Q; Is the humour in your work misunderstood? Leonard Cohen: “Oh, totally. But what can you do? I get a chuckle or two out of it”

From Leonard Cohen: Porridge? Lozenge? Syringe? by Adrian Deevoy. Q, 1991.

Leonard Cohen: Godfather Of Gloom

Leonard Cohen has long been characterized as – well – a downer sort of guy. Among his many nicknames,1 several fall into the category represented by this section’s heading – namely, Leonard Cohen is one morose son of a gun.

Consider, for example, these monickers that have been appended to the Canadian singer-songwriter:

  • Master Of Erotic Despair2
  • Poet Laureate Of Pessimism3
  • Dr. Kevorkian Of Song4
  • Grand Master of Melancholia5

There are more, but you get the idea.

In contradistinction to the perverse perspective that Leonard Cohen is gloom incarnate, The Comedic Stylings Of Leonard Cohen showcases Leonard’s comic talents, including his stage shticks (e.g., “Start Smoking Again At 80” “Rev Leo’s Toronto Revival Meeting,” “Stages Of A Man’s Allure To Women”) and impromptu shenanigans (e.g., “Everybody Wants A Long Stem”), all presented without the annoying interruptions of those songs he insists on performing between his stand-up routines.

The Comedic Stylings Of Leonard Cohen
Video by Allan Showalter


I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Mar 11, 2018.


  1. Those aliases with examples of usage can be found at Leonard Cohen, AKA … – The Nicknames []
  2. Re: Master of Erotic Despair from alt.music.leonard-cohen. 2000/01/28 []
  3. An Interview with Leonard Cohen by Richard Guilliatt, The Sunday Times Magazine (London), December 12, 1993 []
  4. Zen Robes Retired As Singer Turns 65 by Juan Rodriguez, The Montreal Gazette, September 18, 1999 []
  5. Cohen Regrets by Alastair Pirrie. New Musical Express, March 10, 1973 []

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