Ours is a society spilling over with disposable forms of entertainment. From viral videos to fleeting memes, YouTube, Twitter, and other social-media platforms provide a constellation of time-wasting choices.
Of course, quick, relatively undemanding amusements are not a new phenomenon, nor must they be a pernicious one. Popular songs, light verse, and newspaper comic strips are all legitimate forms intended for rapid consumption rather than sustained contemplation. Equally valid and lasting — though far less widely consumed than whatever is floating around on social media — is the sort of short-form light humor mastered by the writers associated with the old, …
This article appears as “A Humorist for All Seasons” in the September 1, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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