Saturday, January 20, 2007

I have a pony

Steven Wright made his TV debut on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1982. At the time, he'd only been performing standup for a few weeks and had no agent - the Tonight Show talent scout just happened to catch him in an early performance and decided he was ready for the big time.

What I marvel at the most when I watch this (aside from how young Steven looks - we all looked pretty young a quarter century ago) is how hard the audience is laughing. Not that this isn't funny, but this style must have been so different to people at the time, so fresh and innovative. Now everything wacky gets attributed to him, whether he said it or not - raise your hand if you've been forwarded some of "his" funniest lines.

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