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

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  733 ratings  ·  102 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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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

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
...more
Malbadeen
Sep 19, 2008 Malbadeen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
...more
Justin
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
...more
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
Lisa
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
Matt
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.
Jeremy
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
...more
Daniel
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
...more
Hollowspine
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
Marnie
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. :)
Tara
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
Cooper
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
...more
Ryan
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
Josh Newman
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
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.
Alexandria
Jun 17, 2014 Alexandria rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Erin
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
Pat
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
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.
Samsarkozi
Fun book, different short stories connecting at times.
Jean
Boxing is like dancing... This book is the epitome of laughter, what is it designed to do? Who knows, does it accomplish it? Hell yeah!

Easily the sillest book i have ever read, like taking your brain out and hooking it up to the electric things on a defibrillator! Or asking your partner to stop her experiment then going, wait that feels pretty good, but shouldn't you be in science class?

Jack Handey is not just an idiot, he is genius... or of another genus, I always get those two confused...Enjo
...more
Mikki
I'm not a huge fan of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and so much of what Jack Handey rights reminds me of those sketches, but this book was pretty funny.
Sheila
Aug 18, 2008 Sheila rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: off-the-wall people
Recommended to Sheila by: Wendy V
I just love Jack Handey. Where does he get his weird way of thinking? My husband doesn't understand it but I love the off-the-wall stuff. I especially like his thing about the stampeding nudes: "What has frightened these nudes? Is it the lightning in the background? Or did one of the nudes just spook? You don't know, and this creates tension." Thanks for the book, Wendy! The rest of you will want to borrow it. I could have given 5 stars but then I wouldn't have anywhere to go if something better ...more
Brendan
I don't think that there is a funnier or more original writer than Jack Handey. I find it remarkable that he can tie together so many idiosyncratic things in such a short space, and have it all blend so well. The nice thing about this book is that many references are linked throughout (even though they're pulled from varied pieces). Thus, the recurring jokes about his “so-called friend Don,” his “funny cowboy dance,” etc. pack a little more punch. I highly recommend this and wish that there were ...more
Earl Grey Tea
This book contains nothing but short stories. I would probably just call them short humorous passages. There were quite a few times that I was laughing out loud and appreciating the obtuse sense of humor of Jack Handey despite the brevity of each 'chapter'.

There was a quite a bit of new material written in this book, but a few sections were just 'Favorite Deep Thoughts' and transcripts from a few SNL skits written by Handey. Overall, I really didn't feel like I was reading a 'book'.
K
I love Jack Handey! His writing reminds me of George Saunders' without the humanity and insight into American society, but with greater use of the word "buttocks." Which honestly, in Handey's masterful hands, never fails to get a laugh out of me.

This slim collection had a couple of great pieces I'd never read before ("How Things Even Out" "Ideas for Paintings" "Little Tiny Stories"), some more only OK pieces, and then some reprints of his old Deep Thoughts and Fuzzy Memories.

Stephen Coughlin
I'm sure everyone growing up in the 80's knows the name Jack Handey from SNL and yes....this is him. This is a collection of hilarious short stories and observations that left me unable to sleep without giggling. There are some hits and some misses, but that happens when you watch SNL, too. I haven't read his Hawaii book, but I might check it out due to how much I liked this one. Reminded me a lot of Steve Martin's book Pure Drivel. Great stuff.
Davida
Funny stuff. Picked this up randomly at the library and was happy with my choice. A lot of the weird stuff that you see in the last skit of SNL, the ones where they think you've already stopped watching. Those were always my favorite ones. Plus, since Handey is the originator of "Deep Thoughts," there are several "Deep Thoughts" sections as well. Definitely some moments where I laughed out loud. I recommend this for a fast, funny, and strange read.
Connor
Don't get me wrong, this is a funny book. I just didn't understand the point of the book. It seemed to me a like reading a joke book because the chapters were so short and unrelated. I guess I was expected more of an anecdotal type thing. In any case, the chapters were hit or miss. Either I really liked something and I laughed out loud or it was just alright for me. All in all it was an enjoyable and quick read, easy to pick up and put down.
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Currently reading and laughing 3 15 Nov 08, 2014 11:39AM  
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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...
The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure Deep Thoughts Deepest Thoughts: So Deep They Squeak Deeper Thoughts: All New, All Crispy The Lost Deep Thoughts: Don't Fight the Deepness

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