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March 31, 2008 7:12 PM   Subscribe

How I Want To Be Remembered by Jack Handey. He was fabulously wealthy, but he would pretend to be broke, and often tried to borrow cigarettes and money from people. Little did they know that those who gave him stuff would later be rewarded in his will, with jewels and antigravity helmets. You may know Jack Handey from his Deep Thoughts which first gained fame on as filler between sketches on Saturday Night Live. He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker (scroll down this page for his other essays).
posted by amyms (57 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah, Jack Handey.

"Most people don’t realize that large pieces of coral, which have been painted brown and attached to the skull by common wood screws, can make a child look like a deer."
posted by Auden at 7:40 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Handey: "I hope that after I die, people will say of me: 'That guy sure owed me a lot of money.' "

Words to live by.
posted by mullingitover at 7:49 PM on March 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


Dad said, "Hey, let's all quote our favorite ones!"

Then he fell into the fire and the exploding popcorn blew his brains out. It was magical!
posted by yhbc at 8:00 PM on March 31, 2008


"If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did.""
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:03 PM on March 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have to admit that I was always one of those people who assumed he was a pen name. I thought for awhile that it was really Conan O'Brien or Al Franken writing them.
posted by GavinR at 8:09 PM on March 31, 2008


"Most people don’t realize that large pieces of coral, which have been painted brown and attached to the skull by common wood screws, can make a child look like a deer."

Somewhat little known fact: In the guitar break on Nirvana's "I Hate Myself and Want to Die," you can hear Cobain quietly mumbling this gag deep in the mix.

Another little known fact: Handey was George Meyer's office mate during his brief stint on the SNL writing staff, before Meyer moved on to publish a zine called Army Man, whose contibutor list (including Meyer himself) become the nucleus of the writing staff of The Simpsons. Another of Army Man's contibutors - and one of the few not to move on to The Simpsons - was Jack Handey.

Final little known fact: Here's the best Deep Thought ever . . .

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."

On preview: Pope Guilty, it takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man. So, you know, ha-ha.
posted by gompa at 8:10 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


This one always makes me laugh:
"What is it that makes a complete stranger dive into an icy river to save a
solid gold baby? Maybe we'll never know."
posted by PHINC at 8:15 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Handey quotes are one of my biggest weaknesses.

"If you ever accidentally drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because man, they're gone."
posted by inconsequentialist at 8:20 PM on March 31, 2008


Just read this one aloud to a car full of roadtrippers. Laughter ensued.

Another one of my favorite Handey pieces - probably my most favorite: This Is No Game.
posted by Miko at 8:21 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hate it when they said I ran like a scared rabbit. Maybe I was an angry rabbit, running from one fight to another.
posted by jalexei at 8:27 PM on March 31, 2008


Even monsters liked him.

I'm stealing that as my epitaph.
posted by fleetmouse at 8:28 PM on March 31, 2008


My personal favorite Deep Thought:

When this girl at the museum asked me who I liked better, Monet or Manet, I said, 'I like mayonnaise.' She just stared at me, so I said it again, louder. Then she left. I guess she went to try to find some mayonnaise for me.
posted by papakwanz at 8:41 PM on March 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


"You know what would make a good story? Something about a clown who makes people happy, but inside he's real sad. Also, he has severe diarrhea."
posted by KokuRyu at 8:54 PM on March 31, 2008


My favorite: "It's a shame that entire families can be torn apart by something as simple as wild dogs."
posted by uosuaq at 8:55 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Since we're sharing favorites:

The crows seemed to be calling his name, thought Caw.

posted by peep at 9:03 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


"If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is 'God is crying.'

And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is 'Probably because of something you did.'"
posted by Miko at 9:04 PM on March 31, 2008


The keys in the lava is without question my favorite. Runner-up probably goes to:
"Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis."
posted by Ynoxas at 9:09 PM on March 31, 2008


Thanks, amyms. I'd always admired Deep Thoughts, but never thought to look for more Jack Handey on the intert00b.

Metafilter: I think it's high time we started questioning the old cliches like "Grunt big for Daddy."
posted by not_on_display at 9:15 PM on March 31, 2008


He has a new book out this week, too.
posted by YoungAmerican at 9:17 PM on March 31, 2008


When the age of the Vikings came to a close, they must have sensed it. Probably, they gathered together one evening, slapped each other on the back and said, "Hey, good job."
posted by fleetmouse at 9:21 PM on March 31, 2008


There was something about rain being God crying and so forth but I can't remember how it goes.
weak sarcasm
posted by dawson at 9:25 PM on March 31, 2008


Personal favorites: "If I ever get real rich, I hope I'm not real mean to poor people, like I am now," and "I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."
posted by Rangeboy at 9:30 PM on March 31, 2008


Oh how cool Miko, that link reminded me of my favorite that I'd clipped from the mag and had on my wall for years: Thank You for Stopping... Still my personal favorite that's not a one-liner.
posted by dawson at 9:33 PM on March 31, 2008


On his site it says he was the SNL writer who came up with "Toonces, the cat who could drive a car".

I hope that skit is the sole remaining piece of humor from our civilization that the aliens find 200,000 years from now. Because they'd probably say "Wait a minute, cats can't drive cars!" and then they'd have something to laugh about on the flight back to Nebulon 7.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:45 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


He has a new book out this week, too.

