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Carolina Theatre: A Wild-and-Crazy Evening with Steven Wright Proves That Laughter Still Is the Best Medicine

June 6, 2007 - Durham, NC:


Last night’s [6/6/07] wild-and-crazy Evening with Steven Wright, who appeared at a $90-a-head preshow fundraiser for the Durham, NC-based Carolina Theatre as well as performed to prolonged applause in Fletcher Hall, proved that laughter still is the best medicine — even when the performance is a series of one-liners delivered in a baritone growl in the Boston-based comedian’s trademark deadpan monotone.

The material was vintage Steven Wright — choice examples of his warped worldview, punctuated with a series of equally odd original songs performed with an acoustic guitar—but parts of this critically acclaimed stand-up act were difficult to understand, because the clean-shaven bushy-haired comic with the famous receding hairline often mumbles while he stalks the stage in his ever-present fedora, jacket, jeans, and boots.

Each intelligible quip provoked a gale of laughter, which Wright rode like a tsunami throughout the evening. Three dozen of his best cockeyed comments on his personal peculiarities, his unique philosophy of life, and his comic confrontations with everyone from cops to teachers to convenience-store clerks include:

“It’s a good thing a lot of people speak foreign languages. Otherwise, those people would have no one to talk to.”

“What did Jesus ever do for Santa Claus on HIS birthday?”

“Imagine Oshkosh straitjackets for little insane children.”

“The reason I’m so laidback is because in high school, I smoked a lot of Ritalin.”

“You know, the Earth is bipolar.”

“My dog has a web site. All it is, is naked cats.”

“Next week, I’m going to have an MRI to find out if I have claustrophobia.”

“Do submarines have backup lights?”

“How do you read books on tape?”

“The ending of the Cold War is what started global warming.”

“I tried to invent live animation, but I couldn’t find people who could draw fast enough.”

“Why is the picture square when the lens is round?”

“I’m thinking of buying a plasma television in case I need a blood transfusion.”

He says he asked a toy-store owner: “Do you have any toy train schedules?”

“Last night, I was in a restaurant called Bulimia. The line to the bathroom was incredible.”

“I finally figured out what I want on my gravestone: ‘You’re next.’”

“A friend of mine is on the Ouija board of directors.… Another of my friends has reverse Tourette syndrome. Random people just swear at him for no reason.”

“One of my grandfathers died when he was a little boy; my other grandfather was insane. He had a summer home and a winter home on the same street.”

“Do you know how many vitamins you have to eat before you feel full? … The color of my urine is amazing.”

“I only bought one walkie-talkie. I didn’t want anyone to hear what I was saying.”

“I’m addicted to placebos. I would quit, but it wouldn’t matter.”

“I’m part of the Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program. I have to go from door to door and tell people I’m someone else.”

“I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.”

“I’m writing an unauthorized autobiography. When it comes out, I’m going to sue myself.”

“Twenty-four hour banking? I don’t have time for that.”

“A friend of mine has a trophy wife. Apparently, it wasn’t first place.”

“In Europe, do you think Miles Davis is called Kilometer Davis?”

“I played poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house, and four people died.”

“I bought an ant farm. I don’t know where I’m going to get tractors that small.”

“I went out with two girls in high school. One was like the girl next door, if you lived next door to a whorehouse.… That was the first time I was in love. Before that, I never even thought about killing myself.”

“I’m going to get a tattoo of me over my whole body, but taller.”

“Hermits have no peer pressure”

“I got food poisoning today. I don’t know when I’m going to use it.”

“It’s very hard for me to buy clothes, because I’m not my size. I take extra-medium.”

“She said, ‘How long are you going to be gone?’ The whole time.”

“A friend of mine does voodoo acupuncture. You’ll just be walking down the street and say, ‘Oh, that’s much better.’”


Carolina Theatre: http://www.carolinatheatre.org/. Steven Wright: http://www.stevenwright.com/(official web site), http://www.myspace.com/comedianstevenwright (My Space page), and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0942833/ (Internet Movie Database). “When the Leaves Blow Away” (DVD): http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Wright-When-Leaves-Blow/dp/B000MRA56K.