It's all Wright
by Chip Deffaa
New York Post, June 15, 2002.
"You think this is a show?" Steven wright asked the audience
enthusiastically laughing and applauding his remarks, midway through his
appearance at the Beacon Theatre Thursday.
"After this is over, they'll just put me in the back of a truck and take me
to another city, wile I drink whiskey and eat Fig Newtons."
It was Wright's first performance in New York in eight years -- too long!
For those of us who were there the last time, it felt as if he was simply
picking up the conversation where he'd left off.
Here was a man telling us in myriad ways that he doesn't quite feel he fits
in - in this world - and never has.
Here was a man who had us laughing, loudly, at remarks delivered in his
offhand, casual fashion.
It always feels as if there's a layer of truth under his comments, no matter
When he was in third grade, he shared with us, he told his teacher, "I don't
Asked what it was he didn't get, he responded, "Just in general." And the
image seemed plausible.
He told us of learning, as a boy, that the president was married to the
"first lady," and wondering if she'd seen dinosaurs.
And of learning in school that there was a skeleton inside of him, and going
out on Halloween naked, telling people, "Don't think of the skin."
Here was a man who said he wondered how his life would have been different
had he been born a day earlier.
Only maybe it wouldn't have been different at all, "except that I would have
asked that question yesterday."
It's all delivered dead-pan, matter of fact. No dud lines.
Sheer comic perfection, from a man who insisted, "I have no idea what I'm