It is rare to find something that makes me guffaw. Part of that is due to my love of comedy and comedians. I’ve seen most stand-up acts worth seeing, and the ones I haven’t, I probably haven’t heard of them. Once you’ve seen it all, there’s a certain cynicism that arises. Patterns emerge, structure becomes obvious and punchlines seem evident even before the set-up is completed. Sometimes even jokes repeat themselves, with different but similar phrasing.
I recalled Louie CK talking about this sense of apathy towards comedy and what is needed to break it. Here’s an excerpt from his TV show where he talks about it:
It’s refreshing to find someone who breaks all patterns and manages to be funny in a complete new way. Jack Handy’s musings are constructed in unfamiliar moulds. Its premises are often unique and much of them even lack a punch-line. If Jerry Seinfeld is the observational humorist of the common man, Handey does the same for the schizophrenics He threw out the Comedy Manual and burned it till the last page. From its ashes rose the Phoenix of comedy! He still ignored that Phoenix and did his own thing.
Most of the work I know are one-liners that he wrote for SNL for a segment called Deep Thoughts. Enjoy some of my favourites:
One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. “Oh no,” I said, “Disneyland burned down.” He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.
To me, clowns aren’t funny. In fact, they’re kind of scary. I’ve wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.
The memories of my family outings are still a source of strength to me. I remember we’d all pile into the car – I forget what kind it was – and drive and drive. I’m not sure where we’d go, but I think there were some trees there. The smell of something was strong in the air as we played whatever sport we played. I remember a bigger, older guy we called “Dad.” We’d eat some stuff, or not, and I then I think we went home. I guess some things never leave you.
If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is, “God is crying.” And if he asks you why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is, “Probably because of something you did.”
We used to laugh at grandpa when he’d head off and go fishing. But we wouldn’t be laughing that evening when he’d come back with some whore he’d picked up in town.
Children need encouragement. So if a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way he’ll develop a good lucky feeling.
Instead of trying to build newer and bigger weapons of destruction, mankind should be thinking about getting more use out of the weapons we already have.
I don’t think God put me on this planet to judge others. I think he put me on this planet to gather specimens and take them back to my home planet.
What am I afraid of? I’ll tell you: a feather. That’s right, a feather. How could anyone be afraid of a feather, you say? That’s an honest question, and I’ll try to give it an honest answer. First of all, did I say it was a poison feather?
I’d like to see a nude opera, because when they hit those high notes, I bet you can really see it in those genitals.
To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography and the dancers hit each other.
Instead of having “answers” on a math test, they should just call them “impressions,” and if you got a different “impression,” so what, can’t we all be brothers?
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they’d never expect it.
Check out the rest of his work. I’ll try to make some more posts about my favourite comedians and feel free to join in with suggestions!
I’m not the messiah, but you can follow me: