Look who’s coming to Texas. P.J. O’Rourke

The political satirist will be speaking at the University of Texas at Austin on September 16.

Do you consider yourself a conservative humorist or simply a humorist?

I consider myself a humorist who happens to be a conservative. I think that things are just funny or they aren’t. Your former governor, for whom I voted and for whom I’ll vote again, says funny, funny things. I suppose if I were a conservative humorist I would work hard to ignore that.

Do you think he’s personally funny?

Well, I don’t know. I’ve never met him. He may well be. His father’s supposed to be. I have it on pretty good authority that his father has a pretty good sense of humor, so I imagine he has a sense of humor too. You know, anything that makes me laugh makes me laugh; it’s not a voluntary reflex. It’s like sexual arousal—it may be inappropriate, but it happens.

Who’s funny in America today?

Dave Barry. Carl Hiaasen. Rick Reilly in Sports Illustrated—I’m not even a sports fan and he makes me laugh. Christopher Buckley, who I think is pretty much the premier American comic writer. The guy who does the Daily Show. I don’t know if he’s funny, but his writers are.

That’s a pretty liberal show. Are you friends with many liberal comedians?

Yeah,I don’t discriminate. After all, most men who are married are married to women, and they’re famous for bad political opinions.

Have you seen Fahrenheit 9/11?

No, no. Doctor said blood pressure problem, you know, possibility of a brain aneurysm. He just thought it would be all around a bad call in terms of personal health.

One last question: Who’s going to win in November, and why?

Well, not the American people. And for all the usual reasons. I’m worried about this. I think that what will determine who wins in November is what happens that Tuesday morning—where the economy stands, what’s been happening in Iraq. I’m not too confident of the American public’s attention span on this stuff. I mean, I’m sure hoping it will be George Bush, but I don’t want to make wishes into opinions. (See page Austin: Other Events)