Monday, June 4, 2007

Always Leave 'em Laughing

Texas Inmate Seeks Jokes for Last Words

By MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press Writer

LIVINGSTON, Texas - Patrick Knight is collecting jokes and will pick the funniest one for his last statement before he is set to die June 26.

He's had about 250 wisecracks mailed to him on death row or e-mailed to a friend who has a Web site for him.

"Lawyer jokes are real popular," he said. "Some of them are a little on the edge. I'm not going to use any profanity if I can find the one I want, or any vulgar content. It wouldn't be bad if it was a little bit on the edge. That would be cool."

Knight said he got the idea for a joke as his last statement after a friend, Vincent Gutierrez, was executed earlier this year and laughed from the death chamber gurney: "Where's a stunt double when you need one?"

You can read the full article here.

I love this idea! Yes. I know. It's insensitive. He committed a horrible crime. But they do give a condemned man the last meal of his choosing. Why not let him go for a laugh, too? It's his funeral.

And I have to admire the risky move it is on his part. What if the joke bombs? He's not exactly playing to a slightly inebriated comedy club crowd. Who's going to warm them up? The executioner? We all know he's no barrel of laughs. Worse, suppose they are in the mood for a little chuckle before he bites the big one. What if they don't get it? What if it goes over their heads? What if he messes up the punchline. He has established that he won't do blue material. Maybe he should, just to play it safe. Audiences always laugh at the dirty stuff.

His MySpace page is here. I was surprised to discover I was in his extended network! The jokes are pretty much all the standard jokes that get told on the golf course. Nothing original. That's a shame. Give the guy some original material. And worst of all, none of the jokes pertain to his situation. To me, a comedian is at his best when he's in the moment.

Here's a few I'll throw in for consideration. They're a little more "one-liner" than "joke" so I suggest doing three in a row punctuated with rimshots. Mind you, these are intended to be the last thing he says before the lethal injection.

  • I've been waiting for the governor to call, but you know how men are after you sleep with them...
  • Now, it's time for my lethal injection. I hope they use a clean needle.
  • The last time someone strapped me down, it cost me 400 bucks. (to the person giving the injection) At least this is free and you're prettier.
  • Yes, what I did was horrible. And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for those meddling kids and their dog!
  • Oh, so that's a lethal injection. That's not at all what Bruno from Cell Block H told me it was while we were in the shower.
  • Oh, lethal injection. I thought you were going to kill me by making me watch Danny Glover movies. (if the joke bombs, follow it up with...) I'm too old for this shit.
  • You know, I should have told you guys this earlier, but I'm afraid of needles.
  • Always the optimist, I couldn't finish my last meal, so I got the rest put in a "to go" container.

He does have an advantage over most comedians. If his joke bombs, he can still tell people he killed.

Apparently, he prefers to have the jokes snail-mailed to him so he can read them to the rest of the guys on death row who will help him decide which one to go with. Not exactly his audience, but it's the only option he has for testing out material.

Jokes can be sent to Patrick B. Knight, #999072, Polunsky Unit, 3872 FM 350 South, Livingston, Texas 77351.

Hey, if you have any, post them here!