People

Andy Borowitz

Writer, funny man, contrarian Andrew Borowitz on three ways to kill a joke, the environment in Kandor, and poor Jim Dixon, hero for all.

DOB, website: 4 January 1958, www.borowitzreport.com.

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 Jim—Bill 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

biopic

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. He is the author of three books, including his latest novel The Last Kid Left (NPR’s Best Books of the Year). His nonfiction appears in a variety of magazines, mostly GQ. More information can be found at rosecransbaldwin.com. More by Rosecrans Baldwin