When I write, I try to tell something that comes from nothing. All the time. Unlike Bill O’Reilly, I never saw El Salvadoran nuns get shot. Never shared a ‘shot up’ helicopter with Brian Williams. I did see a man, Lee Harvey Oswald, get murdered live on television, but so did 50 million others. So I go with what I got.
Which ain’t much.
But certain people, especially gifted comics, can run for miles with nothing. Johnny Carson was unmatched. Decades ago, there was a strange little Romanian ‘musician’ named Zamfir (still performs!) that played the pan flute. Nobody except his closest family gave him a thought.
Except for Carson- Johnny would scrunch his neck troll like, roll his eyes, and send up Zamfir. Who else woulda thunk of it? Great stuff.
And then we have comedian Lewis Black. A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about 1950’s nuclear air raid drills, and I thought it was pretty funny. Then I heard Black cover the same material.
Shit. He thought of 50 things I never thought of. All funny. I had nothing but admiration.
And Jerry Seinfeld spent 5 minutes telling us why it was important to use a divider to separate our groceries on the conveyor belt.
And so it shall remain the little crap. After all, how many big stories have we got?