Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Knee-Slappingly Funny People

There are a number of people that say and write things so hysterical that I can’t control myself, laughing out loud even when decorum says I should not. I have three laughs: the explosive guffaw, the giggle and the hiss. Increasingly the hiss is reserved for people who have known me for more than 30 years.

Among people in Madison, WIBA-AM morning host and stand-up comedian Mitch Henck is one of these. As a radio host, he is not only funny but callers to his show, especially Rob are funny, too. Bill Richardson is funny as is Brian Schimming. They have different styles. Christian Schneider is funny because he pokes fun at himself.

Emeritus Professors W. Lee Hansen and Stanley Kutler are funny. Lee is usually kind which makes his funny moments funnier, especially when he uses economic analysis to diagnose big and little ills. Kutler is kind and thoughtful but his humor is irrepressible. Among current professors, Charles Franklin is a scream, especially because he acts as if he is not.

State Representatives Phil Montgomery , Robin Vos and Mark Pocan are funny, too. Big Phil’s delivery is so dry. Robin Vos can not hide his sense of humor. Mark Pocan is never afraid to make fun of himself.

Elsewhere in Wisconsin, a few people crack me up. Among the people I have known for a long time, Andy Connor, Dennis Farnsworth, Jerry Langfeldt and Paul Johnson have different styles, all of them funny. Bob Uecker’s stories make everyone laugh.

Elsewhere, when Mark Steyn substitutes for Rush Limbaugh, Steyn is funny. He cracks jokes and then reprises them when you least expect it. His writing is the same way.

There are a couple of writers that I consider funny. One is P.J. O’Rourke. Another is R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. at American Spectator. O’Rourke lampoons weighty subjects; I loved “Parliament of Whores.” Bob Tyrell has a different style: he has the style of H.L. Mencken rolled together with Ambrose Bierce.

I have my moments of funniness but I am better as a straight man, letting others have the best lines.

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