Humor Writing

“I actually think of being funny as an odd turn of mind, like a mild disability, some weird way of looking at the world that you can’t get rid of. It’s odd: one of the questions that people ask me constantly is, Is it hard having to be funny all the time?

The difficult thing for me is being serious. It’s a genetic thing—being funny—like being able to wiggle your ears. I don’t have any trouble being funny, that’s my turn of mind. Or at least attempting to be funny. Whether it really is funny is for the audience to judge. But I actually do think that some people are and some people aren’t. We all know, say, a lot of lawyers who aren’t funny and some who are. A lot of dentists who aren’t funny. The dentist who just took a fractured root out of my tooth—we refer to him as the butcher of Fifty-fourth Street—is a pleasant, friendly man, but he’s not funny.”
– Calvin Trillin