By Tulis McCall
Ed Weinberger is a fortunate man. Not only did he survive a bout with bladder stones and his prostate while in Italy, he has Ed Asner – raconteur extraordinare – on hand to tell the tale. Asner executes this task so well that it is only when you read the fine print that you realize that A Man And His Prostate is not Asner’s personal story. Even so – it’s pretty damn funny. A two night engagement at the Metropolitan Room was sold out.
He opens by telling us that this is a story about life, death and love – “for those of you who like that wort of thing”. Asner’s character is a man whose pride of peeing knew no bounds. He could take down a cockroach at 20 paces. His penis was his cherished friend, and he found biblical references to prove that his was as it should be. Life was good.
Until it wasn’t. Little by little the signs showed themselves. He had to relieve himself more often, and when he did, the result was less than happy making. And he wants us to know all about it. Heretofore the word “Prostate” would make a grown person shudder. Like the word “vagina” did 15 years ago. But the world has changed and he has a mission. Prostate cancer kills 25,000 men each year – and often it is because no one did the necessary medical exam because no one asked for it. Seriously – who wants a doctor poking around where they don’t belong.
Weinberger and Asner – that’s who.
It so happens that Weinberger’s collapse happened in Italy, and that the surgeon who worked with him was one of the top urologists in the world. Nevermind that he missed half the cruise. The result was that the man is alive and well. And in case we miss anything, he has the charts to prove it. The bladders’ s connected to the prostate; the prostate’s connected to the penis – you can almost hum a tune to this.
And in sprite of the odd/serious nature of the subject at hand, this is a damn funny show. The combination of Weinberger’s writing and Asner’s delivery is a winner. Asner has never shaken the curmudgeon personality that won us all over on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Although he has some mobility issues, his wit and smarts never fail. I can see this as a show in a medium sized theatre with Asner pre-set on the stage reading. When our lights come down and his comes up – all he has to to is open his mouth and wrap us around his little finger. Which is a little different from the finger that the Italian doctor shoved into the exact right place and saved a life, but it will do.
A Man and His Prostate, by Ed Weinberger; With Ed Asner