I am a Humor Writer. It seems like a confession more than anything else. I feel like I should be sitting on a folding chair in a circle with other people talking about my writing habit as if it’s something I’d like to kick. “There are some days when I just can put the pen down. WHY CAN'T I JUST PUT IT DOWN?”
When people ask what I do for a living, I proudly say I’m a humor writer. They usually wince, grab their children, and run in the opposite direction.
Although it sounds quite easy, the job of a full-fledged professional humor writer is a daunting one. It is a veritable pertuberance detrailing underused dalliances in the climatistic quest of the juxtarotation of language science.
And sometimes we actually use real words; but it’s not typical. The making up nonsensical sentences with varying degrees of success using words some of which are not actually words yet sound real enough, is one of the cornerstones of humor writing success. It is also the only productive use of my degree in English besides window shade, placemat, and device to help me panhandle on the subway.
The life of full-fledged card carrying humor writer is not what one would expect. We have the press interviews, the paparazzi, and the modeling of skimpy swimsuits in exotic destinations…. no wait; that’s Heidi Klum. We humor writers basically spend our days at Starbucks pretending to work, flirting with other patrons, and getting served coffee by other humor writers. And that’s only if we actually get out of the house.
My day begins promptly at the crack of 11:15 am. I typically stay up late doing hardcore research which involves watching Daily Show reruns while eating microwave pizza and drinking a 64 ounce tub of coffee. Caffeine is very important to the creative process and thus critical in the career of a humor writer.
Professional humor writing requires commitment, dedication, and…. I’m sorry… I couldn’t get through that sentence without laughing. When I was in grade school, my teachers warned me that if I didn’t stop goofy around, I’d never make anything of myself.
Real jobs require real commitment: you must arrive on time – you must do actual work – you must wear pants. As a professional humor writer, there is literally no downside. If a police officer screws up, the bad guy gets away. If a politician lies, they make him president. If a humor writer screws up, he fails to get ‘pertuberance daliances’ into column.
So until next week, I’ll be in Atlantic City with a fist full of singles and a bar tab, all in the name of research. And anyone who tells you it’s not legitimate tax deductible research is just being superscillious.