Where I Go: The Poet Sits in the Dentist’s Chair

This Is What Happens When 'Two Mutually Oral Professions' Meet

I have many flaws. I delight in judging my neighbors. I step over the shower drain jammed with a whirlpool of my hair. I read the comments section. I leave lights on. My wife once caught me picking my toenails within full view of my son. These shortcomings, however, seem mild when placed alongside the one I offer you today: I’ve been an annoyance to all seven of my dentists. My method of choice: poorly timed lectures on poems, novels, and stories about teeth.

Did you know there’s a rich …

Quarantine Won’t Be Forever, but Pandemic Humor Is Timeless  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Quarantine Won’t Be Forever, but Pandemic Humor Is Timeless 

A Century Before TikToks and Memes, the 1918 Flu Inspired Rhyming Poetry and Skeptical Satire

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, as society shut down and social distancing became the new norm, user-created media content about life during the pandemic exploded. Today’s technology makes it easy …

How Bullwinkle Helped Us Laugh Off Nuclear Annihilation

The Dim-Witted Moose and His Squirrelly Sidekick Calmed Our Cold War Fears with Subversive Humor

“Mr. Chairman, I am against all foreign aid, especially to places like Hawaii and Alaska,” says Senator Fussmussen from the floor of a cartoon Senate in 1962. In the …

To Defy a Dictator, Send in the Clowns

Protest Movements Can Wield Humor as a Weapon Against Oppressive Regimes

When Egyptians gathered in Tahrir Square to protest the regime of Hosni Mubarak in 2011, they brought with them a funny weapon against the guns and tear gas of the …

You Can Be Funny Without Being Racist, Sexist, or a Bully

And Being "PC" Might Even Make Comedians More Creative

When New York Times Magazine contributing writer Carina Chocano was initially approached to moderate a Zócalo/UCLA event on political correctness and humor, she was intimidated by what she thought was …

How the Marginalized Invented Politically Incorrect Comedy

The Incisive Wit of Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor Paved the Way for a Generation of Crasser Comics

“Sometimes you feel guilty laughing at some of Lenny’s mordant jabs,” journalist Herb Caen once said of the taboo-shattering comic Lenny Bruce. “But that disappears a second later when your …