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Creator / Jack Handey

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"It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man."
Deep Thoughts

Jack Handey (born February 25, 1949) is an American writer and humorist, best known for his best-selling series of surrealistic One Liners and stories, Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey. Handey also wrote for Saturday Night Live, which helped bring Deep Thoughts popularity through their inclusion as interstitial segments. He has also written for Steve Martin's stand-up and The New Yorker.

Books by Jack Handey:

  • Deep Thoughts (1992)
  • Deeper Thoughts: All New, All Crispy (1993)
  • Deepest Thoughts: So Deep They Squeak (1994)
  • Fuzzy Memories (1996)
  • The Lost Deep Thoughts: Don't Fight the Deepness (1998)
  • What I'd Say to the Martians and Other Veiled Threats (2008)
  • The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure (2013)

Tropes by Jack Handey:

  • Black Comedy: While rarely explicit in any way, death certainly pops up frequently in Handey's work.
  • Brutal Honesty: In Fuzzy Memories he tells of a time when he set up a lemonade stand in front of his house, which ended up being a disappointing experience. His conclusion:
    "I think that was the first time I realized that the world doesn't give a damn about you or anything you do."
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The basis of his comedy style.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: About as often as Black Comedy. For example:
    "If life deals you lemons, why not go kill someone with the lemons (maybe by shoving them down his throat)?"
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Deeper Thoughts includes Handey thinking "mankind" is made of the words "mank" and "ind", saying that he can't stand cheap people who constantly ask you to pay back the hundred dollars you owe them, and laughing at a joke while his friend Rick is telling Handey that he's having trouble with his wife. Rick doesn't laugh as much when Handey tells the joke.
      "Some friend he is."
    • Fuzzy Memories includes Handey telling the story of when he once played hooky, but all he did was sit outside his classroom and take notes anyway.
  • Destination Ruse: Discussed in a "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" segment on Saturday Night Live:
    "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."
  • Little Known Facts: Often in Deep Thoughts
  • Minimalism: The Deep Thoughts book series is composed of approximately a single one-liner or story per page, sometimes with an accompanying stock picture.
  • Monster Clown: "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."
  • One-Liner
  • Pen Name: Inversion. A lot of people think "Jack Handey" is a pen name for an unknown author or authors, but he's a real individual.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: His debut novel The Stench of Honolulu is narrated by one of these.
  • Surreal Humor
  • Unreliable Narrator: Fuzzy Memories is largely composed of Handey telling very improbable stories about his past.

"I'm not so sure it's good to think back to my childhood memories, because I end up feeling happy and sad at the same time, and that gives me a weird "neutral" feeling".


Video Example(s):


Dealing with Aliens

What to do if space aliens aren't impressed by our civilization.

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4.75 (4 votes)

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