Wednesday, 23 January 2013 14:23

Ted Fox is Laughing at Us All

Written by  Kyle Austin
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Meet Humorist Ted Fox
Barnes and Noble, Holland

Feb. 2, 1 p.m., (616) 994-6015

Ted Fox is a wiseass, but if it weren't for life's little ironies, he never would have thought to make a living as one. After graduating with a degree in economics from Notre Dame, he was lucky enough to land his dream job at ESPN, only to find it nothing short of nightmarish.

"It was a classic case of, 'If you like sausage, don't visit the sausage factory,'" Fox said.

In need of a fresh start, he took a writing job in the public relations department of his alma mater and realized that it wasn't too late to rediscover his passion for funny business. Countless hours of spare time, an agent and an unpublished book later, a humor writer was born.

You Know Who's Awesome? Not You is a collection of savagely witty tweets that explore humanity in all its idiosyncratic glory. The concept arose from a series of posts on Fox's blog, each one probing the ridiculousness of a different social paradigm, which caught the eye of an agent who thought a collection of them could work well in book format. She shifted Fox's online focus to Twitter and helped him build a substantial following and enough material to entice publishers. Fox claims he wouldn't have reached anyone without social media. With more comedians using the medium as a platform for their humor, the challenge is to remain funny with fewer words and stiffer competition.

Along with his Twitter account (@AuthorTedFox), he counts a website ( and a few blogs among the tools he uses to convey his highly relatable brand of humor. He is currently at work on a book, tentatively titled 33: Jesus, Belushi, Farley, and Me, which pokes fun at the propensity of humans to reassess their priorities as they near middle age. For Fox, that meant compiling a list of the 33 things (all awesome, of course) he must do before he dies.

"It's almost like this Eat, Pray, Love kind of thing," he said. "But I'm a humor writer, and unlike Eat, Pray, Love-lady, I actually like my life, so I don't want to throw it all away."

Offline, Fox uses public appearances as an opportunity to further connect with his audience. At the three events he's been a part of so far, he's relished the opportunity to meet and connect with people who really get what his writing is all about. At the heart of his comedic approach lies the kind of self-examination that each of us needs in order to stave off self-destruction.

"It's being able to laugh at ourselves, to relieve that stress and pressure," he said. "That's where humor really has value."

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