Must Read - Deep Thoughts: Inspiration for the Uninspired by Jack Handey


Jack Handey was a writer for SNL in the mid 80’s. I absolutely loved watching his sketches which were always a little off and odd, that always at 12:45 when the show was about to be over. I later learned that the last quadrant of the show close to the end is where “smart” sketches like his that are deemed “Too Smart” for 12am - 12:40am run. Some of his greatest sketches were “Toonces The Driving Cat”, “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer”, “Fuzzy Memories”, and my favorite “Deep Thoughts” by Jack Handey (his actual real name). I bought his first book many decades ago which feature an assortment of his random soliloquies. It’s a simple and funny read that I come back to for a laugh. Buy it.

NYT Magazine published a great feature on him years ago that you can read here - Excerpt below.

The archetypal Jack Handey sketch is about Frankenstein, or flying saucers, or a cat who, for some reason, can drive a car. “Little-boy stuff,” Handey explained. He often worked alone on his sketches rather than team up with other writers, and he liked to work from his and Marta’s Chelsea apartment, so he would show up each week to Wednesday read-throughs with these fully formed, immaculate sketches that would freak everyone out. Franken recalled a sketch called “Giant Businessman,” about an actual giant (played by Phil Hartman) who calls the cops on the loud party next door, then is terrified when the neighbor threatens him. At the read-through, Franken laughed so long and hard at the sketch’s final beat — in which the giant asked the F.B.I., sincerely, if he might join the witness protection program — that he had to excuse himself from the crowded room because his laughter was interrupting the next sketch.