Having a bad day? Then these one-liners from comedian, Jack Handey, are sure to turn your frown upside down. Below is our collection of the best Jack Handey quotes.
To the surprise of many, Jack Handey is a real person and not just the pen name of the comedic genius behind Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey.
Handey began his career writing for the San Antonio Express-News but didn’t last long on the paper’s staff as he was fired after writing an article that “offended car dealerships.”
After losing his job with the paper, Handey dipped his toe in comedy and started working with Steve Martin, which eventually led to a recurring gig at Saturday Night Live.
Handey has also written jokes and sketches for Canadian sketch series, Bizarre, and Steve Martin’s television special, Comedy is Not Pretty!. He has also published a collection of magazine humor pieces.
Known for his surrealist humor and deadpan delivery, these one-liners from Handey’s career will both surprise you and make you laugh out loud.
Don’t forget to also check out these funny inspirational quotes celebrating life, love and struggles.
The best one-liners and Jack Handey quotes
1. “When you go in for a job interview, I think a good thing to ask is if they ever press charges.” — Jack Handey
2. “Whenever I see an old lady slip and fall on a wet sidewalk, my first instinct is to laugh. But then I think, what if I was an ant, and she fell on me. Then it wouldn’t seem quite so funny.” — Jack Handey
3. “I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I’d just quit my job and become a bum for a few years because I was thinking about doing that anyway.” — Jack Handey
4. “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” — Jack Handey
5. “If you work on a lobster boat, sneaking up behind someone and pinching him is probably a joke that gets old real fast.” — Jack Handey
6. “On the other hand, you have different fingers.” — Jack Handey
7. “When I was a kid my favorite relative was Uncle Caveman. After school, we’d all go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us. It wasn’t until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear.” — Jack Handey
8. “Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.” — Jack Handey
9. “If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is “God is crying.” And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is “Probably because of something you did.” — Jack Handey
10. “One thing a computer can do that most humans can’t is be sealed up in a cardboard box and sit in a warehouse.” — Jack Handey
11. “I think the mistake a lot of us make is thinking the state-appointed psychiatrist is our “friend.” — Jack Handey
12. “Somebody told me how frightening it was how much topsoil we are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared.” — Jack Handey
13. “A good way to threaten somebody is to light a stick of dynamite. Then you call the guy and hold the burning fuse up to the phone. “Hear that?” you say. “That’s dynamite, baby.” — Jack Handey
14. “To me, clowns aren’t funny. In fact, they’re kind of scary. I’ve wondered where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the circus, and a clown killed my dad.” — Jack Handey
15. “If you define cowardice as running away at the first sign of danger, screaming and tripping and begging for mercy, then yes, Mr. Brave man, I guess I’m a coward.” — Jack Handey
The funniest Jack Handey quotes
16. “A funny thing is if you’re out hiking and your friend gets bit by a poisonous snake, tell him you’re going for help, then go about ten feet and pretend YOU got bit by a snake. Then start an argument about who’s going to get help. A lot of guys will start crying. That’s why it makes you feel good when you tell them it was just a joke.” — Jack Handey
17. “I wonder if the polite thing to do is always the right thing to do. When I met the family from Japan, they all bowed. I pretended like I was going to bow, but then I just kept going and flipped over on my back. I did this five times. I think they got the point.” — Jack Handey
18. “It’s probably not a good idea to be chewing on a toothpick if you’re talking to the president, because what if he tells a funny joke and you laugh so hard you spit the toothpick out and it hits him in the face or something.” — Jack Handey
19. “To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there’s no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other.” — Jack Handey
20. “Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo, flying across in front of a beautiful sunset? And he is carrying a beautiful rose in his beak, and also he is carrying a beautiful painting with his feet. And also you are drunk.” — Jack Handey
21. “If your friend is already dead, and being eaten by vultures, I think it’s okay to feed some bits of your friend to one of the vultures, to teach him to do some tricks. But ONLY if you’re serious about adopting the vulture.” — Jack Handey
