We could be at the start of a revolution when it comes to the Boston comedy scene and the state of the knuckleball at Fenway Park.
For decades Boston comedy was defined by "the two Steves," Steve Sweeney and Steven Wright. While Sweeney hasn't updated his material since 1977, Wright has remained relevant with a younger crowd (starting with his appearance as 'The Guy on the Couch' in Dave Chappelle's 'Half Baked'). While most collectively agreed at some point in 2007 that Dane Cook was too douchey to reach 'Steve' level in the Hub, guys like Louis C.K. and Bill Burr have helped re-establish Boston as a funny town.
For (two) decades the Boston knuckleball scene (so hot), was dominated by Tim Wakefield. Ask anyone who attended multiple games at Fenway Park from 1995 to 2011 - which pitcher did you see the most. Liars will tell you Pedro; the rest will tell you Wakefield, and say so with a sigh.
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Tuesday, a knuckleballer other than Wakefield will start a game for the Red Sox for the first time since the great Charlie Zink allowed eight earned runs on 11 hits in 4.1 innings on Aug. 12, 2008. Steven Wright, the baseball knuckleballer (no relation to the comedian, for the record), gets the nod for Boston in Houston on Tuesday night. Wright has pitched fairly well for the Red Sox in his limited appearances. He is 2-0 on the year with a 3.65 ERA in 12. 1 innings of work.
The Moreno Valley, Calif., native was dealt to the Sox last year during a time when the Faithful had little faith in Sox management. General Manager Ben Cherington gave up longtime Sox farm darling Lars Anderson to land Wright, and the move was met with a lot of skepticism. But Wright has impressed management and fans so far, enough to start a game for a pennant-chasing MLB team in August.
Ahead of Wright's Tuesday start, here are a few Steven Wright (the comedian) jokes to deadpan every time Steven Wright (the knuckleballer) throws a pitch.
"I went to the bank and asked to borrow a cup of money. They said, 'What for?' I said, 'I'm going to buy some sugar. I saw a bank that said 24-hour banking, but I don't have that much time."
"I like to go to art museums and name the untitled paintings... Boy With Pail... Kitten On Fire."
"I went to the cinema, and the prices were: adults $5.00, children $2.50. So I said, 'Give me two boys and a girl.'"
"I went to a restaurant that serves 'breakfast at any time.' So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance."
"There's a pizza place near where I live that sells only slices. In the back you can see a guy tossing a triangle in the air."
"I went to a general store. They wouldn't let me buy anything specifically."
"Years ago, I worked in a natural, organic health food store in Seattle. One day a man walked in and asked, 'If I can melt dry ice, can I swim without getting wet?' Two days later I was fired for eating cotton candy and drinking straight Bosco on the job."
"I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, 'Hey, the sign says you're open 24 hours.' He said, 'Yes, but not in a row.'"
"I went to the hardware store and bought some used paint. It was in the shape of a house. I also bought some batteries, but they weren't included. So I had to buy them again."
"I went into a clothes store the other day and a salesman walked up to me and said, 'Can I help you?' and I said, 'Yeah, do you got anything I like?' He said, 'What do you mean do we have anything you like?' I said, 'You started this.'"
"I bought my brother some gift-wrap for Christmas. I took it to the Gift Wrap Department and told them to wrap it, but in a different print so he would know when to stop unwrapping."
"The other day I was in a bookstore and I started talking to a French-looking girl. She was a bilingual illiterate. She couldn't read in two different languages."
"For my birthday I got a humidifier and a dehumidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out. Then I filled my humidifier with wax, and now my room is all shiny."
"Ever notice how irons have a setting for permanent press? I don't get it."
"I invented the cordless extension cord."
"Under my bed I have shoe box full of telephone rings. Whenever I get lonely I open it up just a bit and I get a call. One time I dropped the box all over the floor and the phone wouldn't stop ringing, so I had it disconnected. I bought a new phone though. I didn't have much money so I had to buy an irregular phone. It had no number 5 on it. I saw a close friend of mine the other day. He said, 'Steven, why haven't you called me?' I said, 'I can't call everyone I want. My new phone has no five on it.' He said, 'How long have you had it?' I said, 'I don't know... My calendar has no sevens on it.'
"I got up one morning and couldn't find my socks, so I called information. She said, 'Hello, Information.' I said, 'I can't find my socks.' She said, 'They're behind the couch.' And they were!
"I was reading the dictionary. I thought it was a poem about everything."
"Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song? The guy who wrote that song wrote everything."
"My grandfather invented Cliff's Notes. It all started back in 1912... Well, to make a long story short ..."
"I just got out of the hospital. I was in a speed reading accident. I hit a book mark and flew across the room."
"I installed a skylight in my apartment.... The people who live above me are furious!"
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS