“Confessions of a Comedian” O. Henry in Brief Content

The hero-narrator is famous for his sense of humor. Natural resourcefulness is successfully combined with training, jokes are, as a rule, innocuous character, and he becomes a universal favorite.

Once a hero receives a proposal to send something for the department of humor in the well-known weekly. His material is accepted, and soon he is already leading his humorous column.

With him they conclude an annual contract, many times higher than his former salary in a hardware firm, and he becomes a professional humorist. At first everything goes well, but six months later the hero begins to feel that his humor loses its former immediacy. Jokes and witticisms do not fly off the tongue by themselves, there is a shortage of material. The hero does not amuse his acquaintances as before, but he overhears their conversations and writes down successful expressions on cuffs to be sent to the magazine. He does not waste his jokes, but he saves them for professional purposes. Gradually,

friends begin to avoid contact with him. Then he transfers his activity to the house: he takes scraps of humor from his wife’s remarks, overhears the conversations of his young children and prints them under the heading “What Children Can not Do”. As a result, the son and daughter begin to run from their father as a plague. But his business is not bad: the bank account is growing, although the need to professionally sharpen is a heavy burden. Accidentally going to the funeral bureau of Geffelbauer, the hero is pleasantly amazed by the gloom of the situation and the complete absence of a sense of humor from the owner. Now he is a frequent visitor to Heffelbauer, and one day he offers him a partnership. The hero gladly accepts the offer and flies home like on wings to share good luck. He looks through the mail, and among envelopes with rejected manuscripts, he gets a letter from the editor-in-chief of the weekly, which says that due to a decrease in the quality of materials for the humorous section, the contract is not renewed. This kind of sad news leads the hero into raptures. Telling my wife and children that,

The new life has the most beneficial effect on the health of the hero. He again gets the reputation of a fine cheerful and witty. The funeral home affairs are going well, and the partner assures the hero that, with his merry temper, he is able to “turn any funeral into an Irish wake”.

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“Confessions of a Comedian” O. Henry in Brief Content