Brothers in Comedy

I know I’m not the only one who can’t wait to think of the next one-liner and spends the majority of his life watching things go by, hoping for a good setup to a punchline.

Gosh, it goes back to my high school days when I started a notebook to collect jokes, those I had written, others I heard from friends or from comedians I admired on TV. Of course, I tried to write enough funnies to fill an air shift when I got into radio. As my involvement deepened, I’d write more jokes. Soon, I was putting out one-liners that went to Radio Online show prep for other disc jockeys to use and to be considered each night for Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” monologues. I sold quite a few over a 10-year run.

I know that Pedro Bartes over at the Jet was also a contributor to Jay. We both would “fax” in our jokes, along with some other comedy-writing pals of mine, and then keep our fingers crossed when watching the monologues to see if any of our material was used.

These days, of course, you’ll hear my jokes on my morning radio show on KRKO, and all are posted each week on my joke website, wackyweek.com.  I send out a weekly collection to a lot of people in a mass email (and, if you’d like to be added to that list, just shoot me an email), including Seattle Times‘ sportswriter, Dwight Perry.  Every now and then, Dwight will sneak one of my lines into his column and for a comedy writer, it’s just great to get some kind of verification that someone else found your joke humorous.

Another comedy writer Dwight frequently quotes is Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com.  Dwight’s column is where Jim caught my attention and so I visited his website and found out a few things about him. He’s a TV weather guy in Charleston, West Virginia, that loves to write jokes. He also lost his wife several years ago to cystic fibrosis. I loved that he described himself in his profile as “widower, dad.”

There was a part of me who saw all this and basically felt like this was me in a parallel universe, where life dealt him some blows, but the drive to keep funny kept him going. He likes to describe himself as “the most prolific joke writer on the planet.” I know, by quantity, he’s got me beat.

So, over time, I’ve occasionally dropped him a note about one of his jokes, or noticing a typo that he might want to fix and each time, he was gracious and appreciative. Then, on one of my recent visits to his site, I saw that he’s running for political office in the state of West Virginia.

Suddenly, the degrees of separation got smaller. You see, my dad was born in Scotland, but was raised in West Virginia. I wrote to Jim to report that connection and here’s what he wrote back:

I have read the Appalachian accent is basically Scottish in nature as a lot of Scots came over here early on to work the coal mines and then ended up settling here long term. Many thanks again!

Jim

Yes, my dad, his dad and brothers found their way to steel mills and other jobs, whatever they could get. At least, before they were drafted or enlisted.  By the way, what he was thanking me for was my donation to his political aspirations. I barely know the guy, but I know he’s a family man, that loved his wife and lives to write jokes. I think we need more of those kind of people in office these days.

Should you want to do something crazy and contribute to his political campaign, even just $5, I know that’ll freak people out as they wonder, “Why is all that Seattle money heading his way?” Donate here.

I give you laughs on a weekly basis. If you find yourself being unable to wait, always check out Jim’s blogspot.

My brother in comedy.

Tim Hunter

 

My Predictions for 2018

Right before the start of the New Year, I like to polish the old crystal ball (no really, I polish it. That’s not an euphemism) and create a collection of bold predictions of things I feel will happen in the year to come. I make them with 100% accuracy. Oh, they’re rarely correct, but it’s accurate to say that I always make them.

Nostradamus actually predicted the world would end in 2018. Then again, he also had the Mariners winning the World Series last year.

So, bet the house–here’s what I predict will happen in 2018:

  • President Donald Trump will post something offensive and awkward on Twitter. (OK, that’s my one softball)
  • A small girl from Kansas will throw a bucket of water on Hillary Clinton, causing her to melt.
  • Disney expands their Star Wars franchise by launching a new TV series, “Dancing with the Ewoks!”
  • Meryl Streep admits she knew it all along. Then reveals she meant that “She Devil” was her worst movie ever.
  • Bernie Sanders gives a riveting, 20-minute speech about the unfairness of our society. No one in the bathroom is impressed.
  • Al Franken announces that he’ll run for president as the candidate of the newly-formed “Honky-Honky” Party.
  • In an incident that causes Jeff Bezos to give up drinking, he gets so stewed one night that he actually buys Amazon from himself.
  • Speaking of Amazon, they introduce 30-minute deliveries of all beef products. Their new service is called Amazon Prime Rib.
  • The Seattle Times announces they are replacing all newspaper delivery boys with drones. Both of the remaining subscribers express concern.
  • YouTube introduces a new channel for video selfies, called MeTube.
  • Russia Vladimir Putin wins re-election by a landslide, two months before the actual election.
  • France bans Smartphones from elementary schools starting in September. In a popular move, congress votes to ban all cell phones from the oval office. Thank you.
  • After fighting bankruptcy for years, Sears finally closes all of their stores. However, no one notices until 2019.
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows in a ceremony performed by Mr. Bean. Meghan honors the memory of Benny Hill by tying a piece of elastic to her bouquet for the toss.
  • In December, Mommy accuses Santa Claus of forcibly kissing her, underneath the mistletoe last night.
  • In North Korea, Kim John-un is finally forced out and replaced by Christopher Plummer.
  • Melania Trump records a song to raise money for charity. The way it works is, if you make a donation, she won’t release it.
  • Garrison Keillor attempts a comeback, changing the name of his fictional town of Lake Wobegon, to Lake Whoa-is-Me!
  • Finally, TaylorMade announces the first ever self-driving golf ball, allowing golfers to focus on what’s really important–tracking down the beer cart.

I had to hurry up and get this list out before they all come true. Thanks for stopping by throughout the year and letting me take you on a tour of what’s running through my mind.

Have a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2018.

Notice I didn’t include my prediction about you and that…well, enough said.

Tim Hunter

 

The Qualifiers

How do I know where to post what?

I was going through those unconscious rules in my head when I received an awesome email from a friend.  Denny Mengle passed along this brilliant barb, but I had to weigh out where to place it.

Facebook?  Naw, not everyone amongst my friends would find it funny (Oh, HI MOM!)

Twitter?  I sneak a lot of edgy lines there when no one’s looking and this would be perfect, but it’s too long.

Radio-Online?  I write several daily bits and features for that radio show prep service, so morning guys can slug their snooze bar two more times…but this one was funnier if you SAW it.  It’s the reasons mimes don’t work on radio.

So, it’s off to the blog!  Unlimited space, wide-open topics, whatever my keyboard desires. That is why, without any further explanation that I present to you a little piece of writing that is perfect for my blog:

THE FINE ART OF CAPITALIZATION

I have noticed that many people who email me have forgotten the fine art of capitalization.  I assume this is due to too much texting in their lives.

Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

Well put.

Tim Hunter