By Jacob Mathias
A local radio manager is writing to make people laugh.
“It’s Funny Until Someone Loses An Eye (Then It’s Really Funny)” is an upcoming book of humor writings by local radio manager Kurt Luchs. The book collects what the author considers his most “evergreen” writings. Luchs is the general manager for NRG Media in Plover.
“This is a book of humor for people who are tired of current events and of everything being political humor, everything being about Trump,” said Luchs. “There is not one mention of the president in this book. There is very little political or topical material in this book.”
The various essays and the stories in the book are mostly parodies and satires of the great literature of Socrates, Plato, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Franz Kafka and the King James Bible, according to Luchs. Prior to releasing his book, Luchs gained credits at multiple acclaimed humor publications including The Onion, The New Yorker and McSweeney’s along with television shows like “The Late Late Show” and “Politically Incorrect.” He currently edits the humor website The Big Jewel.
His writing career eventually led him to writing for a comedy radio show in Connecticut, and ultimately to managing radio stations, which brought him to Central Wisconsin in 2013.
“I can’t speak for other humor writers, but I think most of them find it the best and healthiest way to process pain and suffering,” said Luchs.
One of seven children in a family from suburban Chicago, Luchs said he lived in an unhappy, oppressive household with parents in a dysfunctional marriage. He said joking and humor was a way of dealing with that childhood.
“It provided the need to laugh and the means to know how to make people laugh,” he said.
He also credits his parents with inspiring his writing. His mother was a MENSA member and housewife who loved poetry, and would recite verse as she worked around the house. His father was the comedy lover and would listen to comedy radio shows with Luchs.
Luchs’ father was an ex-marine sharpshooter become advertising executive in Chicago. Because of his father’s career, Luchs grew up surrounded by a diverse group of artists, underground cartoonists, hippies and drug dealers.
“Although the emotional atmosphere was oppressive, we were surrounded by all kinds of culture, all kinds of books and nothing was forbidden,” said Luchs. “There was no adult supervision in that home…It made me what I am for better or worse.”
Luchs said he admires the humorous writings of New Yorker writers like S.J. Perelman, Dorothy Parker and Woody Allen, as well as English writers P.G. Wodehouse and Stephen Fry. He is also a big fan of the Firesign Theatre comedy troupe.
He also writes humorously about the sciences. The second story in the collection, “Speak No Evil,” is about scientists teaching primates how to speak. They succeed, but can only get the apes to speak about being undergraduate psychology majors before returning to texting.
The book is being published by the New Jersey-based Sagging Meniscus Press. Luchs said he isn’t sure how the book will sell, but is hopeful as it’s already on its second printing prior to being released.
Not only a comedy writer, Luchs began his writing career as a poet. He said he’s recently begun writing more poetry and hopes to someday release a collection of his verse. An autobiography is also of interest to him.
“In transitioning from poetry to humor, I realized they have something in common,” said Luchs. “It’s two forms of writing where the writing is very concentrated and it’s trying to carry double meanings.”
“It’s Funny Until Someone Loses An Eye (Then It’s Really Funny)” is set for release on Nov. 1 and can be purchased wherever books are sold.