MAMA MIA, THAT'S A MEA CULPA

I'm of the generation that believes A Thousand Clowns holds all the secrets of human existence. In one of the rambling monologues that give the 1960s play and movie its enduring appeal, Murray (played by Jason Robards) reveals the mystic power of a simple three-word sentence. I can hear Robards' gravelly voice as he declares, "I could run up on the roof right now and holler, 'I am sorry,' and half a million people would holler right back, 'That's O.K., just see that you don't do it again.'"

This speech foreshadowed the current Age of Apology, as public remorse has become...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!