O’Rourke’s stamp on them made it a brand that would spawn films, radio shows, theatrical shows, records and books that dominated the comedy world in the 1970s and 1980s.
National Lampoon‘s contribution to the world of humor and comedy has been enormous, launching the careers of such legendary names as John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney, Al Jean and Chris Miller, as well as P.J. O’Rourke himself, among many other great names in comedy.
P.J. O’Rourke and his legacy for libertarian and conservative thought in 5 phrases
The death of P.J. O’Rourke is a great loss for journalism, specifically for political satire and especially for libertarian and conservative thought; although he leaves a huge legacy and, above all, the realization that conservatives can be rabidly funny and witty.
Below we leave some of P.J. O’Rourke’s most representative phrases, as a sample of his fine sense of humor and by way of a heartfelt tribute:
“There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequence.”
“ou can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.”
“The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then they get elected and prove it.”
“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”
“Politicians are interested in people. Not that it is always a virtue. Fleas are interested in dogs.”