“Laughter is the best medicine,” they told him in medical school, and he took that old adage seriously.
It was hard to laugh sometimes, though. His specialty, thoracic oncology, didn’t give him much to laugh about. His patients were, for the most part, in desperate straits, having smoked themselves into Big Trouble. To use Warren Zevon’s description, their shit was fucked up. Most of them had only a short, very uncomfortable future to look forward to.
But with his red clown nose and jocular manner, “Nicotine Patch” Adams could deliver both pills and puns, helping them laugh through the pain.