Kurt Luchs has written humor all of his life for nearly every medium. He has contributed to such prominent humor outlets as the Onion, the New Yorker and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among many others.
His work has been represented in most of the Onion books, including Our Dumb Century, winner of the Thurber Prize for humor, and in a number of anthologies, including May Contain Nuts (HarperCollins), Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans (Knopf/Random House) and Moms Are Nuts (Vansant Creations). Barnes and Noble published his book Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli: A Wiseguy’s Guide to the Workplace, a collection of gangster movie quotes and commentary applied to best practices. In 2017 Sagging Meniscus Press published his humor collection It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny).
In television, he has written comedy for Bill Maher at Politically Incorrect and Craig Kilborn at the Late Late Show.
In radio, he was a staff writer for the comedy prep service the Complete Sheet, and later for American Comedy Network, which he also managed.
From 2002 to 2019 he edited and frequently contributed to The Big Jewel, a leading site for literary humor that he co-founded, and which now exists as an online archive.
As a member of the sibling comedy troupe the Luchs Brothers, he co-wrote and sang the independent hit novelty single “Kill Me I’m Rotten,” the world’s first (and still only) Sex Pistols parody, which was featured on the Dr. Demento syndicated radio show and has been officially re-released and bootlegged several times. The Luchs Brothers’ original WWII propaganda parody script, Dirk Scabbard — Home Front Hero, won the American Radio Theater scriptwriting contest.
Kurt Luchs also writes poetry, which he has published in such outlets as Into the Void, Poydras Review, Triggerfish Critical Review, Sheila-Na-Gig, Right Hand Pointing, Roanoke Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Quail Bell Magazine, Antiphon, urningword Literary Journal, Emrys Journal, Plume Poetry Journal, The Bitter Oleander, The American Journal of Poetry, The Sun Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, South Florida Poetry Journal, Reed Magazine, Soundings East, Third Coast, Verdad Magazine, and Clover — A Literary Rag, among others. In 2019 he won the Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. That same year Finishing Line Press published his first chapbook of poems, One of These Things Is Not Like the Other. In 2021 Sagging Meniscus Press will issue his first full-length poetry collection, Falling in the Direction of Up.
In addition, he is currently writing an autobiographical novel with the working title of Honey Street, under the theory that because it’s a novel, no one will be able to sue him.
Born in Cheektowaga, New York. Age three months, arrested on suspicion of vagrancy. Escaped police custody, hotwired baby carriage and drove to Chicago, Illinois. Arrested on suspicion of being from Cheektowaga. Bribed guards, hitchhiked to Wheaton, Illinois. Arrested on suspicion of being suspicious. Sentence suspended upon promise of good behavior (i.e., weekly visits to the Heaven Room at the Billy Graham Center of Wheaton College).
Attended Hawthorne Elementary School, Franklin Junior High School and Wheaton North High School. Unable to obtain a proper education at public schools, taught self to read, write, be fruitful and multiply. Checked into North Central College, left when it became apparent it was not a rehab center.
First job: washing dishes at Carney’s Bakery. Current job: washing dishes at Carney’s Bakery. In between: a variety of positions in publishing management, then on to a career in comedy writing (The Onion, Politically Incorrect, The Late Late Show, and my own literary humor page TheBigJewel.com), then on to a different career in broadcasting management (American Comedy Network, Waitt Radio Networks, Pacific Empire Radio Corp., NRG Media LLC, Midwest Communications, and Q Media Group).
Presently at large in beautiful downtown Red Wing, Minnesota. Also the proud father of two China dolls, Nora Mei and Jia Marie; the proud brother of Hilde, Ernst, Helmut, Sarah, Rolf and Cara; and the proud son of Robert and Jeannine. Is there anything I am not proud of? Oh, yes — my autobiographical abilities.
“Six Questions For…” self-describes as a web site “where editors and publishers discuss writing flash fiction, short stories, poetry, and novels.” The concept is simple. Each new installment asks the same six questions of a different editor. Following is a link to their interview with me about The Big Jewel, from December 28, 2012.
Six Questions for Kurt Luchs, Co-Founder & Editor, The Big Jewel
I was pleased and perhaps a little alarmed to learn that Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado, is using one of my humor pieces to teach their students how to write a college essay. Like them, you too can follow the link to a PDF of the piece in question.
In 2010 I was invited to lecture on comedy writing at Western Illinois University — something I’ve also done at Yale University, Wheaton College and Baylor University, among others — and to take part in a scholarship fundraiser. Here are links to two articles about that visit.
Onion Writer Visits Macomb
Writing for the Onion
The Punk Database is a Wikipedia-like encyclopedia of articles about punk bands both famous and obscure – in this case so obscure that even the Luchs Brothers are there, who were neither famous nor really a punk band. The link below leads to the site’s article on the Luchs Brothers.
Comedy Insider with Scott Dikkers is an occasional podcast by the founding editor of the Onion where he interviews various comedy professionals – writers, comedians, producers, and musicians (e.g., Weird Al Yankovic). In Episode 27 he interviews little old me.