Is that your real name? I thought Jack Handey was a made-up name. Jack Handey is a made-up name. It was made up by my parents when I was born. However, I am a real person. I was born in San Antonio on February 25, 1949, went to high school (Eastwood) and college (the University of Texas at El Paso) in El Paso, and worked for a while at the San Antonio Express-News—until my reporting job was eliminated after I wrote an article that offended local car dealerships.
I began writing for the comedian Steve Martin (also a Texan), which led me to a writing job for the TV show Saturday Night Live, where I have worked, off and on, for the past several years. I am the author of such sketches as “Toonces, the Cat Who Could Drive a Car” and “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.” I also wrote and narrated “Deep Thoughts.”
I live in the Chelsea section of Manhattan with my wife, Marta, who is from El Paso, and our three cats, whose names are all made up.
Who died and made you king? When my father, the emperor, died, I was made king. And when I die, the throne will pass to Spunky, my eldest cat. He is now Prince Spunky.
What’s that stupid thing on your head? That “stupid thing,” as you call it, is a crown. It is full of symbolism. The large, glittering jewel is symbolic of how glittering and glowing life is whenever the king is around. The spaceman is symbolic of how we must always be on guard against things from outer space. The skull is a reminder that when you rent a movie, make sure it’s not too scary.
Uncle Jack, have you seen my piggy bank? I did see him, a little while ago. He was running away from home. I asked him why, and he said because nobody loved him. Then he left.
But if it makes you feel any better, you can have a sip of this beer I just bought.
Can you give me any reason why I shouldn’t fire you? Yes, but it’ll probably take a few months, and I’ll need a raise.
What’s with you? What’s with me is a spirit, a spirit that has been with mankind from the dawn of time. It is a spirit of kindness and love and understanding. And that spirit is the spirit of Hercules.
Why should I believe you this time? Maybe the best way to answer that is with a story, the story of the frog and the bee. It’s a very long story, involving how the frog met the bee, what made them become friends, the adventures they had together, and on and on and on. And I will tell you this whole story unless you believe me.
Who’s out there? Is anybody out there? Is someone out there in the bushes? [No answer]
Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you? Now, what were they again?
Is this your idea of a joke? It’s not the idea; it’s the actual joke.