Who is the modern-day Mark Twain?

Next week marks the hundredth anniversary of the death of the beloved American writer and humorist Mark Twain. Today’s Question: Who is the modern-day Mark Twain?

  • Don

    Garrison Keillor

  • Steven

    When I heard the question, I immediately thought of Stephen Colbert and John Stewart. There’s a big difference, though. Samuel Clemens wrote all his own material.

  • Tim Goetsch

    Garrison Keillor tries to be Mark Twain, right down to the white suit and red socks. He comes close. But, outside of Minnesota, more people say the late Richard Prior.

  • John

    Lady Gaga

  • Al

    Peter Smith

  • Steve B

    Garrison … not just for PHC, but also for his books, online and print columns.

  • Nancy Harp

    Garrison, of course!!!!

  • Steve

    If Garrison is the new Mark Twain, no wonder we are Prozac nation! Garrison is trying to make us all as miserable as he is.

  • Joe Schaedler

    At first I thought Jon Stewart, but Stephen Colbert should get the title.

    While Stewart is an excellent everyman critic of the present-day world, Colbert personally transforms himself into his alter-ego to satirize it in the most compelling way available today.

  • Although I LOVE GK, I’d have to say that today’s Twain resides in the collective heart and soul of Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and even Keith Olbermann. Twain’s weapons of satire may well have been his greatest legacy, and these gentlemen, especially the first three, are no slouches in the satire department.

  • Gordy Hoke

    As a novelist, I nominate Christopher Moore, especially for his willingness to address religious themes.

    But as a story teller and public speaker, the heir to Mark Twain is Kevin Kling.

  • Steve Borgstrom

    Garrison Keilor of course… He pokes gentle fun where it is indicated and goes after the greedy and stupid with both barrels. But he does it so eloquently they often don’t know they are being blasted… 🙂

  • Corwin

    John Stewart

  • Sandy

    Garrison Keillor! Love him!

  • Hannah K

    Paul Auster, for the subtle humor, or Brian Jacques, for narrative genius.

  • Steve

    I’ve been saying for years that Garrison Keillor is our era’s Mark Twain.

  • CC&H

    Steve is EXACTLY right! YIKES!

  • Lacey A

    Kurt Vonnegut. Satirical, funny, important, relevant.

  • Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert cartoon, for the cartoon content.

  • Jeri Kerns

    Garrison; but ah if Molly Ivans had lived longer—-

  • Sue de Nim

    I love Garrison Keilor, but he’s too regional, and nothing he’s written so far seems destined to become the kind of American classic that Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer are.

  • Corinne Eckhardt

    It would have to be a someone with a sense of humor, political commentator, a lot of guts, able to travel and speak, have suffered poverty and of course write some great stuff. Garrison Keillor is a very good choice.

  • Fred Marx

    Homeboy Garrison should be considered, of course. I’d like to stir the pot by submitting Dave Barry. His weekly Miami Herald columns and some-30 books highlight his wit and wisdom. Were Twain alive today, I think he’d be reading Barry.

  • Jeff

    There is no contest: Jon Stewart.

  • Mike

    Kurt Vonnegut

  • Gary Dombouy

    David Foster Wallace, from The Broom of the System to Infinite Jest, a master of humor and observation of contemporary America!

  • Gary Dombouy

    David Foster Wallace–but if you mean someone living, it’s Philip Roth first and T. Coraghessan Boyle second

  • Steve

    Keillor. No question.

  • Dan

    Carl Hiaasen – far more humorous and pertinent than Keillor

  • I would nominate Kurt Vonnegut. Like Twain he is a champion satirist. Vonnegut even looked like Twain–something he cultivated.

  • Kyla C

    How about Jon Stewart?

  • Bill Haverberg

    We need to consider who would have the great national scope Twain once had, and has had the most influence. While Keillor fits the bill within the public radio population, I can’t imagine someone at a truckstop (or even here at work) saying “Did you hear what Garrison Keiller said yesterday?”

    By that test, for our parents it was Johnny Carson, and in our youth Letterman, Leno, and Saturday Night Live during a good year.

    With our divided population, it has to be Limbaugh on the right, Stewart & Colbert on the left, and that red-headed guy Leno bumped who will someday return to us.

  • Gary H

    Though he is no longer with us, Kurt Vonnegut was Twain’s successor until his death on April 11, 2007.

    Like Twain, Vonnegut was a brilliant American satirist, writer and humorist, with a great love for this country. Both men were atheists/agnostics (take your pick — there is evidence for both) who advocated Christian ideals while excoriating (with humor) religiosity and hypocrisy.

    Vonnegut called Twain “an American saint” and named his first child, Mark, after him.

    As to a successor to Vonnegut, I see none yet, which is unfortunate for us all and for the country.

  • DNA

    Many of the already mentioned are great…if Terence McKenna was still in corporeal form I’d give him my vote…although he spoke more in the form of the exacting truth, see: Terence McKenna — Global Perspectives & Psychedelic Poetics http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TotFy1QeBsc&feature=PlayList&p=39D8A38BB0F72A99&playnext_from=PL&index=1&playnext=10

    and Terence Mckenna – Prague Gnosis http://entheovox.org/praguegnosis.html

    and http://www.youtube.com/watch?

    and Terence McKenna C2C v=3evp2nHJ8_Y&feature=PlayList&p=69AD73E950FA3655&playnext_from=PL&index=0&playnext=1

  • Mathew

    Was Mark Twain also unable to sing?

  • Lane

    David Sedaris

  • Comments texted to MPR at 677-677:

    John Stewart. -Molly, St. Paul

    Garrison no doubt. -Tim Jones

    Kurt Vonnegut. -Zoran, Minneapolis

    Garrison Keillor. -Eileen Minnetonka

    The modern Mark Twain has to be John Stewart. -Valerie Carlson, Ely

    David Sedaris could be considered a modern day Mark Twain. -Patty, St. Paul

    George Carlin -Kevin, Plymouth

    Tina Fey is modern day Twain. She can do pointed political and popular Alec Baldwin humor. -Andy, Dodge Center

    David Sedaris. -Amanda Duluth, MN

    Douglas Coupland. -anonymous

    Roland Smith! -anonymous

    Hunter Thompson. -anonymous

  • DK

    Bob Dylan, Nuff said.

  • Bryan

    Al Franken would have my vote. His satire is legendary.