John Kelso, Austin American-Statesman Columnist

John Kelso, the Austin American-Statesman humor columnist, presented his panel Tuesday with one-liners and stories for students and faculty in Old Main 320.

“There is a street in Austin called South Congress which people started calling SoCo,” said Kelso. “After all the hookers left I suggested that they start calling it NoHo,” said Kelso.
This among many were the funny twists that the panelist entertained his audience with.
Kelso has been writing for the Statesman for 32 years now, and said that he continues to enjoy writing.
“I’ll do anything for a column,” said Kelso.

He spoke about personal stories that he has written in past columns, as well as stories about celebrities that he has written about. He explained that if writers don’t write on the edge they won’t be popular in the news.
“If your not dancing on the edge you can fall off the cliff,” said Kelso.
The panelist graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in English, but didn’t write anything until he got out of college.
Before coming to the Statesman, Kelso worked for a newspaper in West Palm Beach, Florida as their outdoors writer. He didn’t know anything about the outdoors so he gave a funny twist to his stories, and his editor thought this was funny. His editor moved to Texas to work for the Statesman. After reaching out to the man that found his writing to be funny, Kelso acquired a job there also.
“So, basically I got the humor column because I didn’t know anything about fishing,” said Kelso.
Another accomplishment of Kelso’s is that he has written a book called “Texas Curiosities”. The book which was published in 2000 includes “quirky characters, roadside oddities and other offbeat stuff”.
After the panelist gave a summary of the columns that he has done in the past he opened the floor to any questions from students and faculty. One student asked what were his favorite writers. Kelso said he enjoyed Rick Reilly, from Sports Illustrated, and Mark Twain. He also said that he loves reading the New York magazine. Another student asked what he would be doing if he wasn’t a writer for the Statesman.
“If I had another job it would be as a Wal-Mart greeter,” said Kelso as he ended his panel.

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