Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Recovering joke oxygen

Visited with Frank Miller of Columbia yesterday, one of my professors from back in the day, a fantastic guy.  He's in the hospital at the moment for some trivial crap, but it's no fun to spend Xmas there for sure.

Like my dad, Frank is a great teller of jokes, and I found myself going back to Daniel Wallace's Big Fish, telling Frank about the old jokes that were in there, the ones my dad had told for decades, and being shocked that he didn't know them.

I tried to tell them again, but could only do so ham-handedly, forgetting many of the key inflections and the timing, only kind of remembering the flow.  As I think I may have said here on the blog, though I have been known to make people laugh now and again, I have never been a joke teller.  That was always my dad's domain.  He sucked all of the joke oxygen out of the room.

Now, all of a sudden, I am feeling somewhat energized about jokes.  I'd like to learn some, learn how to tell them.  I think you can see why.

Perhaps not coincidentally, at dinner last night my mind wandered back to the 1995 movie Funny Bones, with Oliver Platt, Jerry Lewis, and what should have been more of a breakout role for Lee Evans, as this kinetic comic savant from Blackpool, England.  I need to watch this movie again.

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