From the moment Steven Wright graced audiences with his dry, deadpan wit, the comedy world was changed for good. First coming to national attention with an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in the early 80’s, Wright became an instant sensation. With the release of his debut album I Have a Pony in 1985, Wright solidified his status as comedy legend. The record celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and like any classic album, it’s worth revisiting. Opening with a dreary “thanks” after applause, I Have a Pony is an album packed with creative one liners and non-sequiturs that only the mind of a comedy genius could muster. Over the years the laid back, absurdist humor embodied in I Have a Pony has become comedy scripture.
The comedic stylings of Mitch Hedberg and Demetri Martin undoubtedly echo the concise wit of Wright. Todd Barry and Tig Notaro also take a page from Wright’s playbook. The album also earned critical acclaim, garnering a Grammy nomination for “Best Comedy Album” recording in 1985. The success of the album attracted the attention of HBO which gave him a special, A Steven Wright Special, later in 1985. The record is a timeless classic, so if you own it, get it spinning again. If you don’t, here are some of the best jokes from the game changing album.
1. “I was arrested today for scalping low numbers at the deli. Sold the number 3 for 28 bucks.”
2. “I was once walking through the forest alone and a tree fell right in front of me… and I didn’t hear it.”
3. “For my birthday, I got a humidifier and a dehumidifier… put em’ in the same room. Let em’ fight it out.”
4. “Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time.”
5. “I used to work for the factory where they make hydrants, but you couldn’t park anywhere near the place.”
6. “One night I stayed up all night playing poker with tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.”
7. “I broke a mirror in my house. I’m supposed to get seven years bad luck, but my lawyer thinks he can get me five.”
8. “I like to reminisce with people I don’t know. Granted, it takes longer.”
9. “I hate when my foot falls asleep during the day because that means it’s gonna be up all night.”
10. “I have a map of the United States. It’s actual size. It says one mile = one mile.”