I looked on Amazon and don't see anything newer than 1994, what is the title?
posted by stbalbach at 9:46 PM on March 31, 2008


I always liked Lowered Expectations better. Especially when the fat guy would scratch his ass.

I guess I'm more visual.
posted by Rafaelloello at 9:47 PM on March 31, 2008


What I'd Say to the Martians (2008), by Jack Handey
posted by stbalbach at 9:50 PM on March 31, 2008


"When I was a kid my favorite relative was Uncle Caveman.

After school we'd all go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us.

It wasn't until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear"

posted by Rafaelloello at 9:59 PM on March 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is the best post ever!
posted by GoingToShopping at 10:05 PM on March 31, 2008


Yeah, it took me forever to realize this guy was for real and not just a collection of funny people just lying around in hammocks that had nothing better to do than to come up with things that would make me pee myself with laughter. Then I wanted to marry him.
posted by piratebowling at 10:21 PM on March 31, 2008


Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought he was a nom de plume.

My fave:

If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy.
posted by jtron at 10:21 PM on March 31, 2008 [5 favorites]


My best friend from age 14 to 17 was a strip club DJ ten years my senior that I met on a BBS. He was basically a low rent, pre-intertubes Kibo and as one of his projects he typed up all of the Jack Handey bits from SNL into textfiles for Fidonet distribution. While doing so, he also put his own Handey-style one liners in without differentiating between quotes and original work. To this day, probably 25 percent of the one liners attributed to Jack Handey on the Internet are by this guy.
posted by bunnytricks at 10:40 PM on March 31, 2008


Jason Goodyear, the guy who designed his sight, teaches my audio production class. I am always learning about celebrities who live in and around Santa Fe.
posted by MNDZ at 11:16 PM on March 31, 2008


Never heard of this guy, but got at least 5 laughs out of this thread.

WIN!1
posted by Wolof at 11:51 PM on March 31, 2008


"Higher beings from outer space may not want to tell us the secrets of life, because we're not ready. But maybe they'll change their tune after a little torture."
posted by EarBucket at 5:38 AM on April 1, 2008


If a kid is crying and God asks you why, tell him, "It's probably something you did." Because it'll be funny.
posted by Eideteker at 5:44 AM on April 1, 2008


And cute.
posted by Eideteker at 5:45 AM on April 1, 2008


"If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "Double" and then make him wait a week for a chance to ask another question.
posted by srboisvert at 7:42 AM on April 1, 2008




My favorite one, often put into random conversations by both my mother and me, is a long rambling one about there being a beautiful, beautiful sunset, and a beautiful, beautiful something something something and then it ends "And then, you're drunk."

Try adding "And then, you're drunk" to the end of random statements. It makes everything funnier.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:17 AM on April 1, 2008


"All my life I've been afraid of clowns. I'm not sure why, but I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus as a kid and a clown killed my dad."
posted by Navelgazer at 9:35 AM on April 1, 2008


My favorite: "I hope if dogs ever take over the world and they choose a king, they just don't go by size, because I bet there are some chihuahuas with some good ideas."
posted by mattbucher at 9:40 AM on April 1, 2008


bitter-girl:

"Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he’s carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he’s carrying a very beautiful painting with his feet. And also, you’re drunk." —Jack Handey
posted by Miko at 9:46 AM on April 1, 2008 [3 favorites]


“One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. "Oh, no," I said. "Disneyland burned down." He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.”
posted by mr_roboto at 11:02 AM on April 1, 2008


mr_roboto, that's probably one of my faves.

Another:

"If God dwells inside us, like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that's what He's getting!"
posted by triggerfinger at 11:37 AM on April 1, 2008


If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is "Probably because of something you did."
posted by crazy finger at 12:06 PM on April 1, 2008


God, I'm crying. Can you guess why?
posted by mattbucher at 12:21 PM on April 1, 2008


Probably because of something a bunch of people didn't do.
posted by Miko at 12:23 PM on April 1, 2008


"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."
posted by Skot at 12:29 PM on April 1, 2008


Kryptonite Cross is my new band. Check us out on myspace.
posted by Eideteker at 12:42 PM on April 1, 2008


Contrary to popular belief, the most dangerous animal is not the lion
or tiger or even the elephant. The most dangerous animal is a shark
riding on an elephant, just trampling and eating everything they see.
posted by jcruelty at 9:22 PM on April 1, 2008


"I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex."
posted by 912 Greens at 9:51 PM on April 1, 2008


"If a kid asks where rain comes from, punch him. Because it was only funny the first 3 times."
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:36 AM on April 2, 2008


Miko, you're awesome.

(And also, you're drunk).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:08 AM on April 2, 2008


Jesse Thorn, host of The Sound of Young America (which Metafilter underwrites) asks, "Is having Jack Handey in a studio (rather than on the phone) worth $150? Can't decide. Don't have a lot of $150s."

I think so, so I sent him a $20 to help out. Anyone else in?
posted by ewagoner at 4:53 PM on April 3, 2008


You mean Metafilter's Own Jesse Thorn, don't you?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:56 PM on April 3, 2008


MOAR PLZ
posted by WalterMitty at 4:36 PM on April 5, 2008


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