Monday, January 26, 2009
One of my favorite comedians was Steve Allen. Extremely quick-witted, with a wonderful sense of the absurd, he was the first host of “The Tonight Show”, and had his own starring vehicles on the networks and in syndication.
One of the bits he performed on a regular basis was called “The Question Man”. Patterned after the type of show wherein an expert on a subject would be given questions to answer, Allen reversed the formula to great comic effect. Instead of being given a question and supplying the answer, Allen would be given an answer and then supply the question. For instance, this:
Q: What do you get if someone hits you over the head with a window?
Some of you will recognize that the routine was later re-worked by Johnny Carson. As Carnac The Magnificent, he would come on stage dressed as a mystic seer. Ed McMahon would hand Carnac a sealed envelope containing a question. Carnac would hold the envelope to his forehead, divine the answer to the question inside, and then announce it to the audience.
Carnac would then rip the envelope open with a flourish and read the question inside.
"What are you likely to become if you’re corn and you forget to wear a condom while having sex?"
(To be clear, I made up the foregoing examples. I think they’re pretty good, but I don’t want the estates of Carson and Allen suing me for defamation if they don’t think so.)
What is this leading up to? Simple. I’d like to give myself a writing challenge, and I want you to help me. Tomorrow, I’ll be The Question Man (or, if you wish, Suldog The Magnificent) and I’ll provide you with questions to fit your answers. Your job is to give me some answers.
In the comments section, please leave me one answer each. I will be back tomorrow with the best questions I can come up with to match your answers. All answers given by 5pm Eastern in the United States will receive a question. I ask only that you limit your answers to the English language and no more than three or four words. For instance...
A: A Shoe
Q: To what article of clothing might you say "Gesundheit!"
A: A Pair Of Shoes
Q: What do you call a person who babysits shoes?
A: Soon, with more better stuff.
Q: Considering every question is likely to be a very bad pun, what is just about the stupidest promise I could make?