“Comedy Happens to You, Tragedy Happens to Me”

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My colleague Kal Raustiala—who is writing a biography of Ralph Bunche, an American diplomat, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and UCLA valedictorian—found this in Bunche’s personal notes:

At a Finnish mission lunch Thursday 17 oct 68, Gunnar Jarring, Swedish diplomat working for UN, says to Romanian dep FM, talking about film, “The Russians Are Coming was quite funny”

Romanian says, “It isnt so funny in my country”

(I’ve seen the quote in the title of this post credited to Mel Brooks, though not in any definite way; English writer Angela Carter has a version of it, as I imagine others do, too.)

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