Surely you know Jack Handey's Deep Thoughts?
I'd say he's a very strong (if quiet) influence on lots of contemporary American humour.
Here's some of my favourite aphorisms.
- It's funny how a loving, close-knit family can be torn apart by something as simple as a pack of wild dogs.
- Most people don't realize that large pieces of coral, which have been painted brown and attached to the skull by common wood screws, can make a child look like a deer.
- If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.
- If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let'em go, because, man, they're gone.
- Contrary to what most people say, the most dangerous animal in the world is not the lion or the tiger or even the elephant. It's a shark riding on an elephant's back, just trampling and eating everything they see.
- Sometimes you have to be careful when selecting a new name for yourself. For instance, let's say you have chosen the nickname "Fly Head." Normally you would think that "fly Head" would mean a person who has beautiful swept-back features, as if flying through the air. But think again. Couldn't it also mean "having a head like a fly"? I'm afraid some people might actually think that.
- If you saw two guys named Hambone and Flippy, which one would you think liked dolphins the most? I'd say Flippy, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong, though. It's Hambone.
- Laurie got offended that I used the word "puke." But to me, that's what her dinner tasted like.
- We used to laugh at Grandpa when he'd head off and go fishing. But we wouldn't be laughing that evening when he'd come back with some hooker he picked up in town.
- If I ever get real rich, I hope I'm not real mean to poor people, like I am now.
- I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.
- Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what is I was an ant, and she fell on me. Then it wouldn't seem quite so funny.
- Laugh, clown, laugh. This is what I tell myself whenever I dress up like Bozo.
- A good way to threaten somebody is to light a stick of dynamite. Then you call the guy and hold the burning fuse up to the phone. "Hear that?" you say. "That's dynamite, baby."
- If you go parachuting, and your parachute doesn't open, and you friends are all watching you fall, I think a funny gag would be to pretend you were swimming.
- Children need encouragement. If a kid gets an answer right, tell him it was a lucky guess. That way he develops a good, lucky feeling.
- If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.
Some other crackers:
- If they ever come up with a swashbuckling School, I think one of the courses should be Laughing, Then Jumping Off Something.
- Sometimes when I feel like killing someone, I do a little trick to calm myself down. I'll go over to the persons house and ring the doorbell. When the person comes to the door, I'm gone, but you know what I've left on the porch? A jack-o-lantern with a knife stuck in the side of it's head with a note that says "You." After that I usually feel a lot better, and no harm done.
- Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don't know what your rights are, or who the person is you're talking to. Then on the way out, slam the door.
- If your friend is already dead, and being eaten by vultures, I think it's okay to feed some bits of your friend to one of the vultures, to teach him to do some tricks. But only if you're serious about adopting the vulture.
- Most of the time it was probably real bad being stuck down in a dungeon. But some days, when there was a bad storm outside, you'd look out your little window and think, "Boy, I'm glad I'm not out in that."
- I hope that after I die, people will say of me: "That guy sure owed me a lot of money."
- If you want to be the most popular person in your class, whenever the professor pauses in his lecture, just let out a big snort and say "How do you figger that!" real loud. Then lean back and sort of smirk.
- I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I'd just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.
- I think my new thing will be to try to be a real happy guy. I'll just walk around being real happy until some jerk says something stupid to me.
- Here's a good trick: Get a job as a judge at the Olympics. Then, if some guy sets a world record, pretend that you didn't see it and go, "Okay, is everybody ready to start now?".
Check them all out here.