Steven Wright

Stand-up comedian



December 6, 1955


Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, MA


65 years old


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A little about Steven

His jokes on the internet

Steven has commented on the various internet sites that list his jokes. "Someone showed me a site, and half of it that said I wrote it, I didn't write. Recently, I saw one, and I didn't write any of it. What's disturbing is that with a few of these j...

Interests outside of comedy

While not well known for works outside of the comedy realm, Steven Wright is a musician and has recorded several non-comedy songs with his friend and occasional actor Mark Wuerthner. Wright also has an interest in painting.


In 1982 executive producer of The Tonight Show Peter Lassally saw Wright performing on a bill with other local comics at the Ding Ho comedy club and booked him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, who was so impressed with Wright that he had him o...

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Steven's posts (5)

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Steven Wright


How he comes up with jokes

I don’t go, “I’m gonna write a joke.” I just go through the world and see stuff. It’s like I exercised the part of my mind of noticing things, to the point where I’m now noticing things without even trying to notice them.


I just got lucky. This is how I talk, this is how I think, this is what I look like onstage. And it’s still like that for me: I gotta write stuff and then I gotta go onstage and I gotta say it.
I’ve learned that if I foul it up, if I pause wrong or stumble over a word, the joke doesn’t go as good, and sometimes it doesn’t even go at all. It’s so much about timing. If there’s a three-second gap and I don’t say the next joke, I can lose the whole thing. It really is a lesson I realized early on: You better know what you’re gonna say and say it the right way. Even if I wasn’t doing one-liners, even if it more traditional, telling stories, I’d still have to say it in the exact right way. It’s just how my brain works. I’m lucky all of this just meshed, you know? I didn’t decide to talk like this or sound like this. The surreal jokes and the voice just worked together. It was all by acci...
I’m really used to being onstage now. Next year will be 40 years. But being onstage, it’s not normal. It’s not a normal place. Because everyone is watching you, it’s all heightened. Everything that goes good goes great and everything that goes wrong goes horrible. So that has changed over the years. I’m not as nervous. But I still feel the tension of it.
Not at all [in the US]. I think the television has made the United States into one big town. I’ve noticed it’s different in different countries, though. Like, Canada laughs a little bit more. I don’t know why. I’ve done specials in Canada for that reason. And England, they love the surrealism. They had Monty Python, of course, so they have that sensibility.