The Simple Truth on Stage

Many professional comedians use the simple truth technique from time to time in their monologues. Several use this technique most of the time. One of its most famous practitioners is George Carlin, whose shtick is examining words closely for incongruous variations. He is truly the first serious linguist of comedy.

Steven Wright is another stand-up comedian who uses the simple truth as basic material. In his first HBO special, nearly 40 percent of his material was non sequiturs. Here's a sample; by now, you should be able to quickly anticipate most of the humorous conclusions.

I bought some batteries, but they weren't included. So I had to buy them again.

Why is it a penny for your thoughts, but you have to put your two cents in? Somebody's makin' a penny.

I parked my car in a tow-away zone. When I came back, the entire zone was gone.

1 took my dog for a walk around my building—on the ledge. A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of widths.

I woke up one morning and my girlfriend ásked me if I slept good? I said, "No, I made a few mistakes."

One time the police stopped me for speeding. They said, "Don't you know the speed limit is fifty-five miles per hour?" I said, "Yeah, I know, but I wasn't going to be out that long."

And I hate it when my foot falls asleep during the day because that means it's going to be up all night.

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