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Match to Flame 6

posted on October 19, 2015

Pogo

At the same time, my sense of humor was beginning to be shaped by various influences. It started with my dad, whose punning and wordplay I quickly picked up on. Whenever my mom was doing something and would ask for a hand, my dad would break into applause. My mom never thought that was funny. I, on the other hand, found it endlessly amusing. At other times around the dinner table, my dad, my sister, and I would conduct a conversation consisting of nothing but non sequiturs, with my mom being the odd person out. We all found this to be great fun—again, my mom not so much. My dad’s tastes in comedians also led me to the kind of professional comedy I liked. I was never much of a slapstick humor fan, preferring the likes of Jack Benny and Bob and Ray. Later I gravitated toward the work of poet Ogden Nash and comedians Bob Newhart and Woody Allen. Oh, and let us not forget Pogo. My dad and I could sing “Deck Us All with Boston Charlie” by heart and did so every Christmas. As I was growing up and absorbing all of this wordplay, it never really crossed my mind that I’d find it at all useful.

*From the introduction to The Complete Funky Winkerbean Vol. One