There wasn’t a dry eye in the house Friday night at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. We didn’t expect Steven Wright’s performance to be tear-jerking, but believe me; he was so funny everyone was crying! I honestly can’t remember if there was ever a time I laughed this hard! His monotone delivery of jokes and his existential observations is not just hilarious; it’s genius! In his interview with “Inside Joke,” Wright said that his comedy style happened by accident. It seems stage fright is the keystone of his act. He says that the first time he was on stage, he was nervous and was seriously concentrating on the jokes.
Watch the interview here –
He makes very little eye contact with the audience as he casually walks around the stage talking about absurd and obvious things we generally take for granted. For example, “search parties are always surprise parties!” He asks questions we are afraid to ask, like – “why are pictures square when the lens is round?” or “why is it a penny for your thoughts, but you have to put your two cents in?” He has so many one-liners, I didn’t think I could remember them, but then on Saturday, I found myself in a restaurant and overheard the waiter asking someone if they wanted their water with ice or room temperature. I chuckled remembering Steven’s line – “it doesn’t matter what temperature it is in the room, it will always be room-temperature!” Then I got home, looked at the walls and thought about how badly my house needs painting. I laughed again and thought about Steven’s pondering – “is there anything between the paint and the wall?”
Steven Wright is not just a stand-up comedian, he’s come a long way since his debut on the “Tonight Show With Johnny Carson”. He won an academy award for Best Short Film, Live Action, for the short-film he wrote entitled, “The Appointments of Dennis Jennings,” in which he also starred. He is also one of the producers for the FX Series, “Louie,” starring Louis C.K. He also appears to be musically inclined. On the off-chance that the audience would get bored, he breaks up the monotony of his routine by strumming a guitar and singing goofy songs and the laughter continues!
In his stories, he talks about how people, such as his teachers would cry after dealing with his slightly “off the wall” logic! I think he means they cried with laughter. It’s hard to resist. At one point I laughed so hard, I literally got dizzy and thought I was going to pass out! I saw stars, then gasped for air! My mom told me the same thing happened to her. After this experience, I think it may be possible to die laughing! Wouldn’t that be the best way to go?!
They say laugher is the best medicine. Studies show that finding humor in everyday life is a healthy way to cope with stress. In that regard, you might consider Steven Wright to be a therapist! We felt great when it was over and with the highest ticket price being $39.50, it’s much less than a therapy session! We all tend to be living “life in the fast lane” these days, Steven Wright reminds us to laugh at life’s little quirks. I hope he returns to the Tobin Center soon. Everyone should experience his performance at least once and for those of us that have already seen him, It wouldn’t hurt to have a “follow-up.” – BMT
Did you see the show? Have you seen Steven Wright perform? What do you think? Please post your comments below. Did you take any photos you’d like to share?