Steven Wright

I Have a Pony

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Frizzy haired-yet-balding comic Steven Wright quickly set himself apart from other standups with his sleepy, wry, mumbled, deadpan one-liners. Wright's act is captured on his 1985 album I Have a Pony, recorded live at Wolfgang's in San Francisco and Park West in Chicago. His absurdist style is a weirder slant on the kind of observations of everyday life provided by other comics -- Jerry Seinfeld for instance. It's amazing that I Have a Pony is actually broken down and labeled with individual tracks since the vast majority of Wright's material is rarely more than a sentence or two each. Wright's priceless bits include buying powdered water but not knowing what to add; buying used paint in the shape of a house; putting a humidifier and a dehumidifier in a room and letting them fight it out; 6,000 ants dressing up as rice to rob a Chinese restaurant; and keeping his large seashell collection on beaches all over the world. A joke that seems to obviously be about the Rolling Stones is actually about The Flintstones. Two of his best jokes on I Have a Pony actually have a brief buildup; he tells "a beautiful blonde Asian woman" who's a nymphomaniac turned on by Jewish cowboys that his name is Bucky Goldstein, and on "Jiggs Casey" he tells the student loan director from his bank that instead of making his payments he's given his money to his friend who used it to build a nuclear weapon -- and he'd appreciate not being bothered anymore. Wright strums a bit of acoustic guitar and sings on the girlfriend tale "Rachel," but first he teases the audience and says he's going to play everything the Beatles ever recorded -- without doing all of "Hey Jude"!

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