A philosopher in bunny ears

By JAMES PARKER  |  December 31, 2007

1) Babies are illogical.
2) Nobody who can manage a crocodile is despised.
3) Illogical persons are despised.
Therefore, babies cannot manage crocodiles.

“These word games bothered and intrigued me,” writes Martin. “Appearing to be silly nonsense, on examination they were absolutely logical — yet they were still funny.” Huge theories of comedy can be sprouted from this little insight: combining it with the lesson he learned as a teenage conjuror (that the audience seemed to enjoy it more when a trick didn’t work), Martin found his comic genius. Babies may not be able to manage crocodiles — not yet — but a man in a white suit with a fake arrow through his head can still kick ass on the banjo. It’s crazy, but it’s true.

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