We lost two of America’s great comic minds in the past 30 days. Both had long successful careers. Both were loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world. Both died prematurely. Both have been eulogized with glowing tributes. I never met either of these giants. The closest I ever came to watching either of them perform was in the 1970s when I stood in line outside a comedy club in Los Angeles for three hours waiting to see Joan Rivers, but I never got into the packed room. During the Vietnam War, I spent two hours one-on-one in the back of a Caribou cargo plane with Jonathon Winters during a monsoon. He was in Vietnam with a USO tour and he invited me in out of the rain onto the aircraft hauling him around South Vietnam. It was that experience that gave me a true appreciation for the value of Comedy. Winters talked to me, entertained me, for the entire two hours not once repeating the jokes he told at his performance for the 2nd Bde of the 9th Division the night before. He lifted my spirits and made me laugh till it hurt. It was an experience I never forgot. Winters and Williams comedy had much in common. It bordered on insanity. Rivers was different. Her genius was taking every aspect of life, including the painful ones, and making them funny. There are and have been many great comics. America is full of them. But the loss of Williams and Rivers leaves a big hole in the comic universe that will be hard to fill.