Why is it that writers who turn into standup comics tend to come from the state of Georgia?

Lewis Grizzard was a good example, but the beloved Georgia Bulldog football fan and barbeque aficionado died in 1994. 

Now, Harrison Scott Key is the latest author/humorist to emerge from the Peach State.

While Grizzard was a sports columnist who figured out he was funny, Key is a …?

A what?

Key holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction and a Ph.D. in playwriting.  He has worked at Savannah College for Art and Design (SCAD) for so long that no one remembers just how long. He’s worked as chair of liberal arts, professor of English, professor of writing and executive dean.

The more posts Key serves in, the longer his resume appears. Or does he just get run off from one post and flee to another?

He lives in Savannah, Georgia, with three children and one wife.

Key holds the distinction of being the only writer with three published books who does not have a Wikipedia page. Why is that? Wikipedia gives out no information on why any individual does not have a page on this free “people’s encyclopedia” generated by volunteer, self-appointed writers. My guess (and it’s just a guess) is that some Wikipedia contributor wrote extensively about Harrison Scott Key not being a relative of Francis Scott Key, William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison and Sir Walter Scott. All that genealogical writing detracted from the books written by Harrison Scott Key, so he deleted the article.  Maybe I will put it back up using this article as the centerpiece.

Key has written three full-length books. They all have something in common. All have titles that start out making the would-be reader think the book is a serious work. Then, Key adds a subtitle to indicate the humorous angle:

“How to Stay Married.”  Sounds like an advice book for the 45% of Americans still married. So, Key added the subtitle, “The Most Insane Love Story Ever Told.”  Can you tell the book is humorous and not a Dear Abby-type book? 

“Congratulations, Who Are You Again?” With the second clause, the humor starts.

“The World’s Largest Man.”  So the would-be reader wouldn’t think it is an anthropology text, he added the humorous subtitle: “A Memoir.”

Key’s books can be purchased here.

Rumor is that he will bring some of his books to Samford on February 24 to sell to people who did not get his jokes and need further explanation.

Key has a podcast on TEDx that can be found here.

The Key event is at Birmingham’s Samford University on Saturday, February 24 at 6:30 p.m. Details and ticket information are here.

Doors open at 6 p.m.  The Wright Center on the campus of Samford University is at 872 Montague Dr, Birmingham, just off Lakeshore Drive.

People wonder why Key ended up at Samford for his comic routine.  The likely reason is that he thought he was being invited by Stanford University. (That’s a Harrison Scott Key type of humor.)

Key was going to title his presentation with the name of his new book, “How to Stay Married,” but he is not a licensed counselor. Plus, some ticket-buyers would have thought he was serious and come looking for needed advice instead of humor. 

“Laughter is the best medicine.”

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].

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