Comedian’s Shtick Resonates with Writers

by Michelle Hutchinson

People laughing during a comedy club performance

Image source: http://ow.ly/hAOhD

Laughing is a great stress reliever. That’s why I always appreciate the work of a good humor writer or comedian. Eliciting a belly laugh or even a chuckle from me makes my whole body relax.

Last night certainly evoked that feeling. My husband and I had the pleasure of watching comedian Steven Wright perform at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta.

If you’re not familiar with Wright’s work, his trademarks are his deadpan delivery and his mind-blowing zingers that test the limits of your logic.

Wright’s show lived up to his reputation. The house was filled with continuous bursts of laughter.

As a writer and editor, here are the lines that stayed with me long after his performance ended (but I fear they’re not as funny in writing as when they’re delivered with Wright’s warped wit and gestures):

“What’s another word for a thesaurus?” (Okay, that one came from Wright’s old material, but all these other jokes were new.)

“I’m writing an unauthorized autobiography…When it comes out, I’m gonna sue myself.”

“I have two pairs of reading glasses, one for fiction and one for nonfiction…I’ve read the Bible twice, once with each pair. It’s the same either way.”

“People ask me, ‘If you were shipwrecked on a deserted island, what one book would you want?’”….”How To Build a Boat.”

“When I was little, I used to wish my first word had been ‘Quote.’ Then on my deathbed, my last word could have been, ‘Unquote.’”

The next time you’re feeling tense, try reading some funny material or listening to one of your favorite comedians, most of whom you can find on youtube.com. And you know, once that tension is gone, you’ll probably have a clear enough mind to tackle whatever project is on your list.

Who are your favorite comedians or humorists?

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  1. Janice Spina says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I really got a kick out of this blog. You are so right about needing a good laugh every now and then. This gave me a chuckle. Wright is a funny guy. Tags confuse me below. What do they mean? I just used # on my Twitter page today. It surprised me. I guess they are connections?
    My blog is http://jemsbooks.wordpress.com if you care to check it out. I just started blogging in December still a newbie. Could use some suggestions.
    Thanks.
    Janice

    • Thanks, Janice. You asked about blog tags and Twitter hashtags. On your blog, tags are a good way for readers to find other posts related to the same topic(s). They work very much like categories.

      On Twitter, you are right that hashtags are a good way to connect with or find others who are posting about the same topic as you, but they are also a good way to organize tweets or Twitter conversations. The following link takes you to an article about this: http://technorati.com/social-media/article/how-to-use-hashtags-without-looking/.

      I took a look at your blog. You have a warm, friendly tone to your posts, and that should help you connect with readers. I responded privately with two suggestions.

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