Denis O’Hare is Everywhere

Recognize this face?
Recognize this face?


Gosh, so many things rhyme with O’Hare. It’s… great.

Last night Denis O’Hare guest starred on TWO shows. First, he was in “Bored to Death” as a therapist (“the Carl Jung of Brooklyn”). Then he was on “Brothers & Sisters” as mercenary political right-hand-man Travis, a role he originated a few seasons ago. I was in Denis O’Hare heaven, because he is the best.

And– OH YEAH– he’s gonna be a regular on “True Blood” next season! Life is good, for Denis O’Hare and for everybody who gets more Denis O’Hare in their humdrum lives.

I met Denis once in my TV-working life, and he walked right up to me and began telling me a chatty story, as if we were old pals. (I wish!) And I think he was talking about food. (How did he know? It’s like he was seeing right into my soul!) His absolute warmth and kindness was especially delightful because oftentimes his characters are a little bit scary-pants.

His cut-to-the-chase therapist character had some of the best lines on “Bored to Death” last night (the episode was called, “The Case of the Missing Screenplay”). He managed to “solve” all of Jonathan’s problems… a little too easily. For example, Jonathan said that he was sad about his breakup with Suzanne.

Therapist: You do know that she’s not the only source of love for you in the world?

Jonathan: But I want her love.

Therapist: We don’t get everything we want in life. You don’t get to have her love. That’s it. End of story. Next issue.

If only therapy were that easy… ha. Jonathan tells the therapist about his detective service.

Therapist: Sounds like you’re leading a double life.

Jonathan: I think that I am. I’m like a Russian doll. There’s all these versions of me, in me.

Therapist: There’s only one you, and he’s running away from his life. Oedipus, you know, was the first detective in literature. He uncovered mysteries to find out who he was.

Okay, this therapist is not exactly the “hero of listening.” (Zach Galifianakis’ character, who coined that term, went to Denis O’Hare and was “gutted.”) But maybe the therapist was being kind of crazy to Jonathan and company because… oh yeah, he knew that Jonathan was only there to recover a screenplay he dropped while making out with the therapist’s daughter, who turned out to be crazy… and sixteen. Oops.

But there was one last gem:

Therapist: Why were you so hellbent on getting this script back?

Jonathan: Well, because I have a chance to work with Jim Jarmusch, and if I do, my whole life could change.

Therapist: Ohh. Sounds like an illusion to me. Lives don’t change. We simply become more comfortable with our core misery. Which is a form of happiness.

Jonathan: Right.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Jonathan was offered a chance to rewrite a script about the life of poet Frank O’Hara, whom I LOVE. I really need to find my copy of “Lunch Poems.”

One of my favorite Frank O’Hara poems is “Steps.” It contains one of my favorite quotes ever: “and in a sense we’re all winning/we’re alive.” Isn’t that a nice sentiment? And yet… also depressing?

At any rate, it makes me feel more comfortable with my core misery.

As does seeing Denis O’Hare on my tele-tube.


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