Comedians and comedy professionals, they say, are among the brightest folks to have ever walked the earth. Now let’s not over exaggerate things, as comedy is not exactly brain surgery, but that does not change the fact that an exercise in comedy does entail excessive brain activity. Comedy – writing and/or performing comedy – is a cutthroat profession that you don’t just fall into when your career in sales crashes and burns, but one you knowingly choose if you have the right amount of wit and astuteness as well as stellar writing skills and cognitive abilities. Examples that validate this are one too many.

Like me, you’re likely thinking of Conan O’Brien right now. The American TV show host might be goofy and kooky and today has an army of writers and prompters that make him look good every time he speaks, but O’Brien had graduated Harvard magna cum laude. And before he rose to fame, he made the rounds writing for satirical newscasts as well as Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons – two of the most successful, intelligent comedy shows in television history.


Another case in point is Paco Erhard, the up-and-coming UK-based German comedian. That guy is more of a freak of nature actually, having gotten into Mensa, the largest/oldest high IQ society in the world (to be admitted, you have to get an IQ test score higher than that achievable by around 98 percent of the human race).

Turkish satirist and comic artist Cem Dinlenmis is no exception to the list of quick-witted and artistically endowed funnymen.

He might not have a show or be doing stand-up, but he is just as fun to watch and follow. The 27-year-old graphic design graduate cut his creative teeth doing editorial illustrations for the Turkish pop culture magazine Bant and drawing cartoons for humor magazine Penguen. With Penguen, his political comic series “Her Sey Olur”, which loosely translates as “anything goes”, was so well received that he’s had a weekly column for some seven years now. Dinlenmis continues to illustrate common incidents from the world, particularly from Turkey, while ingeniously drawing a link between them, and making frequent references to computer games, public education clichés and the Internet culture.

The popularity of the series led to publishing drawings from 2006 to 2010 in a graphic almanac styled book. Midway through that period, in 2008, the artist got his big break when cutting-edge Istanbul art gallery x-ist offered him exhibition space. Timid appearances at group expositions were followed by grand scale solos where the versatile artist demonstrated his many talents, including painting on wood and canvas. After Istanbul came Stockholm, Berlin and Dubai, and next, it looks like the world…