The obituary of Australian music journalist and radio DJ, Ryan ‘Dry’ Dryden, has gone viral. Who is the person behind the obituary, and why has it been so popular? His mother was described as “plus-sized Jewish lady redneck,” “bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch” and “smart and gregarious grifter.”
Who is Andy Corren, son of Renay Mandel Corren?
Andy Corren called himself “favourite son, the gay one who writes catty obituaries in his spare time” in his eulogy for his 84-year-old mother Renay. He’s a talent manager who splits his time between Manhattan and the Catskill Mountains in New York State.
Andy Corren, according to The Guardian profile of him, produces “tight 1,500-2,500-word articles” for storytelling shows. He’s also written and performed little bits of theatre.
“I come from three ancient and proud traditions of storytelling”, it quotes him as saying. “Jewish, gay, and Southern.”
He is the owner of a large sheep farm, which he inherited from his father and runs alongside his mother. He has brothers although it’s not clear how many, and a dog. Corren lives in a “dirt hovel on the side of a mountain” and is currently working on “a redneck Less Than Zero” (in response to Bret Easton Ellis’ 1985 novel) about himself and his family.
How has Andy Corren reacted to his obituary’s viral success?
Andy Corren’s talent has been widely recognized since releasing his obituary several days ago. The first time he made a remark about it publicly was on Instagram, in the Mirror (UK). Corren’s memorial was dubbed “hilarious” and “funny” by the Mirror.
Corren responded by writing: “The British are so unctuous and supercilious like they don’t have, right now, a big old gasbag redneck grifting their country for all it’s worth, just like my beloved mommy did to her family.”
He’s previously covered other stories with the same level of irreverence.
Andy’s tribute sparks tributes of its own
Andy Corren’s irreverence has caught on.
In a lengthy comment on his Instagram post about NPR’s obituary covering Renay Mandel Corren’s death, one user expressed how bothered he was by the fact that his 81-year-old mother had died. “She was a real piece of work”, reads the comment. “Oversharing was not a word in her vocabulary.”
“Your mom’s obituary really has a special place for me. That is definitely ‘…how to do it’! Condolences about Renay.”