Monday, September 15, 2008

What's so funny about Ohio?

I have a hypothesis that there is something about Ohio that breeds funny people.

I'd be remiss if, being an Ohioan myself, I didn't point out the obvious bias.

I'm not saying everyone in Ohio is funny. They sure aren't.
I'm also not saying that people outside Ohio are less funny. Also untrue.

What I AM trying to do is suggest an anomaly in the Buckeye state. Is there something about the place that just breeds a certain blend of humor? It's been said there's not much to do in Columbus other than eat, shop, and watch movies ... I can't really refute that claim too much, being somewhat portly, materialistic, and obsessed with pop culture myself... and it seemed like all anyone in Ohio ever wanted to do was get out of Ohio...

(i never particularly felt that way, but i can't say i hate it here in VA...)

I think the frustration of being in such a place with such tendencies certainly fosters an environment of growth for the bizarre, dry, disaffected-intelligent, and sarcastic wit. Maybe Ohio's unofficial state motto should be, "Ohio! There's So Much To Criticize!" Because, while I can't account for some other major cities, Columbus is chock full o' complainers. I have nothing to back that claim up with, but hell, I was THERE. Complain-fest 2k8.

For some examples of Ohio's finest humor, check my links to the right. But before you do that, you should be informed that Bill Watterson went to college in Ohio (Kenyon), and lived in Chagrin Falls while drawing Calvin and Hobbes. BILL WATTERSON! Drew, the writer of Toothpaste For Dinner and Married To The Sea, is an Ohioan, as is his wife, Natalie Dee, and they live in Columbus. The writer of Indexed also lives in Columbus.

Other funny Ohioans: (and I have to use the term "funny" loosely in some cases... )
Erma Bombeck
Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson et al)
Dave Chappele
Drew Carey
Tim Conway (of Carol Burnett fame)
Phyllis Diller
Cathy Guisewite, creator of "Cathy" cartoon
Rachael Harris (of VH1's I Love the 80's/90's commentary fame... aka MY DREAM JOB)
Bob Hope
Molly Shannon
Hal Sparks (again, of VH1 commentary fame)
James Thurber (cartoonist for The New Yorker among other things)
aaand basically most of my friends and family from Ohio. i think we're pretty funny.

I dunno. Think about it. Think about the Ohioans you may know.
(...yours truly, if i may be so bold?)


Mary said...

I think you just made a point my friend. I do believe you're right. ;)

plumpdumpling said...

Did you see the SNL sketch about Cathy? Boy, if I never thought it was funny before . . .