Last modified on 5 August 2014, at 12:21

Talk:Jack Handey

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These link at the bottom "What I'd Say To The Martians" short piece in The New Yorker (2005), "This is No Game"short piece in The New Yorker (2006), "My First Day In Hell" short piece in The New Yorker (2006) , "Ideas for Paintings" short piece in The New Yorker (2006) are dead. You guys can remove them. I don't know why this is way up here, wtf.

Real nameEdit

Jack Handey is indeed a real person, was once a staff writer for SNL, and won two Emmy Awards and a Writers Guild of America Award. Source Official Website [1]

Heres part of his biography-

Jack Handey is an American comedian and comic writer. He is famous for his Deep Thoughts, a large body of surrealistic one-liner jokes, as well as his "Fuzzy Memories" and "My Big Thick Novel" shorts.

Handey was born in San Antonio, Texas on February 25, 1949. His family later moved to El Paso, Texas, where Handey attended high school and college (at the University of Texas at El Paso.)

eh, sure this isn't copyrighted. i mean, most of this comes out of his published works.

I can assure you that every last word of this stuff is copyrighted. It shouldn't be here. Manning Bartlett (not logged in)

Here's some verification about Jack's name being genuine: [2]. Bartlett is also right about this stuff being copyrighted, but considering that it's being presented as a quote, it may fall under the "fair use" doctrine.

The above link to Jack Handey's IMDb page only means that the name "Jack Handey" has film and/or TV credits. It does not mean that this is a real name, or even a single person. There is currently no biographical information provided at IMDb. Furthermore, "fair use" does not allow wholesale copying for quotation. It is limited to illustrative excerpts that do not materially interfere with the copyright holder's commercial interests (among other things). Recording everything ever read by "Jack Handey" most definitely violates these limits. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:21, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Excessive quoting removedEdit

We can not quote what was nearly the entire body of his work, this is deeply inappropriate. A handful of representative quotes can be given, WITH FULL ATTRIBUTION AND PROPER REFERENCES (page numbers, editions, etc.)

--Jimbo Wales 16:52, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Excessive quoting? I thought this was Wikiquote, not Wikipedia. Cdwillis 19:37, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

The type of content is not at issue here. Wikiquote is a Wikimedia Foundation project, which must observe copyright laws. Please read Wikiquote:Copyrights to get a feel for the imprecise line we must walk here between providing selected quotes and including large-scale copying of an entire body of work. From my passing knowledge of Jack Handey, I can't see the current article as anything but a massive copyvio, as it contains far more than a reasonable subset of Handey quotes. (This is made even more problematic by the fact that Handey's body of work is short quotes.) I have deleted most of the quotes, leaving what I consider an interesting subset of the first several dozen. Other editors are welcome to add to or delete from these. But we must keep this article to an essence of Handey, not treat it as a complete collection. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:45, 15 May 2006 (UTC)
By the way, Jimbo is right in that we should have specific citation information. Wikiquote's policy on how to do this is somewhat in flux at the moment, but one way certain to meet Foundation requirements is to pick an edition of a printed work, citing its publication information (especially ISBN, which is the quickest and simplest way to identify a specific modern work), and quote page numbers from that edition. The full citation should go into a "References" section and the page numbers should be added as sub-bullets to each quote. (It helps to provide a page count for the full work, so folks referring to other editions might deduce the approximate location of any quote in their copy.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:50, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I like law, but come on. If no one could quote, especially at, we wouldn't be able to write any books. Perhaps, none of us should talk lest be sued. If you reproduce the whole book or even large sections, that is one thing. But you can quote and give credit to the author. Jank Handey is probably thanking us. And who cares if it is his real name--he is hilarious.