22. “Love is not something that you can put chains on and throw into a lake. That’s called Houdini. Love is liking someone a lot.” — Jack Handey
23. “Whenever someone asks me to define love, I usually think for a minute, then I spin around and pin the guy’s arm behind his back. NOW who’s asking the questions?” — Jack Handey
24. “It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.” — Jack Handey
25. “Whenever you read a good book, it’s like the author is right there, in the room talking to you, which is why I don’t like to read a book.” — Jack Handey
26. “I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they’d never expect it.” — Jack Handey
27. “I think a good gift for the president would be a chocolate revolver. And since he’s so busy, you’d probably have to run up to him and hand it to him.” — Jack Handey
28. “Don’t ever get your speedometer confused with your clock, like I did once, because the faster you go the later you think you are.” — Jack Handey
29. “If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.” — Jack Handey
30. “If I ever get real rich, I hope I’m not real mean to poor people like I am now.” — Jack Handey
Jack Handey quotes that actually kind of make pretty good sense
31. “To me, it’s a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, “Hey, can you give me a hand?” you can say, Sorry, got these sacks.” — Jack Handey
32. “I think the monkeys at the zoo should have to wear sunglasses so they can’t hypnotize you.” — Jack Handey
33. “Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then I look into the bottom of the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes & dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, ‘It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than to be selfish and worry about my liver.’” — Jack Handey
34. “If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let’em go…because man, they’re gone!” — Jack Handey
35. “Instead of trying to build newer and bigger weapons of destruction, mankind should be thinking about getting more use out of the weapons we already have.” — Jack Handey
36. “The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.” — Jack Handey
37. “If you ever catch on fire, try to avoid seeing yourself in the mirror, because I bet that’s what REALLY throws you into a panic.” — Jack Handey
38. “Sometimes I think the so-called experts actually are experts.” — Jack Handey
39. “I’d rather be rich than stupid.” — Jack Handey
More funny Jack Handey quotes
40. “Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.” — Jack Handey
41. “I’d like to see a nature film where an eagle swoops down and pulls a fish out of a lake, and then maybe he’s flying along, low to the ground, and the fish pulls a worm out of the ground. Now that’s a documentary.” — Jack Handey
42. “I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but listen to yourself!” — Jack Handey
43. “It’s funny that pirates were always going around searching for treasure, and they never realized that the real treasure was the fond memories they were creating.” — Jack Handey
44. “The first thing was, I learned to forgive myself. Then I told myself, “go ahead and do whatever you want, it’s okay by me.” — Jack Handey
45. “Broken promises don’t upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?” — Jack Handey
46. “When you’re riding in a time machine way far into the future, don’t stick your elbow out the window, or it’ll turn into a fossil.” — Jack Handey
47. “Too bad you can’t buy a voodoo globe so that you could make the earth spin real fast and freak everybody out.” — Jack Handey
48. “I wish I had a Kryptonite cross because then you could keep both Dracula and Superman away.” — Jack Handey
49. “I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’d like to see more and more planets fall under the ruthless domination of our solar system.” — Jack Handey
50. “I bet one legend that keeps recurring throughout history, in every culture, is the story of Popeye.” — Jack Handey
Is laughter really the best medicine?
More than just a common saying, laughter actually really is great medicine. Laughing causes reactions in your body that are good for both your physical and mental health.
For instance, laughter relaxes the body, protects the heart by promoting blood flow, boosts the immune system, fights depression, brings you closer to others, and releases endorphins to promote overall well-being. And all of that is only scraping the surface of what laughter can do for your body and mind.
With all that being said, comedians like Jack Handey are really making a positive impact in the world by creating humor and making people laugh.
We hope you got a kick out of these Jack Handey quotes and lines. Which one-liner did you think was the funniest? Let us know in the comments below.
January 12, 2021 7:00 AM EST