Saturday Night Live’s Jack Handey talks about creating “Deep Thoughts” and his new novel

Today’s guest is the most famous comedian you have never seen and didn’t even believe existed. His name is Jack Handey (yes that’s his real name), and the name is undoubtedly familiar to fans of Saturday Night Live.

Jack Handey, a long time resident of Santa Fe, is the person responsible for SNL’s consistently hilarious series, “Deep Thoughts”, along with many other sketches. On SNL Deep Thoughts was an interstitial segment between sketches that was introduced by Phil Hartman and read live by Handey (neither actually appeared on screen). Handey’s one-liners proved to be extremely popular. Hartman would intone “And now, Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey…” and peaceful easy listening music would play while the screen showed soothing pastoral scenes, much like a New Age relaxation video. Handey would then read the Deep Thought as the text scrolled across the screen.

Now Handey has written his first novel, The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure. The plot is not complicated, a search for treasure in Hawaii, but the humor will definitely appeal to anyone who enjoyed Deep Thoughts.

Please join host Stephen Spitz and Jack Handey as we learn how Handey got into comedy and what makes comedians and jokes “funny”. Produced with the assistance of Joe Green.

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Helping Children Succeed and Constitutional Amendment #1

Constitutional Amendment #1 would increase funding for early childhood education and K-12 via an 11/4% annual distribution from New Mexico’s $25B Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF). Will this change educational outcomes? 

In Paul Tough’s NYT-bestselling How Children Succeed, he first introduced us to the research that shows that character strengths like grit, perseverance, self-control, and optimism play a critical and often overlooked role in children’s success. But, how can early childhood education and K-12 do this? Tough’s answer is in his book Helping Children Succeed. His conclusion: We should stop trying to “teach” qualities like grit and self-control to our kids. Instead, he argues, we need to recognize that these capacities are the product of children’s environment.

Please join host Stephen Spitz and author Paul Tough as they explore how early childhood and K-12 programs have changed home and school environments and helped children to succeed.

Produced with assistance of Jefferson White, Elias Henley, and Lynn Schibeci.

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Increased Funding for Early Childhood from the $25B Permanent Fund

Constitutional Amendment #1 would increase funding for early childhood and K-12 via an 11/4% annual distribution from New Mexico’s $25B Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF).  As a Constitutional Amendment voters, must approve it this November to become law. What is the LGPF, how did it accumulate so much money, and how would these additional funds impact our early childhood programs?

Joining host Stephen Spitz to discuss all this is the head of the State’s Early Childhood and Care Department, Elizabeth Groginsky. We will explore the above questions as well as how much it would cost to fully scale up early childhood programs and whether this could be a game changer.

Produced with assistance of Lynn Schibeci, Elias Henley, Tristan Clum, and Roman Garcia.

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Is New Mexico’s Drought Manageable?

New Mexico is experiencing its worst drought in more than 1000 years. Available surface water has already decreased by one-quarter and is forecast to significantly decline. To make up for this, groundwater pumping has increased, but since much more water is being used, than being replenished, it’s unsustainable. What does this mean for the average New Mexican? Will we be able to live normal lives?  And, what is the State doing to manage this crisis?

Joining host Stephen Spitz to discuss all this is the State’s top water official under Governors Richardson, Martinez, and Lujan Grisham, John D’Antonio Jr., PE. We will explore the above questions as well as the right to use water, who uses how much water, and why Mr. D’Antonio resigned in protest.

Produced with assistance of Lynn Schibeci, Elias Henley, Tristan Clum, and Roman Garcia.

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Are Raging Wildfires the New Normal?

By early Spring New Mexico had already experienced its two largest wildfires in history as well as the McBride fire, which destroyed more than 200 homes in Ruidoso. Is this the new normal? And are controlled burns really the answer given that the disastrous Hermits Peak fire that ended up destroying more than 300 homes and displacing thousands of New Mexicans.

