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Long ago I read an interview with Steve Allen. The writer wanted Allen to explain his brand of humor and Steve said, "What I do is very easy. I just listen to what people say and I take it literally. For example, when I go down into the audience to talk to people, I might say, 'What's your name, sir?' and the fellow might answer, 'Milt Chandler, Cleveland Ohio.' Then I'd probably say something like, 'That's a very unusual name, Mr. Ohio. Mind telling us how you come by it?'

"And then, if the man says, 'I'm not sure I follow you,' I'll probably say, 'Well, I'm not sure you don't follow me. Somebody's been following me and he looks a lot like you.'"

Strikes me that was a pretty accurate description of the way he worked. I remember one night when he held some kind of nutty contest, and awarded prizes to the winners. He said, "Okay, what do we have for this winner?" and the announcer said, "Steve, we have an Eversharp Schick ladies' Crown Jewel shaver," and Allen handed it to the audience member and said, "Here, shave your crown jewels with this."

Jim Donnelly



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