More on sourcingEdit

Someone removed the heading "Deep Thoughts". I've replaced it with "Unsourced" because, by Wikiquote standards, we do not as yet have any real source for these quotes. If are they collected in a published work, what is its publication information? If we are getting them from Saturday Night Live episodes, which ones belong to which episode? (If they're copied from a website, it's likely not what Wikiquote would consider a reliable source.) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 15:26, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

An anonymous editor took the trouble to find a fan website, SNL Archives, to provide a "source" for some Handey quotes. But as I mention above, this is not what Wikimedia considers a reliable source, so it can't justify a "Sourced" heading (no matter how many asterisks one adds to the heading). I've reformatted the new additions and the website link to follow our style practices. I also added a note about the source under the SNL subheading to make clear why these aren't considered properly sourced. (All but one quote currently lack dates as well, making even the unreliable source insufficiently specific.) In doing this instead of just removing the whole section, I'm hoping this will get readers to think about other. more reliable sources where they might dig up these quotes. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 14:25, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I am not jokingEdit

Back in May, I wrote this:

We can not quote what was nearly the entire body of his work, this is deeply inappropriate. A handful of representative quotes can be given, WITH FULL ATTRIBUTION AND PROPER REFERENCES (page numbers, editions, etc.)

--Jimbo Wales 16:52, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

I meant it then and I mean it now, but let me make an additional remark. If this stuff comes back again, unsourced, unattributed, and excessive, I will not only delete it, I will ban the user who did it. When I say "a handful of representative quotes" I mean that too. We must respect copyrights.

The board was forced to close the French Wikiquotes by the unresponsiveness of the community there (there was not much of one) to our concerns about copyright violations. I would hate to see the same thing happen to English Wikiquote, which is a much more active project, and with an existing community who can enforce scholarly standards.--Jimbo Wales 18:56, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Proposed guidelines for quoting HandeyEdit

The Wikiquote:Copyrights page lists the four criteria for fair use, and mentions that the Wikiquote response to the first two would always be the same. So let's consider criteria 3 and 4:

  • the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

I propose that a small number of fully referenced quotations cannot be construed as substantial, and has no negative effect on the market for the work (in fact, it may improve the market by serving as a "teaser"). What is "small" in this context? Handey's books themselves are short, with one "thought" on each page. I think that limiting ourselves to fewer than 10 quotations from each book would certainly be defensible. Ubiquity 12:28, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Four lousy quotes? What a joke. Another page decimated. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 06:07, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
For the record, I believe Ubiquity's statement is a reasonable proposition to start with, and should be discussed further here. But the answer to both statements above is the same, and is equally true for every article in every Wikimedia project. It is up to us, the editors of Wikiquote, to decide these issues and maintain these pages. If we carefully watch articles that we are interested in, and ensure they don't violate hard rules like copyright violation (that allow and even require Wikimedia Foundation folks to "decimate" pages with impunity), we can make these articles useful and interesting. The reason articles get slaughtered (as they well should be in many cases) is because nobody is taking care to ensure they meet basic standards of appropriateness, let alone quality. To borrow from the famous saying (usually attributed to Thomas Jefferson), the price of quality is eternal vigilance. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 06:24, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
One important consideration when dealing with copyright and the fair use doctrine is the commercial purpose and use of the content. Quoting a famous person concerning their opinion, or a witticism made without thought of profit, is very different from copying and republishing the very material that was (and may still be) the commercial product of that person's enterprise. Four quotes is plenty; it's more than enough to demonstrate the nature of Handy's humor. Embram (talk) 12:21, 5 August 2014 (UTC)

I have tried to raise the quality of Handey's Wikipedia article (where formerly there was also a problem of too many quotations). If anyone wants to go look at that article, feel free. I think that 10 quotes per book is more than enough, and I agree that the nature of Handey's work means that we need to be even stricter with sources than usual. Fishal 21:23, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

A possible way to help resolve this would be to limit the Deep Thoughts quotes to the top ten from Mr. Handey's official site. Incidentally, I remember watching SNL when the unsourced quote about a "world without wars" aired. It's definitely an official Deep Thought, but I don't have a source to prove it. Sysmsifa 04:17, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

"walk a mile in their shoes" quoteEdit

I removed this quote:

  • Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them, and you have their shoes.

It wasn't properly sourced and elsewhere it is attributed to Frieda Norris --TimLambert 14:40, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

According to wikipedia, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was published in 2001, while Deep Thoughts ended in 1998. I'm not arguing that the quote should be put back in though.

Official SourceEdit

Jack Handey is indeed a real person, was once a staff writer for SNL, and won two Emmy Awards and a Writers Guild of America Award. Source Official Website

Says on the Website, No Deep Thought may be quoted without permission.