Humor Non-Fiction posted January 12, 2015

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The quirky world of cerebral humor

Go Ask Alice

by Marisa3

I wrote this piece a couple of years ago, but thought I would post it again, as I think in these trying times we can all use a good laugh ... that is provided of course those who read it think it is funny!

There are some special comics living, and some no longer with us, that I love and that always lift my mood when life suddenly retreats to the backside of the moon.

I can be so low I have to look down to look up, then all I need do is bring one of these characters up on YouTube and in a few seconds I am hopelessly in tears of laughter.

Their humor comes from a highly developed cerebral cortex and the level of synapse activity in their brains, at any given moment, is like a storm of fireflies on a sultry southern summer night. Their thought processes are 'otherworldly' in the way they view life.

They are the anointed few; those who possess the 'gift of the magi' ... the ability to make us laugh.

Some of these guys are so far out there; they "live where the buses don't run". Steve Wright fits this bill perfectly, with his penchant for non-sequiturs and subdued, slowly paced delivery style.

In the late 70's his aura of obscurity ushered in a new brand of laid-back comedic performing that rapidly developed a cult following of hip, savvy fans.

Below are some of my favorite Steve Wright thought-provoking, bizarre one-liners and musings.

"A friend of mine has a trophy wife, but apparently it wasn't first place."

"What's another word for Thesaurus?"

I got food poisoning today; I don't know when I'm gonna use it"

"If you shoot a mime should you use a silencer?"

"One time I went to a drive-in in a cab. The movie cost me $95.00"

"I bought some powdered water, but I don't know what to add."

"My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted."

These one-liners are so obscure in nature that they tend to catch the audience momentarily off guard. I mean, who the hell even considers if one would use a silencer to shoot a mime. Personally, I find them so annoying I would just use my bare hands.

"When I was a little kid I wished the first word I ever said was 'quote', so right before I died I could say 'unquote'?

"Sponges grow in the ocean, that kills me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn't happen?"

Someone who contemplates how much deeper the ocean would be without benefit of sponges growing in it, is a person I want to know.

"Sometimes when I'm over someone's house and they aren't in the kitchen, I like to add things to that "To Do" list they have on the refrigerator" -- "Memorize distances to all other planets."

"I'm going to court next week, I've been selected for jury duty. It's kind of an insane case; six thousand ants dressed up as rice and robbed a Chinese restaurant. I don't think they did it. I know a few of them and they wouldn't do anything like that."

"When I was a fetus I used to sneak out when my mother was asleep. I thought to myself, this is the time when I should start stealing some stuff, since I don't have any fingerprints."

This man obviously has a chemical imbalance in his brain that is purely organic in origin. God help us if he ever decides to use drugs.

One might ask just how left of center my brain is that I favor his unique brand of comedy? One might, but I would appreciate it if one did not! I can't afford the therapy bills in order to answer the question.

Another of these crazies that escaped from the asylum was Mitch Hedberg.

Mitch's humor was a lot like Steve Wright's, as it consisted of observational comedy, word play, non-sequiturs, and one-liners. He also used paraprosdokians.

Unfortunately, he passed away in 2005 from what was said to be a drug overdose. He was only 37 years old.

Far too many of our most gifted and unique voices of comedy took their leave much too soon.

"My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light!" -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Here are a few examples of Mitch Hedberg's take on things:

"I like to play blackjack. I'm not addicted to gambling I'm addicted to sitting in a semi-circle."

"A guy handed me a picture and said 'this is a picture of me when I was younger'. I said every picture is a picture of you when you were younger."

"I would think if you could understand Morse Code, a tap dancer would drive you crazy."

"I like rice; rice is good when you're hungry and you want 2,000 of something."

"Last week I helped a friend stay put; it's a lot easier than helping someone move. I just went over to his house and made sure he didn't start to load shit in a truck."

"I was at a casino standing by the door and the security guard said " you're going to have to move, you're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire I wasn't going to run. If you are flammable and have legs you are never blocking a fire exit"

I suppose I am in serious danger of over using excerpts from these comedic geniuses, but I find their minds fascinating. One or two would be enough to sufficiently convey my point, but the problem is, I just can't choose.

These two guys are and were at the top of their game. Both could have easily been pocket protector geeks, with IQs in the high triple digits, they might have chosen to be rocket scientist or string theorists. Thankfully for us they chose the world of comedy to ply their weird and wonderful brand of humor.

They give us new ways of looking at life, backdoors to exit through, and unpaved roads to travel down in our minds.

Life is tough enough at times, but I can't even imagine what it would be like if we didn't have humor to call upon. Gratefully, we have court jesters who are willing to strut upon the stage and dare us to laugh at ourselves and to see the sheer absurdity of life. They give us the opportunity to lighten up and enjoy the ride.


For those of you who are not familiar with the term Paraprosdokian, the following is a brief definition:

Paraprosdokian: is a figure of speech, which little known by the general public, but is well understood by satirists. The key feature is that the final words make the listener reinterpret the first part of the sentence.

Examples: The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas, how he got in my pajamas, I dont know.

A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

Of course, any smartass worth his/her salt will be very familiar with this way of thinking/responding.
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