Heartbreaking Diagnosis: Comedian Richard Lewis Announces Retirement

Richard Lewis, a standout figure among stand-up comedians of his era, has declared that he is retiring from stand-up comedy due to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

The 75-year-old comedian, renowned for portraying a fictionalized version of himself on the HBO sitcom “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” shared this news on social media recently. He mentioned that the past three-and-a-half years have been challenging, leading fans to inquire about the reasons behind his cessation of stand-up comedy tours. In a video, he discloses the details of “what really happened.”

“Three and a half years ago, I was in the middle of a tour, and then I finally ended it with a show,” Lewis said. “I said, you know, I’m at the top of my game. After 50 years, almost, I’m going to just call it quits. And I felt great about that.”

After deciding to retire, Lewis says “s**t hit the fan,” and he underwent four back-to-back surgeries, including shoulder and hip replacement surgeries.

On top of that, Lewis revealed that he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

“Two years ago, I started walking a little stiffly,” he said. “I was shuffling my feet, and I went to a neurologist, and they gave me a brain scan, and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. And that was about two years ago.”

“But luckily, I got it late in life, and they say you progress very slowly, if at all, and I’m on the right med, so I’m cool. So I guess I just wanted you to know that that’s where it’s been at. I’m finished with stand-up. I’m just focusing on writing and acting. I have Parkinson’s disease, but I’m under a doctor’s care, and everything is cool. And I love my wife, I love my little puppy dog, and I love all my friends and my fans. And now you know where it’s been at the last three and a half years. God bless.”


As a stand-up comedian, Lewis rose to prominence in the 1970s and 80s. He is known for his neurotic and self-deprecating humor, and for his frank discussions about his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction.

He was a frequent guest on late-night shows like The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Late Night with David Letterman, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

On TV, Lewis is known for his Golden Globe-nominated performance in the sitcom Anything but Love opposite Jamie Lee Curtis, and for playing a fictionalized version of himself on Curb Your Enthusiasm. He also memorably played Prince John in Mel Brooks’ Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

He has been listed as one of the best and most influential comedians in lists by GQ and Comedy Central.