The Impertinence of Being Steve

Steven Seagal, whose action movies once were major box-office attractions, believes false allegations by FBI agents ruined his career, the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. (Reuters, August 17, 2007.)

A spokesperson for Stevie Wonder—singer, songwriter, and music producer who signed with Motown at the age of 11; winner of twenty-two Grammy awards; and inductee to both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame—announced today that the artist believes his unabashed support of the Democratic Party ruined any chance he might have had of flying the Space Shuttle for NASA.

Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Steven William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA, whose runaway popular science book A Brief History of Time stayed on the British Sunday Times bestseller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks, will publish a paper next month proving that an offhand comment made by a top-ranking MI5 official kept Hawking from playing for Manchester United F.C.

Film director and producer Steven Spielberg has hinted that his prenuptial agreement with first-wife Amy Irving—written on a napkin and famously vacated by a judge—was not enforced “because of something to do with the Tennessee Valley Authority.”

A forthcoming biography of “Little Giant” Stephen Douglas, the 5 foot-4 inch, 90-lb. Illinois politician and 1860 presidential nominee who lost to none other than Abraham Lincoln—whom Douglas had defeated two years earlier in a Senate race following a famed series of debates—makes the claim that, in order to discredit him, then-President James Buchanan authorized surveillance of Douglas in private and then disseminated daguerreotypes of Douglas secreting “lifts” in his shoes and ballast in the pockets of his waistcoat.

Stephen Sondheim has lamented for years that “Another Sunday in the Park with George” went into the development hell from which it has never emerged because of “ridiculous demands made by the Department of the Interior.”

The 1998 Report to Shareholders of Apple Computer, Inc.—founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak—contains a footnote implying that the failure of the Newton was not the result of the device's high price and large size but rather due to a massive and complex coöperative effort of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Steven King, author of more than 200 stories, including 50 bestselling horror and fantasy novels, had a dream in which the Dodge Caravan that struck him in the summer of 1999 was being remotely controlled by a rogue operative of the Small Business Administration.

Steve Reed, a native of Toronto, earned a law degree at Columbia and now teaches at Northwestern University. Steve is a friend of mine from college. You probably don’t know him. Whose fault is that?

Academy Award-winning stand-up comedian, actor, and writer Steven Wright, known for his slow, deadpan, monotonic delivery of ironic, witty, often contrived, frequently deeply philosophical, and sometimes confusing one-liners, told an audience this week that as a boy he’d thought he wanted to work for the FBI, but when he was in college he realized that he wasn't comfortable with the notion that “the entirety of my professional career would be scrutinized by the American public and its propriety ultimately evaluated by millions of people who might not understand my mission,” so he went into entertainment instead.

Matthew David Brozik wrote this and many other short humor pieces, which have been published in print and online by The New Yorker, Adult Swim, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grin & Tonic, The Big Jewel, and no one.

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