Steven Wright’s Favorite Joke Is Not His Audience’s Favorite Joke
For over forty years, Steven Wright has been the darling of deadpan comedy fans with his dry, sullen demeanor and anti-humor antics. Not that he cares either way.
Yesterday on The Rich Eisen show, the prolific comic, actor, writer and producer told the joke that he considers to be his absolute finest bit, whether or not his audience agrees with him. Ever since Wright made a spectacularly sedate late-night debut on the The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1982, he has been finding new ways to confound his fans with nonsense non-sequiturs, ludicrous one-liners and a general air of aloof absurdity — and he’s still knocking us dead.
Wright’s favorite joke is, characteristically, a bit about his grandfather’s funeral and a funny mental image that has stuck with him ever since. It’s just like Wright to make light of a corpse.
Eisen’s follow up of “Is your grandfather a triple-A, double-A, C?” earned Wright’s respect, but we think Wright’s reveal three minutes after the end of the joke is the real punchline — when Eisen asked if Wright told the joke on the spot while looking into his grandfather’s casket, Wright replied, “No, that wasn’t real.”