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What I'd Say to the Martians: And Other Veiled Threats

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  877 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
Jack Handey is one of America's favorite humorists, from his New Yorker pieces to his Deep Thoughts books and Saturday Night Live sketches. Now, in What I'd Say to the Martians, Handey regales readers with his incredible wit and wacky musings.
ebook, 192 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,644)
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

One of my fondest childhood memories is spending Saturday night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and staying up late to watch Saturday Night Live. A million few years later, I remain loyal to SNL – I’m just old now, so the correct name for Saturday Night Live would be something along the lines of Sunday Morning DVR.

SNL has a history of producing superstars,

(Note: I’m calling out Aidy Bryant as the next best thing. She brings the LOLz er
Sep 19, 2008 Malbadeen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: appreciators of all things stupid
Shelves: funny
This book is one crescendo of stupidity after another. Which is why I loved so much of it. The middle slowed down significantly and the ending had descriptive passages of former sat. night live material that didn't work in written format but the parts that made me laugh, MADE ME LAUGH!
Did I feel shallow and unintelligent for letting the collection of Nerudo poetry, the short stories of checkov, and the moviegoer keep waiting for me on my nightstand as I barreled forward with this inane collectio
Sep 02, 2010 Justin rated it it was amazing
I try not to give five stars to very many books. My ratings-criteria is fairly simple, based on a system first introduced to me by the brilliant Roger Ebert.

What is the book/movie/art piece/piece of cultural detritus trying to do, and how well does it do it?

Assessing a work under this criteria means one cannot give lower and higher scores based on one's personal tastes. One must cast aside personal bias and rate the work simply on what they determine it is trying to do, and well it is going abou
Terry Clague
Feb 09, 2015 Terry Clague rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In 1997 I acquired my very first email address from Cardiff University. Exciting times. One result of this new-found medium of exchange was that friends would share things from the internet. One such email that did the rounds contained Jack Handey's dark thoughts and we all hooted to discover this stuff that had previously been aired on Saturday Night Live. I still remember some by heart, such as:

One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyla
Eric T. Voigt Voigt
Zaniness. What isn't to enjoy about the egotistical dullard who lives in a world of Draculas for neighbors and Everests that can be ascended hundreds of times? Nothing. Rhetorical questions are destroying my critical reputation. It's like I'm using the question mark to distance myself from the truth instead of just telling you outright I laughed a bunch and am sitting here pissed that his SNL sketch "The Zombies vs. The Bees" was produced but never aired. Why didn't they air that? It reads so we ...more
Mar 12, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't laughed this hard while reading a book since "My Custom Van", but this one is even funnier. My advice is to try reading this book out-loud to your significant other. It is impossible. I couldn't finish any sentence I attempted, because I just started making squealing noises while gasping for air. There are certain chapters that had me doubled over and cackling, and all chapters were at least extremely amusing. If you're at least as old as I am, you're probably familiar with Jack Handy' ...more
Mar 07, 2010 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Hilarious. If you like Jack Handey's sense of humor, you'll love this book. A few words that get me rolling: "glue mud", "marshmackies", and "wow, how did they think of that?". It's too funny and my only complaint is that there's not enough. I finished it in a day.
May 01, 2014 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a mixed bag of all of the Shouts and Murmurs that Jack Handey has written for the New Yorker (they are available online) and the scripts for SNL skits he wrote (you've probably seen them).

And the only thing you can't get anywhere else was just the most fantastic thing he's ever written. A skit that never made it to NPR that would have starred Carl Weathers right after he died in rocky four or whatever before everyone forgot who he was and fifteen years before arrested development re
Feb 28, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Growing up, I was always told by friends and ne'er-do-wells that "Jack Handey" was a pseudonym for the entire cast of SNL. No one person, I was told, could come up with those hilarious bon mots known as Deep Thoughts. Apparantly, this is a lie that Handey himself perpetrated, so as to better avoid his creditors.

If you read this book from the first page to the last, as I have since been taught to do, you will no doubt realize that what is at work is the twisted mind of one absurd individual. Ever
Eh. Maybe I'm just a fuddy-duddy, but I didn't find this collection of humorous essays that amusing. I may have internally chuckled once or twice while reading the collection, My First Day in Hell was funny, but nothing I hadn't read before. I guess my biggest complaint is that, as I said, although zany, to me the collection lacked substance. Perhaps due to their sketch comedy nature I felt little interest sparked in the brief pieces. Perhaps because I've never seen (readers be warned here, the ...more
Brian Morin
I was a huge fan of the old Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey segments on SNL, so I picked this book up at a used book sale expecting it to be equally funny. It wasn't terrible. There were a couple of LOL moments in its 170+ pages, but nothing that really had me cracking up. It was somewhat disappointing. I'm sure there are some people out there that would find this book hilarious, but it just wasn't really my thing.
Mukta Mohapatra
Feb 10, 2015 Mukta Mohapatra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for something funny to get me out of a slump. I own all of his small Deep Thoughts books, and they always made me laugh, so I purchased this.

This is a compilation of essays and skits he wrote for SNL. Some of them were very funny, some of them missed the mark, but overall, I got exactly what I wanted.

