Okay so lately I’ve noticed a lot of people beginning articles by mentioning some line from a Woody Allen movie. Originally I was just going to have this as a thought. And leave it at that. You know, not say anything to anyone else. Then maybe if the right opportunity ever came along in some conversation, I might just...you know. Or not. I don’t know. I hadn’t decided really. But then it kept happening. A second time. Then a third. It just kept happening. It was ridiculous almost. I even started doing it, myself. It was an epidemic. An epidemic, of Woody Allen. Chris Rock did it just the other night. Okay, so I’ve noticed a few things about our epidemic. First, it’s usually males. And it’s usually in a New York based publication or television show. Frankly I have no idea what the cure is going to be. But for now, I thought I should at least start cataloging these occurrences whenever I found them. I hope some day my effort here might help us, if not to cure outright, then perhaps at least draw some conclusions.



April 15, 2007, The New York Times


SECOND maybe only to the Big Bang, the elusive essence of comedy has been subjected to a lot of theorizing. In Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” a character played by Alan Alda described it pompously and mathematically as “tragedy plus time.” Steve Martin says it’s what makes you laugh but not puke. Schopenhauer believed it was based on a false syllogism, and other philosophers said it revolved around a hidden  misunderstanding. (Lone Ranger: “Looks like we’re surrounded by Indians, Tonto.” Tonto: “What’s all this ‘we’ stuff, kemo sabe?”)


Okay. That was fine.


This one by Jeffrey Rosen, in the New York Times Magazine. I scanned it.


         I will continue to update this file as needed.