By JASON REYNOLDS
Tennessee Christian News
A comedian walks into a bar. Ouch! He hits his funny bone on the bar. He should have watched where he was going.
Did my corny joke make you roll your eyes? You’re not alone. My wife constantly rolls her eyes at my jokes. Maybe that’s why she’s having an exam at the eye doctor at the very moment I write this column.
Sorry, but I just had to share a joke after reading “Diary of a Jackwagon,” a new humor book by comedian Tim Hawkins. Nelson Books is the publisher. (Their URL is http://www.thomasnelson.com/).
Hawkins has been performing family-friendly Christian comedy shows for more than 20 years. He has more than 45 million views on his personal YouTube channel and 150 million other views on YouTube. And on Aug. 4, “Jackwagon” will walk into stores, hopefully without giving the stock clerks a paper cut when they place the books on the shelves.
“Diary of a Jackwagon” is a random collection of Hawkins’ comedy journal entries over a period of 20 years.
What is a jackwagon?
In a press release, Hawkins describes what a “jackwagon: is: “A few years ago a guy on Twitter called me a jackwagon, and I didn’t know what that meant. So I looked it up and found that it’s actually a military term. Back in the day, soldiers used to take old pieces and parts to create wagons that could carry whatever needed to be carried. These creations would often break down and were quite unreliable, which does in fact sound a lot like me. So I am the Chief Jackwagon and all my fans are the Jackwagon Crew.”
In describing his journal entries, he writes: “When I come across something funny, my personal process is to find anything I can to write on … Kmart receipts. Napkins. Toilet paper.”
One of my favorite journal entries is titled, “Shoes in twos,” in which Hawkins writes about wild animals, aka, kids. “All I ever do with the time spent in my house is look for my kids’ shoes. That’s it. The temporal substance of my parental core is completely defined by looking for shoes. … It is more likely that they actually take them off at the same time, leaving the pairs together. But then — the universe or a leprechaun or a wrinkle in time — something intervenes to set in motion a daily impossibility. The right and left shoes levitate and are teleported to separate ends of the galaxy, a fact never revealed until the entire family is in a mad dash to leave the house in order to make it somewhere in time — and that one little child stands there holding his one shoe.”
Poking fun at a fish
If you’re a Christian who gets easily offended by jokes about Christian culture, get lost! I’m just joking. Hawkins is not afraid to poke fun at his fellow believers. I agree with his chapter on the whole Jesus fish on a car phenomenon. He admits to experiencing road rage, but says he does not have a Christian sticker on his car. He writes about an incident where a driver cut him off: “I could see that there was a little silver fish on the back of his car. Now I’m not here to judge his Christian walk; it’s his Christian drive I have a problem with. If you don’t like driving like Jesus, take him off your car.”
Amen. Preach it, brother Tim!
So that I don’t come across as a hypocrite, I will admit to sometimes getting mad at stupid drivers. I do not have a Christian-theme sticker/magnet on my car for this reason.
Q&A … and tap water
I had the opportunity to submit a couple of questions via email to Hawkins:
Q: Do you often hit periods where creativity goes dry?
A: Absolutely. Days where you just don’t feel funny but have to push on? Most days. What do you do then? You show up, and you do the best you can. You have to trust the process, live in the moment, and get over yourself. Comedy eats egos for breakfast. It helps that I love, love, love doing it.
Q: Do you often run into Christians who get offended by your jokes? How do you handle that?
A: Surprisingly I don’t get a lot of negative feedback. I make it a habit of never reading YouTube comments, good or bad. What other people think about what I do is none of my business. Besides, if there’s any negative comment, usually one of my fans will do the fighting for me. And of course, sometimes the negative comments are spot on.
Hawkins’ publicist provided a list of other questions and answers. Here are a couple of his standout answers:
Q: What type of hair products do you use and how do you feel that has elevated your show and brand presence?
A: I’ve had great luck with Midwestern tap water.
Q: Does this outfit make me look fat?
A: Quit blaming it on the outfit.
Thank you. I’ll be here all week.