Writer, funny man, contrarian Andrew Borowitz on three ways to kill a joke, the environment in Kandor, and poor Jim Dixon, hero for all.
Occupational title(s), both real and desired-in-another-lifetime: 1) Writer-performer, 2) Glam-rock icon
Three easy ways for a humor story to fail: 1) If it’s too long, 2) If it’s written in a little-understood ancient language, like Norse, 3) If it tries to wring cheap, easy laughs from the terminal illness of cute pets
Heroes: Ray Davies of the Kinks and Jim Thome of the Cleveland Indians
Funniest scene in a movie or book: From Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim: The scene in which Jim Dixon wakes up after spending the night as a guest in his department head’s home and realizes that he has irreparably burned his bed sheets.
Current topic you feel unable to poke fun at: The ecological ticking time-bomb of the Bottle City of Kandor.
Favorite book(s): Besides the aforementioned Lucky JimBill Bryson’s Notes From a Small Island, William Maxwell’s So Long, See You Tomorrow, Lillian Ross’s Picture, and anything by Beverly Cleary
What makes you laugh: When the President tries to pronounce the name of any al Qaeda detainee
Charity worth giving to: The Academy of American Poets
Recurring dream/nightmare from childhood: I’m naked in a room of fully-clothed people. Oddly enough, I still have this dream even though, as an adult, I often show up to social gatherings completely unclothed and it doesn’t bother me one bit.
Five words that sound great: spiv, claptrap, famish, peregrine, skein