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Jack Handey

Jack Handey is an American comedian and comic writer. He is famous for his Deep Thoughts, a large body of surrealistic one-liner jokes, as well as his "My Big Thick Novel" shorts.

Handey was born in San Antonio, Texas on February 25, 1949. His family later moved to El Paso, Texas, where Handey attended high school and college (at the University of Texas at El Paso.)

Handey's earliest writing job was for a newspaper, the San Antonion Express-News, but he lost the job, in his words, after writing "an article that offended local car dealerships." His first comic writing was with comedian and fellow Texan Steve Martin. Martin got him his first job for Saturday Night Live in 1975. For several years Handey worked on other television projects — the Canadian sketch series Bizarre in 1980; the 1980 TV special Steve Martin: Comedy is Not Pretty; and The New Show in 1984. Handey returned to Saturday Night Live in 1985 as a writer and co-producer.

Between 1991 and 1998, and again from 2001 to 2003, Jack Handey became a well-known name when he began writing his famous "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" and reading them on the air. The one-liners were extremely popular and became an enduring addition to the show. People were drawn to the Deep Thoughts' concise humor, their bizarre hypothetical situations, and their unexpected twists:

  • "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." -Delivered on October 12, 1991
  • "The crows seemed to be calling his name, thought Caw." -Delivered on November 21, 1993

Today the Deep Thoughts can be found all over the Internet (his name is often misspelled as "Jack Handy"). Handey also has written a number of small books. As of 2002 he lives with his wife Marta in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City.

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