I don’t care who you are; this is funny.
Happy Birthday Jerry Clower, wherever you are, born on this date in 1926.
Other than the fact that he’s side-splitting funny, one of the more impressive things about Jerry was he never used a four-letter word. You can play Jerry Clower for your youngest children and never have to worry about what they’re going to hear. And they’ll learn a thing or several about their native language.
Among his classic lines (too many to count) are the famous, “Well shoot up here ‘mongst us. One of us has got to have some relief!”
A repeated theme in Clower’s work (and I think it does deserve to be considered as a body of work, every bit as much as that of some Hollywood buffoon) is the puncturing of conceit and pretense. He tells the story of some television show that was filming at one of the grand Southern estates. One of the fruity little Hollywood types makes the mistake of effusing over the flower beds, and says to the tiny little ancient black woman, on the staff there and to whom he addresses himself, that it looks as if “some fairy had waved a magic wand over this place” to produce all those wonderful flowers etc. etc. etc. The woman says in fact it was even so, “an’ it had a hoe on the end of it!” Or the time it come twelve inches or so of rain in 24 hours and they had them a flood. All the hot-snot McMansion dwellers (although Clower was spared having to see those sprout all over the face of his beloved land) were just outraged that their houses had flooded!! Floods, you see, are for poor people, people who live down by the levee, or in bottom land, or beside drainage ditches. Sure enough the television talking heads were out in force, shoving microphones in the outraged faces of the Poor Victims and inquiring what had “Caused the Flood.” Well, the Corps (or as Dear Leader would presumably say it, the “corpse”) of Engineers caused it with their dam; or the sport fishermen who wouldn’t let them lower the water enough; or all those greedy corporations. Etc., in other words. And then they made the mistake of asking some well-dressed boy standing by, not realizing that he was NOKD (Not Our Kind, Dear). What caused the flood? “I’ll tell what caused this flood: Twelve inches of rain in 24 hours caused this flood an’ if we ever get that kinda rain again, we gon’ have us another flood.”
We need more Jerry Clowers in this ol’ world. One wasn’t enough.