The Onion

Back in 1987 and '88, when I was going to school in Madison, Wisconsin, I was part of the ensemble at the Ark Improv Theater, directed by Dennis Kern, a man who is considered a master of improv comedy. (He had previously trained Joan Cusak.) The Ark was a a gem - a transformed auto mechanic shop where I had the great thrill to perform on stage with the late comic actor and SNL star Chris Farley - and to hang out with some brilliant comic writers. One of them, Todd Hanson - who at the time was the college paper's best cartoonist and a convenience store clerk- went on to write for the satirical paper The Onion. Since then, the Onion has grown, and except for seeing Todd at our mutual friend Juan Avila's wedding, I have lost touch. So, on my last night in Florida, at my Aunt's house, I see that my 93 year old Grandmother, Flo Funt, has picked up a book and can't put it down. What is it? The Onion's latest publication - and all of a sudden I start thinking about Todd, the Ark, and what seems like another life.