Like Daniel Pinkwater (commentator on "All things Considered" and famous children's author). C.P. Crow wrote a profile of Steve Charney for the New Yorker Magazine entitled Illusionist. He quotes Mr. Pinkwater as describing Steve as a "scholar of various types of lunacy." Of Steve's sense of humor, Mr. Pinkwater said, "I think it's primitive and juvenile and absolutely perfect."
Countless people agree that Steve's sense of humor is just what they like. From the students at the schools where Steve and Harry often perform, to the grizzled teachers of those students, or kids who are now grown up and remember Steve's CD's, cassettes, books and videos or listeners to Steve's public radio program "Knock On Wood". Folks are just plain laughing.
"Thank you so much! Rocky T. Rex is exactly what I'm looking for, and yeah, it's from that old cassette tape. I'm sure you get this a lot, but that cassette was an iconic little piece of my childhood, and I was convinced I'd never get a chance to hear it again. Everyone I've told is convinced that I made up the song about King Kong playing ping-pong with Godzilla, which I still remember most of the words to.
It's a genuine pleasure to get a chance to listen to these songs again."
- Todd Cox
"I'm realizing more and more just how brilliant the songs in this show are (Bear in the Big Blue House)! I'd honestly put a lot of these up there with the works of the Sherman Brothers!
- Jacob Lakins
"On behalf of the staff and students at our Middle School, I would like to thank you for a wonderful assembly program. The presentation was most appropriate for our students. And it provided them with a cohesive and enriching experience that has left them with a positive lasting impression."
Nathan, a nine-year old patron of the Woodstock Public Library, was overheard telling this to his friend: "I laughed so hard, I peed in my pants."
Or this from Rachel, age 8 "I laughed so hard, I tipped over."
This was emailed to Steve from Harith Saam a long time listener. It was so remarkable he had to include it on this page
I have been a fan of yours for thirty years now. You performed at my school when I was in third grade. The following Monday I tuned in to Knock on Wood, and that was it for me. I was hooked. I listened to your show every day, religiously. It was absolutely foundational for me. It did so much to build my love of comedy and music, to say nothing of its influence on my interest in philosophy and critical thinking. It would be hard to overstate how much I loved it. And it set me on a lifetime of listening to public radio --
A few months ago, something made me search your name in my podcast app. I can't tell you how excited I was to see Conversations With My Dummy appear. I had the joy of playing the show for my son, now in third grade himself. He took to it as quickly as I did all those years ago. He repeats your jokes to us, just as I did to my folks all those years ago.
We're only on episode thirteen, so we have a lot of the show ahead of us. And I'm sure he'll listen to it over and over, just like I did (without the added concern of wearing out cassettes, which I did). But I listened to the last one on my own yesterday, and I wanted to let you know how much your work has meant to me all this time. Thank you for all you have given me, and all of us.
Janice Toomajian, a Librarian (we love Librarians) writes:
"Although it's been over a month since you performed at Tamarac and Parker Elementary Schools, your programs remain clear in my mind . As recently as one week ago, a teacher --on summer vacation, mind you-- commented on how great the assembly was. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Teachers were more enthusiastic than I've ever heard them. "
"If any school or community group is wavering in it's decision to hire you, please send them a copy of this letter. With your show, they just can't go wrong."
We really really love Librarians. Janice concludes:
"Promoting Literacy with magic,music and ventriloquism was a terrific show which held the kids' attention and gave them much food for thought. I loved the way you blended books with everyday life. Books aren't a school subject, they're an aid to living and a delight. You made that clear..and you made us laugh through it all. I laughed harder on June 7th than I have in ages. (My response to the Avenging Librarian was very entertaining to the children around me; I was a great sideshow.) Thank you for your wonderful program."
Thank you, Janice!
According to Parenting Magazine, Steve's Knock On Wood CDs have "no redeeming social value whatsoever. It is merely the funniest thing you could give your child this year."
And one more from a parent in Kutztown, PA:
The kids and teachers LOVED the shows! They are still talking about it! Everyone agreed it was the best assembly all year. Steve Charney are two of the most spoken words in our houseright now. Marcellus has also been practicing his reading with your books and thinks they are hysterically funny. He laughs so hard he loses his place! He is really enjoying the books! Soooo..... thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!