by Thomas Bond
Get Out, May 2, 2002. Phoenix, Arizona.
For comedian Steven Wright, humor is an art form. With his monotone and
deadpan delivery, he stretches normal things and situations to surreal and
absurdist conclusions with hillarious results.
"What I find amusing are the small, everyday things," Wright says. "The
things that are big an so in-your-face - like the Monica Lewinsky thing with
the president or the Robert Blake arrest - those things are so giant that
they don't interest me. I'd rather talk about the lint on the lint screen in
a dryer. Humorwise, that's a better subject for me, and everybody knows lint
and cars and planets."
Wright likens his performances to the work of artists in another medium.
"A show is like a painting," he says. "It's never finished and it changes
all the time - I bring in new material and other jokes drop out.
"The time on the stage is like a canvas. I paint a farm and some trees and a
horse there in the painting. But if you see it a few months later, the horse
is gone because I've replaced it with something else. The trees are there,
but they've moved over a little bit. I just keep painting it over and over.
I never finish it and put it aside and put a blank canvas up. It's always
being worked on."
When he's not touching up his comic paintings, Wright likes to follow his
hometown Boston Red Sox baseball team.
He's a die-hard fan, but knows that comes with a price.
"Well, as I sit here in my straitjacket with a man holding the phone up to
my head so I can talk..." Wright jokes. "They've gotten off to a good start,
but I'm ready for the crash.
"It's hard being a Red Sox fan, psychologically. You've been let down so
many times, but part of the human psyche is to be optimistic, and I love
going to Fenway Park."