Recorded in May of 2006 at the Historic Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre in Toronto, I Still Have a Pony is not uproariously funny, but you will consistently find yourself chuckling and snorting at Wright’s trademark wit and wordplay. The material found herein has a peculiarly Freudian bend at times as Wright often references and highlights the absurdities of the subconscious, particularly his own. To wit, Wright observes: “you know the earth is bipolar…”
Wright often views the world with child-like wonder. At other times, Wright can get into a rhythm of traditional joke telling that is something akin to Don Rickles in slow motion. Wright is also very cunning in keeping the audience on their toes, occasionally circumnavigating the bizarre just for the sake of messing with the audience. It’s not mean-spirited in any way, but actually quite fun when he turns the audience's expectations against them by substituting a reality check in the place of an anticipated punch line. For example, Wright goes into a long, complicated story about meeting a one-foot doctor who suddenly breaks into a whistling whirligig. Wright ends the joke by remarking that he simply left, leaving the audience momentarily scratching their heads as to the point of the joke. The joke, it turns out, is on the audience.
I Still Have a Pony is not a world-changing album. But it is a worthy addition to Steven Wright’s tiny catalog. Twenty years from now, this album and its predecessor will be just as fresh as they are today. It is Wright’s penchant for eschewing topical material in favor of observational humor about the unchanging absurdity of the human condition that makes these albums timeless. True, it took him 22 years to release his second comedy album, but perhaps the rationale for the hiatus can be summed up by one of the jokes Steven relates in I Still Have a Pony: “In school they told me practice makes perfect. Then they told me nobody’s perfect, so I stopped practicing.” Lucky for us, Steven practiced just enough to record I Still Have a Pony. And it’s nearly perfect.