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 (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.

Works written by Jack Handey include:
  • 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)
Jack Handey provides examples of the following tropes:
  • 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."

"If life deals you lemons, why not go kill someone with the lemons (maybe by shoving them down his throat)?"

  • Comically Missing the Point: Very often.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Surreal Humor
  • Unreliable Narrator: Fuzzy Memories is largely composed of Handey telling very improbable stories about his past.
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"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".