Friday Filosophy v.03.10.2023
Ron Slee shares quotes and thoughts from comedian Steve Wright in Friday Filosophy v.03.10.2023.
Steven Alexander Wright (born December 6, 1955) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and film producer. He is known for his distinctly lethargic voice and slow, deadpan delivery of ironic, philosophical and sometimes nonsensical jokes, paraprosdokians, non sequiturs, anti-humor, and one-liners with contrived situations.
Wright was ranked as the 15th Greatest Comedian by Rolling Stone in its 2017 list of the 50 Greatest Stand-up Comics. His accolades include the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for starring in, writing, and producing the short film The Appointments of Dennis Jennings (1988) and two Primetime Emmy Awards nominations as a producer of Louie (2010–15). He is known for his supporting role as Leon in the Peabody Award–winning tragicomedy web series Horace and Pete.
He graduated from Emerson in 1978 and began performing stand-up comedy the following year at the Comedy Connection in Boston. Wright cites comic George Carlin and director and former standup comic Woody Allen as comedic influences.
In 1982 executive producer of The Tonight Show Peter Lassally saw Wright performing on a bill with other local comics at the Ding Ho comedy club in Cambridge, a venue Wright described as “half Chinese restaurant and half comedy club. It was a pretty weird place.” Lassally booked Wright on NBC‘s The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, where the comic so impressed host Johnny Carson and the studio audience that less than a week later Wright was invited to appear on the show again.
By then Wright had firmly developed a new brand of obscure, laid-back performing and was rapidly building a cultlike following and an onstage persona characterized by an aura of obscurity, with his penchant for non sequiturs and impassive, slow delivery adding to his mystique. The performance became one of HBO’s longest-running and most requested comedy specials and propelled him to great success on the college-arena concert circuit.
Numerous lists of jokes attributed to Wright circulate on the Internet, sometimes of dubious origin. Wright has said, “Someone showed me a site, and half of it that said I wrote it, I didn’t write. Recently, I saw one, and I didn’t write any of it. What’s disturbing is that with a few of these jokes, I wish I had thought of them. A giant amount of them, I’m embarrassed that people think I thought of them because some are really bad.”[
After his 1990 comedy special Wicker Chairs and Gravity, Wright continued to do stand-up performances, but was absent from television, doing only occasional guest spots on late-night talk shows. In 1999 he wrote and directed the 30-minute short One Soldier, saying it’s “about a soldier who was in the Civil War, right after the war, with all these existentialist thoughts and wondering if there is a God and all that stuff.”
- Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.
- I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time’. So, I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.
- Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
- A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I’m afraid of widths.
- When I die, I’m leaving my body to science fiction.
- Be nice to your children. After all, they are going to choose your nursing home.
- A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
- I installed a skylight in my apartment… the people who live above me are furious!
- I was walking down the street wearing glasses when the prescription ran out.
- It doesn’t matter what temperature the room is, it’s always room temperature.
- For my birthday I got a humidifier and a de-humidifier… I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.
- I live on a one-way street that’s also a dead end. I’m not sure how I got there.
- On the other hand, you have different fingers.
- If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?
- I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering.
- I look like a casual, laid-back guy, but it’s like a circus in my head.
- Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?
- Babies don’t need a vacation, but I still see them at the beach… it ticks me off! I’ll go over to a little baby and say ‘What are you doing here? You haven’t worked a day in your life!’
- Is it weird in here, or is it just me?
- I went to a general store, but they wouldn’t let me buy anything specific.
- I had a friend who was a clown. When he died, all his friends went to the funeral in one car.
- I have the world’s largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world… perhaps you’ve seen it.
- I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn’t park anywhere near the place.
- I was a peripheral visionary. I could see the future, but only way off to the side.
- I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
The Time is Now.
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