Jack Handey has a new book coming out this week, his first novel, The Stench of Honolulu. Handey’s comedy has been such a tremendous influence not only on my own writing and sense of humor, but many people my age who were just developing their comedic sensibility in the early 90’s when his Deep Thoughts and sketches were on SNL. I’ve had long discussions with friends, also in their mid thirties, about the impact of early 90s SNL, (along with Seinfeld), had on how we look at the world.
Here is a great interview from The New Yorker this week. I particularly enjoyed the conversation on pure comedy, something I believe Jack Handey has harnessed more than any other writer. He creates pure jokes that take you to a silly place deep inside and invite you to relax there in an overstuffed leather chair. No serious matters on your mind, just laughter.He calls his character persona an, “insane idiot.” I like to call it, “overconfident stupidity.” Either way it’s comedy gold where I come from. (I come from Iowa.):
Here is another piece from The New Yorker that speaks to the brilliance of his writing and its influence on modern poetry:
You can buy Jack’s new book here. (And get a sneak peek.):
Here is his official website, where you can get a refresher course on many Deep Thoughts:
Here are two classic Jack Handey sketches:
Here is probably my favorite deep thought:
If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy.