Chuck Jones on What Makes a Comedian Funny
"A comedian is not a person who opens a funny door — he's the person who opens a door funny."
Chuck Jones (1912-2002) was an American animator, cartoonist, and director of animated films. His most famous work consisted of numerous Looney Tunes and Merry Melodies shorts for Warner Brothers featuring characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Wile E. Coyote, and others. Jones was nominated for eight Oscars, won three, and was awarded an honorary statuette in 1996. Robin Williams called Jones "the Orson Welles of cartoons."
Many luminaries of humor peddle varying definitions of comedy. Jones' stance was that comedians are funny people who do funny things against a backdrop of relative normality.
"A comedian is not a person who opens a funny door — he's the person who opens a door funny." [Wikiquote]
Source: "The Art of Chuck Jones: John Lewell Interviews the Veteran Hollywood Animator ," in Animation – Art and Industry, ed. Maureen Furniss (John Libby Publishing Ltd., 2009), 134.
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