The Incomparable Steven Wright - OZY | A Modern Media Company
Steven Wright performing at Comic Relief, November 16, 1987.
Source© Neal Preston/Corbis


Once upon a time, in a land before Twitter, you got your wry observations, one-liners and Zen-like pronouncements from a single source.

By Sean Braswell

Talk about breaking the mold. No really, go talk about it, since we’re quite sure that at some point Steven Wright’s name will come up. Just like it did when Wright — a curly-haired, balding Boston native — casually took television by storm in the 1980s. He was a comedian unlike any comedian before or after, with astyle that goes beyond deadpan to borderline catatonic. 

Still, for a man who once announced on national television that he had a dog with two vaginas named Snatches, it did not take long to get noticed. Just days after catching a Tonight Show producer’s attention in 1982 at Boston’s Ding Ho (“half Chinese restaurant and half comedy club,” according to Wright), Wright had Johnny Carson in stitches on live television and was asked back to the show again a week later.

These days Wright still does stand-up and makes frequent guest appearances onThe Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson , and his influence can be seen in comics from Demetri Martin to Louis C.K. So sit back and enjoy some vintage Wright from the golden age of stand-up, circa 1985: 

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