Joining host Stephen Spitz to discuss this is UNM professor and fire ecologist, Dr. Matthew Hurteau. We will explore how fire risks are best managed, why fire suppression still rules the day, and how the Hermits Peak fire went so horribly wrong.

Produced with assistance of Lynn Schibeci, Elias Henley, Tristan Clum, and Roman Garcia.

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Stockholm Water Prize Laureate Sandra Postel

Corrales resident Sandra Postel is the winner of the Stockholm Water Prize, considered the Nobel Prize for water. We are honored that she will be our guest. 

Host Stephen Spitz will begin the discussion with Ms. Postel’s latest book, Replenish—the Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity. Further discussion will include: will there be enough fresh water for the ever growing world population and what is the outlook for New Mexico and the Western United States? All this and much more, with special guest Sandra Postel. 

Produced with assistance of Tristan Clum and Lynn Schibeci

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Native American Slavery and its Legacy

Slavery and the legacy of slavery are frequently analyzed these days. Native American slavery, however, is often glossed over. Why? How extensive was it, who were the enslavers, and who exactly were the enslaved?

Joining host Stephen Spitz to discuss this is Dr. Estevan Rael-Gálvez, who was New Mexico’s official State historian for 8 years. He has just received a 1.5 M award from the Mellon Foundation to develop an interactive digital database focused on enslaved Native Americans in New Mexico and the Southwest. Dr. Rael-Gálvez is an Indigenous slavery scholar, who, it turns out, also descends from enslaved people. We will explore both his personal and professional perspective on these important questions.

Produced with assistance of Lynn Schibeci, Elias Henley, Tristan Clum, and Roman Garcia.

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Nehemiah Griego – both Victim and Murderer?

On Jan. 18, 2013, 15 year-old Nehemiah Griego shot dead his father, mother, and three siblings. Why?

In “Sins of the System”, Dr. Regina Griego, Nehemiah’s aunt and guardian, lays out his complex family history as well as a broken justice system and the frayed safety nets that failed to save her nephew. It turns out that he was seriously malnourished, beaten two or three times a week by his militaristic father, abused by his mother, and surrounded by loaded weapons of every kind. On the other hand, his crimes were horrific, such as the point-blank murders of his younger brother and sisters.

Please join host Stephen Spitz and author Regina Griego as we explore these troubling crimes.

Produced with assistance of Lynn Schibeci, Elias Henley, Tristan Clum, and Roman Garcia.

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Representative Javier Martinez– Juarez to Speaker of the House?

Last year we interviewed Albuquerque, representative Javier Martinez as an up and coming legislator. His most prominent legislation was tapping our $ 25B Permanent Fund to expand early childhood education and legalizing marijuana. He has since become House Majority Leader and, with the retirement of Brian Egolf, is in line to become Speaker of the House.

On this month’s show, Representative Martinez joins host Stephen Spitz to discuss his journey from his childhood home in Juarez, Mexico, to an organizer in Albuquerque’s South Valley, to a legislative leader. We’ll find out if Speaker of the House comes next.

Produced with assistance of Elias Henley, Roman Garcia, Tristan Clum, and Lynn Schibeci

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The 2022 Legislative Session: A loss for the Governor?

Politics inside New Mexico’s “Roundhouse” are notoriously complex with legislative success dependent on personal connections, intra-party rivalries, the power of lobbyists, and basic deal making. A good example of that complexity is the lack of success of Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s crime and hydrogen hub agenda this 30-day Session.  It was a partial lost but was it a political win for the Governor who insulated herself from Republican attacks on these issues?

New Mexico People Place and Ideas host Stephen Spitz will put that to this month’s guest, Joe Monahan, the lead political blogger in New Mexico: he will provide listeners with an inside look at what happened this Session and why.

Produced with assistance of Elias Henley, Roman Garcia, Tristan Clum, and Lynn Schibeci

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