humor | Connecticut Public Radio


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Do you love Amaryllis bulbs? So do we. Just make sure you don't let John or Colin take care of yours.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

From Faith Middleton: More institutions of higher learning have shuttle busses to the nearest corporate high rises.

While it is understandable in a time of high unemployment to think about practical careers, it appears more people, including some entrepreneurial university administrators, think it's time to leave the “fluffy stuff” for hobby hour. That fluffy stuff would include literature, philosophy, languages, the arts and history—what we call the humanities. (Or, the stuff that hangs around long after we're dead.) Possibly the new rules of the road go something like this: read Michener before bed, and call it a day.


We normally write about other people -- because other people are the news. Not us.

And then, sometimes, really strange things happen.

When a government shutdown loomed in 2011, the Twitterverse had some fun with #govtshutdownpickuplines.

They're back!

Here are some of the better, slightly naughty ones we're seeing (we also also checked #shutdownpicklines):

Standup is not an easy thing to do. You might think you're funny, but funny takes on a new definition when you're stranded on stage with just a microphone, a spotlight, and a judgmental audience. Today we talked comedy with Jason Zinoman, first-ever comedy critic for The New York Times. While researching the show, I watched a lot of comedy (what a job I have!) so I thought it would be fun to provide you with a sampling of a few of my favorite performers. Caution: some of these sketches may contain NSFW language so, you know, don't blast it at your desk.

Alterna2, Flickr Creative Commons

Michael Bolton has reinvented himself many times. A few years ago, he cut off his trademark hair.  He put out an album of opera arias and another of American Songbook Standards. But probably his biggest challenge was dealing with his image as a romantic icon so permanently rooted in the dead center of the mainstream that poking fun at him became an easy way for people who really weren't all that cool to prove they were at least cool enough to reject Michael Bolton.

Chion Wolf

Chion Wolf

Some time in the late 1980s, when my main job was writing allegedly funny newspapers and magazine pieces and books  I was visiting a friend who worked in the offices of "Late Night with David Letterman." I think she was an assistant to Dave's assistant or something. Anyway, she introduced me to the show's head writer Steve O'Donnell and she must have mentioned me before because he said, "Oh yes. The humorist."

Bill Wadman

Tomorrow, is the final Connecticut Forum of the season. It’s called Funny, Smart People and it’s being moderated by our very own Colin McEnroe. The panelists are The Daily Show’s John Hodgman, Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein and our next guest, Baratunde Thurston.

Wikimedia Commons

Why do people love the HBO series "Girls?" Part of the fun is the cascade of 21st century epigrams.

Every episode belches out a dozen or so quotables: The exotic Jessa to her older, uninteresting husband: "I tell my friends you were a test tube baby, just to give you a little edge."

 The irritable coffeehouse manager Ray, when his new employee Hannah shows up for work in a white dress: "Forget all the BBC you watch at home with your cats and come back with an appropriate outfit."

Alex E. Proimos, Flickr Creative Commons

We're doing something a little unusual on The Nose today. We're spending pretty much the whole show on one topic -- transgressive humor.


I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and the subject came to a boil last weekend when Seth MacFarlane, who specializes in tasteless and sophomoric material, hosted the Oscars and gave the international audience a heaping dose of what he's known for.


Flickr Creative Commons, taberandrew

Is Connecticut funny? Is Connecticut anything?

In 1992, film-maker Ken Simon made a documentary attempting to probe the identity of the state. He interviewed a range of "experts," including me. The title of this documentary? "Between Boston and New York."

That tells you something. Even a painstaking attempt to pin down what Connecticut is winds up bowing to all the things Connecticut ain't.  There's a somewhat rude anatomical term for this. I'm not going to use it.

"Never be deceived by a humorist, for if he is any good he is a deeply serious man moved by a quirk of temperament to speak a certain kind of truth in the form of jokes. Everybody can laugh at the jokes; the real trick is to understand them."

Mykl Roventine, Flickr Creative Commons

takomabibelot, Flickr Creative Commons