I laughed so hard that my belly hurt and tears streamed down my face. Thanks, Jack!
Sep 05, 2015 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Oh, anyway, the thing I was saying about New York cabs is, the drivers are all from foreign countries. I'm not sure why that's funny, but it seems like it is. Maybe what's funny is there's a cab driver who's real goofy and funny, and drives so wild that you fall out of the cab onto the street! Hey, come back here!"
Mar 03, 2014 Marnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this 3 stars but at any point it could have been a 5. Then the next second it could be a 1. It went from hysterical to blah in mere pages. That said, it was a good read. It is really short so the 1 star parts are gone before you know it and you are laughing out loud while exercising at the gym. :)
May 11, 2008 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fromthelibrary, humor
Whether you were introduced to Jack Handey through Saturday Night Live, his pieces in The New Yorker, Outside and Playboy, or one of his many collected works, including Deep Thoughts, Deeper Thoughts or Deepest Thoughts, his humor, born from Steve Martin's "Jerk Humor,"; plays the fool again in these longer essays. Essays/bits/theories (I'm not sure WHAT to call them)vary from why your skeleton should be as scary as possible after you die to how he'd film a nature documentary. In addition to th ...more
Melissa Lee-tammeus
Aug 09, 2015 Melissa Lee-tammeus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
I love this guy's one liners. They make me laugh out loud. But to make them into essays just makes me feel like I am in a drunk tank with a bunch of fried out people with fried out brains smoking some weed trying to save the world. Ain't nobody got time for that.
Aug 28, 2013 Cooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was like a blast to the past. I remember watching the SNL skits detailed in this book and it brought back memories of hours spent sitting around reciting Deep Thoughts with friends. Laughed just as hard today as back then. But I mostly enjoyed the constant references to the funny cowboy dance and his so-called friend Don.

My wife didn't find it as funny. I'm suspicious that me reading out loud to her when she was on the phone or busy getting the kids ready for bed or something else she
Fathermichael Nixon
Funniest funny that ever funnied.

Jack Handey writes like a consistently hilarious crazy person. If you don't think this is some of the funniest writing ever, that is fine, but you should not be allowed to vote.
May 07, 2011 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I laughed my ass off while reading this book. There were a couple of pieces that flopped for me, but I just really like this style of humor. I'm not sure who Jack Handey is, with the obvious Steve Martin references in it, there's good reason to believe Jack Handey is just Steve Martin. I'd be shocked if Steve Martin didn't have a profound involvement in this book. However, it's possible that other SNL writers, or maybe just "friends of the circle" wrote little pieces for this too. This isn't a b ...more
Feb 21, 2015 Sean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some very funny bits in here, among any number of not at all funny bits. A handful of 'best of' Deep Thoughts as well. Which are perhaps the funniest parts. Maybe Handey should have stuck to that shortest of short forms.
Josh Newman
Nov 22, 2013 Josh Newman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most people who have heard his name on SNL think that Jack Handey is a fictional character. JACK HANDEY IS REAL. And really funny! If you like Deep Thoughts, this collection is a shoe-in. New Yorker readers will recognize a few of these pieces, which have been featured in the "Shouts and Murmurs" section over the past few years. Handey has cultivated a few extremely funny voices that he uses interchangeably: a dullard, a homegrown philosopher, an outdoorsman, a creep, a drunk, an egomaniac. He u ...more
Heather McKeon
Dec 28, 2014 Heather McKeon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was pretty hilarious. Completely ridiculous and nonsensical, but that's pretty much what you'd expect from a book by Jack Handey of Deep Thoughts fame right? And that's pretty much all I have to say about it, if you love Deep Thoughts, you'll like this book.
Jun 17, 2014 Alexandria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes to laugh
this was the first book that had ever made me laugh out loud. It was so funny that I had to read it to my sister my mom and my classmates.
Dec 29, 2009 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For my money, middle Americans find it too easy to lump Jack Handey in with the alumni of SNL, which is a real shame. Handey is, in my opinion, the master of the short form comedic essay. This book is the first collection of his that I've read, so I can't say how it fares against past collections. I will say that I accidentally left the book on top of my bathroom cabinet and now the binding boards curl out like a duck's bill. But if you're a Jack Handey fan, you've probably already read some of ...more
Aug 06, 2008 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd already read many of these in the New Yorker, but who cares? I laugh just as hard the second or third time. A few of the essays leave me flat, but they are more than made up for by all the ones that have me snorting inappropriately or laughing until my eyes water. And I don't think that I had made the connection that Jack Handey was the genius behind both the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer and Toonces the Driving Cat. A few of his Saturday Night Live skits and some old Deep Thoughts are tossed into ...more
Jason Miller
As a fan of Deep Thoughts, I was quite disappointed with this book. Had just a few LOLs. Like, two.
Simon Sweetman
Aug 13, 2015 Simon Sweetman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this - fun to read something of his other than the Deep Thoughts series.
Joey Alison Sayers
Jack Handey is amazing. This book is beyond hilarious.

-1 star for not including a video of the funny cowboy dance.

Overall: 12 stars out of 5.
Jun 15, 2014 Samsarkozi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun book, different short stories connecting at times.
Dec 22, 2015 Dawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Too stupid to even finish reading.
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Jack Handey is an American humorist. He is best known for his Deep Thoughts, a large body of surrealistic one-liner jokes, as well as his "Fuzzy Memories" and "My Big Thick Novel" shorts. Many people have the false impression that Jack Handey is not an actual person, but a character created by Saturday Night Live or a pen name used by National Lampoon.
More about Jack Handey...

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