Friday, April 11, 2014

Laughter or Life?

Thomas Golianopoulos profiles former funny fat guy Ron Lester, who lost 310 pounds after duodenal switch surgery:
Since he realized in the third grade that his massive girth could draw laughs, Lester knew his fate was as the funny fat guy. When he moved to Hollywood – a town where funny fat guys can become millionaires – he was an overnight success. There was one problem, though: His moneymaker was slowly killing him. With a family history of heart problems, the 500-pound Lester wasn’t long for this world. Surgery saved his life. It also ended his career.

A shrinking man with loose skin greeted casting directors expecting the funny fat guy, and Lester struggled to score roles post-op. Now living in Dallas nearly 15 years after his glory days, he is left to ponder whether choosing life was the right decision. “Am I alive? Yes. Am I happy? No. Did I throw away my career to be skinny? Yes,” he says. “I wouldn’t do [the surgery] again. I would much rather have died happy, rich, and kept my status and gone out on top.”

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