Can anyone help me find out who originallly said this?

A while ago I went to see “The Watchmen” in theaters.While I regret going to see that movie because it was seriously one of the most messed up things I’ve ever seen there were a few interesting parts.For example this is one said by Rorschach while visiting the Comedian’s grave after his funereal.I found it on wikiquote.

"I heard a joke once. Man goes to doctor, says he’s depressed. Life seems harsh and cruel. Says he feels all alone in a threatening world where what lies ahead is vague and uncertain. Doctor says “Treatment is simple. The great clown, Pagliacci, is in town. Go see him. That should pick you up”. Man bursts into tears. “But doctor”, he says, “I am Pagliacci.”.

I found that part very sad because of that and how “The sounds of silence” by Simon and Garfunkel was being played.I definately recognized the melody of that song because it’s been used for years (and still is used) at the Churches I go to.However the I was really focused on the quote because I remember how years ago I found this website that gives commentaries about movies from a Catholic perspective.I was curious to look at the review for “The silence of the lambs” (I think) and it started with something almost like that expect it said Grimaldi instead of Pagliacci.“The Watchmen” graphic novel came in like part between 1986-1987 so that quote about the doctor and the patient who’s a clown is probably old.I still wonder who said that and what does it mean though.Can anyone help answer that?.

All I’d say with regards to any adaption of any work by Moore thus far is read the original. Watchmen looks stylistically correct but apart from that and a few momentary flashes of intelligence misses the point of the original work by a good few lightyears. The only saving grace was the actor who played Rorschach managed to pull of his characterisation accurately and despite him been a violent, thuggish vigilante he still (as in the original) emerges as one of the only characters with any integrity.

From Hell, V for Vendetta, Watchmen etc. all screwups of the original source material. Watchmen would work better in any case as a series than a move I always thought. The quote in context in the novel of course is indicative of both Rorschach’s bitter view of the world and the late Comedian’s attempts to see it as black humor. As witness the later sequence of the Comedian burning people alive with a flamethrower while smiling and Dr. Manhattan commenting that unlike most humans Eddie Blake enjoys the maddness and misery of everything human and laughs at at it all. A point aptly proved when a few panels after than in the original blake shoots a pregnant Vienamese women he has impregnated and who approaches him for financial help for their unborn child. Blake shows no remorse whatsoever. The movie tried to handle these themes but frankly it came of looking ridiculous in comparision to the original material.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit