Humor Message Board


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Humor Message Board

Questa conversazione è attualmente segnalata come "addormentata"—l'ultimo messaggio è più vecchio di 90 giorni. Puoi rianimarla postando una risposta.

Lug 26, 2006, 6:46am

Ah, coffeezombie, thank you! I know this one will be in good hands. (Or shall we say, vastly better than mine!)

Lug 26, 2006, 7:36am

Ah, the Muse of comedy! Thalia - how nice to have you. :)

Lug 26, 2006, 7:39am

I cannot believe I started two messages exactly the same way - and so inanely. Apologies, all. But I WAS surprised, both times. :) And typing in other groups, between-times. :)

Lug 26, 2006, 11:17am

Well, thank you for having me. Just by looking at the members posting so far, you'd think this is the mythology group (now that's an idea... is there one yet?)

5coffeezombie Primo messaggio
Lug 26, 2006, 11:31am

I don't think there is one yet and I'm probably not the one to start it. But since I did start this and it actually has members already, let's get started with some kind of...I don't know...topic or something.

Okay, I think I have one: What are the funniest books you have read? No order or min/max number required, just a general list. Sort of a nice way to introduce ourselves.

Here are some of mine, off the top of my head

1. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
2. The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth
3. Catch-22 (of course) by Joseph Heller
4. A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace
5. Anything by P.G. Wodehouse (a favorite among the people in this group so far, I'm happy to see)
6. Most of everything Terry Pratchett has put down on paper.

Lug 26, 2006, 11:52am

Let's see if that thing with the brackets works this time...

Off the top of my head:
1. Lamb by Christopher Moore
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
3. Anything by Walter Moers
4. Most books by Dave Barry
5. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
6. Some by Tom Holt
7. The Bone books by Jeff Smith

and my favorite one

8. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Lug 26, 2006, 11:53am

Okay, sorry, I really don't seem to understand the thing with the "touchstones" brackets... And I think I did it exactly as described on the right.

8Zaltys Primo messaggio
Lug 26, 2006, 1:17pm

I buy most of my books from online bookstores that specialize in science fiction and fantasy. As such, my collection of humorous books is rather limited. I have a few by P. G. Wodehouse, but so far I've only added one in my library here...

As for my favorites... They're pretty much limited to those two genres: Douglas Adams, Tom Holt, Terry Pratchett and Barry Hughart. Bridge of Birds and The Story of the Stone are maybe the funniest books that I've ever read, and definitely among my top ten favorite books of all time.

I joined this group in hopes of getting recommendations for books from this genre. I've already found a few works that seem worth checking out. I didn't even know that George Carlin had written books... I'll definitely have to read those someday.

...and now that I think of it, maybe I should get started on that Catch-22 that has been in my to-read pile for, oh, ten years or so.

Lug 26, 2006, 1:48pm

Hmm, Tim's weighting falls down a little with the addition of my library - Children on the Oregon Trail isn't exactly humour! I was hoping it would pick up the Tom Holt titles...

Lug 26, 2006, 2:00pm

Hey, fancy meeting the only other owner of Children on the Oregon Trail (or Die Kinderkarawane as my copy is called) here!
George Carlin is definitely worth reading if you like his kind of humor. I love Brain droppings.
I guess I have to pick up Catch-22 again. I started reading it more than half a year ago and stalled after Chapter 5 or thereabouts.

Lug 26, 2006, 3:23pm

The funniest books I've ever read? Off the top of my head--

And's Max by Max Ferguson
The Life and Letters of Tofu Roshi by Susan Moon
Maybe he's dead by Mary Ann Madden (ed.)
The meaning of liff by Douglas Adams
Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down by Nicey and Wifey
The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien
A selection (of poems) by William McGonagall
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

A hefty dollop of humour from the British Isles there, although arguably unintentional in the case of McDonagall.

12BloomToPerish Primo messaggio
Lug 26, 2006, 3:55pm

Hm...The funniest books I've read are already mentioned; Terry Pratchett's works, and David Sedaris'. Before them, I don't think I had ever really laughed out loud because of a book.

I was hoping to find lots of other humorous books to read in this group, and it looks like I won't be disappointed! I've just got back into reading regularly again after a long...LONG...Pause from it...It's very nice!

Lug 26, 2006, 7:21pm

My favourites are roughly split between British and American: Tom Holt, Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Punch, Private Eye, David Nobbs, P.G. Wodehouse, Garrison Keillor, David Sedaris, Calvin and Hobbes, Baby Blues. I'm a big fan of eccentric Edwardian stuff like Barry Pain or A. A. Milne's writing for Punch, that kind of thing.

Lug 26, 2006, 7:47pm

Well, if starting this group has gotten people to pick up or take another look at Catch-22, then I will consider it a success. Glad to see so many Terry Pratchett fans, though I guess that shouldn't be too much of a surprise given he's the second most popular author on this site so far.

A few responses:

Thalia: Good Omens is a personal favorite. I've been waiting (and always being disapointed) as Terry Gilliam tries to get a film adaptation going.

Andemon: Good ol' George Carlin. His books are a combination of stuff from his stand-up acts and scattered original material. Good stuff.

BoPeep: Yeah, it's interesting what pops up in our combined libraries. Funny that J.R.R Tolkien would be the most common match, though personally, I (gasp) haven't read anything by him (and I won't. I will personally slap the face of the first person who insists that I should).

Chamekke: I've been meaning to read Flann O'Brien for ages. Your recommendation just gives me more reason.

BloomToPerish: The first book that made me laugh was probably something by Dr. Seuss. That cat in that hat was a friggin' hoot ("He's wrecking up their house! What a joker.")

Few more favorite books of humor that I thought of while at work (you know, instead of working):

1. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (perennial favorite).
2. The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell
3. Anything by S.J. Perelman. He rocks my world.
4. Getting Even by Woody Allen.
Also, if any of you have not read Toothpaste for Dinner by Drew check it out. Or just check out the comics on his site (

Keep 'em coming folks. Let's keep this going until it gets boring.

Lug 27, 2006, 12:52am

My own library (and reading experiences) don't contain nearly enough humor. Which I've come to see as a travesty. So my own list of funniest books is short and obvious; but my desire to be here (and learn better) is sincere. ;)

Wodehouse and Douglas Adams are favorites so far. In his forty-year career, Rex Stout's Archie Goodwin delivered enough wisecracks to endear me forever. For the sheerly daft, I do enjoy Edmund Crispin's Gervase Fen mysteries. Yes, Calvin and Hobbes was great - probably the only comics for which I feel any loyalty. I also enjoy comic poems, though that's neither a particularly respect-worthy nor a modern taste. :)

Coffeezombie: will read my copy of Catch-22.

Chamekke: I also have been meaning to read The Third Policeman for ages. Soon, very soon.

Andemon: Bridge of Birds sounds marvelous. I'm sold (or it will be, shortly).

And (skipping oodles), a question for all: where would you start reading Terry Pratchett? From reviews, many clearly don't go chronologically - and some don't seem to think you should (as in, issues with 'early book inferiority').

I forsee (she says as if inspired mystically) a... swelling... in the humor section of my library.

Lug 27, 2006, 2:24am

hi doll (and dollettes), You are right, we don't have any books in common. (well among the ones that I have LISTED so far, pant, heave, carpal tunnel throbbing) I'll be plowing though vintage kids books for quite awhile and I am on a mission to help the underdogs of obscurity surface (mixed metaphors poppin' up there.)

So, here is a question: do hah-hah joke books count under your category of humor? Or we are just talking more a witty David Sedaris approach? I think A.M. Home is hilarious, but, I doubt she is ever listed under humor. I wouldn't be who I am today with out heavy doses of Vonnegut at an early age, so we are in agreement there.

What about Mad magazine's Don Martin books? Is that just, too-too low brow novelty? Phyllis Diller? Robert Benchely? too-too vintage? And all those New Yorker cartoon artists... why the Strand is full of them just ready for the taking. Truly, I am a big fan of elephant jokes. Maybe that could come under the category "Silly."

Lug 27, 2006, 2:27am

coffeezombie: Yeah, I've been waiting for that Terry Gilliam adaptation of Good Omens for ages. I just know that he's the right one to turn it into a film, his style seems right for it.
I won't tell you to read Tolkien. I gave in after years of people telling me to read LotR and let me tell you, there are far more gripping and suspenseful (fantasy) books than that trilogy. Especially if you've seen the movies, you really don't need to read the books. As this is the humor group: There is very little humor in Tolkien's books. In my opinion, he takes the whole thing way too seriously. A little humor would have helped the books.
But maybe that's just me.

18pechmerle Primo messaggio
Lug 27, 2006, 3:20am

Favorite humor: Most anything by Wodehouse, Perelman, Thurbur, of course.

A suggestion for a group topic: works of humor that the other members don't seem to have (though of course they may have read them even if they don't now have them in their libraries.

So, for example:

Evelyn Waugh Black Mischief (see my review)

Vladimar Voinovich The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin (see my review)

Also, group members don't seem to have some of my favorite Wodehouse. (I've grown a little od'd on Jeeves and Wooster, though didn't Hugh Laurie make a perfect Bertie!) Something Fresh Summer Lightning and Heavy Weather are three terrific ones in the Earl of Emsworth / Empress of Blandings series, collected by Penguin in Life at Blandings.

Lug 27, 2006, 6:38am

Eurydice: For Pratchette, I'd say start with a book that introduces one of his major characters, Guards!, Guards! or Wyrd Sisters or something like that. Personally, I started later on with The Truth, which got me into the series since it was a satire of journalism. That would be the other approach, start with one that is a parody of something you are intersted in.

oangeLA: I think anything that makes you laugh will count as humor, lowbrow or high, intentional humor or un. Why put restrictions on our love (or this discussion)? I love good joke books, in any case.

Thalia: I also haven't read anything by C.S. Lewis nor a single "Harry Potter" book. I lead a sheltered life.

pechmerle: Love James Thurber. Good topic. HEY EVERYONE! START DOING PECHMERLE'S TOPIC AS WELL!

Personally, I've only been reading the Jeeves/Wooster books, but there is a practical reason for this: I buy used, they are the most popular, hence I find more of them. I'll get around to other books soon enough, though.

I'll come up with a few unique books to share while I'm at work, which is where I do my best thinking.

Lug 27, 2006, 7:58am

Thurber's great, certainly. Glad you mentioned him.

And perhaps not classically "funny," but I find Chuck Palahniuk quite twistedly amusing. Fight Club is by far his best known work, but I like Survivor even better, I think. If you read his short story "Guts", you'll know immediately by your reaction to it whether you'll like his style or not. Not for the faint of heart or queasy of stomach. :)

Lug 27, 2006, 9:27am

I'm with you rikker. I love Lullaby and Invisible monster. I haven't read Survivor yet, but it's on my list to read. His books are weird, gruesome and twisted, but I think also hilarious.

Lug 27, 2006, 11:29am

We're forgetting the unintentionally funny - Ronald Reagan's The Creative Society graced our bathroom for years, and great hilarity ensued. The dated nature of it added to the humor.

Lug 27, 2006, 4:51pm

Yikes, my to-read list has grown exponentially since these groups started a few days ago.

Nice to see some old favorites being discussed! Not that I didn't know many people were in love with good ole' Pratchett.

I will put a paper bag over my head and admit to both reading Dave Barry and recommending him to others.

I don't fish, I don't really go outside much, I'm not male, but the great "outdoor humorist" Patrick McManus still manages to be funny for me.

Speaking of jokes, I'm also probably the youngest Bennett Cerf aficionado around.

I was also thinking about The Mouse that Roared and sequels the other day and wondered what box they were hidden in.

oangeLA: Mad magazine and affiliates certainly count. I considered an undergraduate thesis on using Mad magazines to teach social history for a nanosecond once, before realizing I really just wanted the excuse to buy the complete collection on cd :-)

Lug 27, 2006, 5:02pm

I daresay there's more than a few people here who have read Dave Barry (

Lug 27, 2006, 5:42pm

I'm a big fan of The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody, by Will Cuppy. I'd particularly recommend it to people who like Pratchett's footnotes.

Lug 27, 2006, 6:27pm

islandisee: my list grew to an unimaginable length, so I went out to the bookstore today and got a pile of Wodehouse books. It's not only the groups that are bad for my wallet, shelves and time, it's the whole LibraryThing. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I've read more and discovered more "new" writers in the past 6 six months than for a long time before.

Lug 27, 2006, 6:40pm

Thalia: I could semi-contain the LT reviews and recommendations, but the groups pinpoint exactly where I collect the most. Not to mention I had said exactly that I was on the hunt for more humor. After listening to the bleak news on NPR on the commute home every afternoon, I'm just not ready for a grim tale of hard livin' or to settle in for the night with a history of modern warfare.

Just finished Practical Demonkeeping by Christopher Moore. I like his later, more polished, stuff a little better, but it was great finding a new (to me) fun author :-)

Lug 27, 2006, 7:16pm

I find it funny that some people are embarresed to admit that they like Dave Barry. It's probably because he's about the least hip writer you could possibly read (and he's become such an institution; it's hard sometimes to admit to liking someone so popular). I honestly think his book Below the Beltway is one of the better pieces of American political humor of the past decade or so (right behind America: The Book, another very popular work that hasn't been mentioned here).

So, now that I've had half a day to mule over it, here are a few humor books I've enjoyed that haven't been mentioned yet:

1. Bawdy Language by Lawrence Paros, which I just finished a few weeks ago. It's as much a referance work as a piece of humor, basically dealing with the history of dirty words. This made me laugh just from realizing how many common words had their origins in foul language but just became acceptable over time (and vice versa)

2. The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases, an interesting little collection in which different science fiction authors write entries detailing strange (made-up) diseases such as "Ballistic Organ Syndrom."

3. Rudy Rucker's Master of Space and Time is a nice little science fiction romp concerning a pair of scientists who discover how to change reality to their liking. It would be pretty pendantic if the two weren't total losers.

Lug 27, 2006, 10:15pm

Somehow I managed to tag 32 different books in my catalog as "humor" without fully realizing it. ;)

I don't have enough Richard Armour; I have a fair bit of P.G. Wodehouse, and the rest is kind of a mixed bag.

Lug 28, 2006, 2:16am

I'll trump a Chuck Palahniuk for a biting Bruce Wagner.
And I will follow suit and raise with Rudy Rucker's Software, (Sta-hi brain eating indeed).

Lug 28, 2006, 8:18pm

New discussion question to throw out: What was the first Terry Pratchett book you read? Meaningless bonus points if you give a description of the context under which you discovered him and read the book. Assuming of course you have read his books. If you haven't, kindly ignore this and go on with your lives as if nothing has happened.

Lug 29, 2006, 12:25am

You may need to prepare the kindling, friends, but I've never read Pratchett, though I'm mildly familiar with him (and even played the Discworld computer game sometime in the early 90s).

So I'll pose a rephrased question: What should be the first Terry Pratchett book I read? :)

Lug 29, 2006, 12:42am

Oops, I see basically the same question was asked above:

coffeezombie wrote: "For Pratchette, I'd say start with a book that introduces one of his major characters, Guards!, Guards! or Wyrd Sisters or something like that. Personally, I started later on with The Truth, which got me into the series since it was a satire of journalism. That would be the other approach, start with one that is a parody of something you are intersted in."

Any further suggestions? Any warnings against starting with The Colour of Magic?

34marco_nj Primo messaggio
Lug 29, 2006, 3:37am

By joining this group I will be adding my collection of Thurber and Dorothy Parker. In response to Pechmerle's post, Im contributing some H. Allen Smith, who I guess was popular in his heyday but is obscure now. From the few stories I've read of his so far he seems to be to cats what Thurber was to dogs.

Authors not in the "humor" section of your bookstore but who I think have a great, consistent sense of humor are Lorrie Moore, Margaret Atwood, and the Canadian Elyse Friedman.

Happy to see the Buster Keaton pic at the top!

Lug 29, 2006, 10:20am

marco_nj: Actually, that's Harold Lloyd in a famous clip from "Safety Last."

rikker: No problem with you not having read Pratchett. I actually envy you a little since you get to read him for the first time. It is a little weird that you played the "Discworld" game without having read any of the books, but I'm not one to judge.

The reason most people warn against starting with The Colour of Magic is that, though it set the groundwork for the rest of the series, it isn't consistent with the other books. A lot of early ideas and material was dropped later on so much of what is in "Magic" doesn't make sense in comparison. In hindsight, it's also not the best in the series (in any case, if you wanted to really start at the beginning you would read Strata, a the science fiction novel in which Pratchett introduced the concept of a flat planet that somewhat resembles Discworld. Like "Magic" it's decent, but he would do better work latter).

Lug 29, 2006, 11:11am

I have a bit of a compulsion to own nearly every book I read, so if I can find a used "like new" copy of something I want to read for under $2 on abebooks I'll usually buy it.

That said, inspired by LT I just dropped a chunk of change on: two by Wodehouse, one by Bruce Wagner, and one by David Sedaris (whose sister is quite the cutup and who I've been meaning to get around to forever now). Not to mention a couple of others inspired by other groups.

From what I've read I gather that I am not the only one finding LT is costing me much more than $25 for life--but I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

Lug 29, 2006, 11:13am

Oh, and with the sheer number of Pratchett, I think I *will* use the library. :)

Lug 29, 2006, 2:13pm

Smith deserves more popularity. I remember reading Rhubarb, although I don't own it. It covered two of my favorite subjects: cats and baseball.

Lug 29, 2006, 5:30pm

To coffeezombie's question. I started reading Pratchett because I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan. So naturally I read Good omens. As it was hilarious and slightly different from Gaiman's usual books, I got out and bought the first two books of the Discworld series. I did start with The colour of magic and went on with The light fantastic, but that's because I'm absolutely chronologically obsessed...

Lug 29, 2006, 7:18pm

I'm a big fan of the six book Spellsinger series by Alan Dean Foster. Very entertaining, fish-out-of-water fantasy.

Douglas Adams and Ben Elton are really the only other entries in my collection which speak to a humour bent, but reading the comments in this group has sparked a few ideas for things to add. My DVD collection already leans heavily to comedy, so my books may need to start leaning the same way...

41turbosaab Primo messaggio
Lug 29, 2006, 9:24pm

Continuing the favorites lists:
- David Sedaris, his audiobooks read by himself and Amy are hilarious
- Calvin & Hobbes and Gary Larson too
- Yes, PG Wodehouse is a hoot

Many interesting suggestions, especially Confederacy of Dunces and Partly Cloudy Patriot

Lug 29, 2006, 9:50pm

I recently introduced a friend to P.G. Wodehouse - started him off with short story Lord Emsworth and the girlfriend (couldn't give it that title these days, sadly) and the extract of Gussie presents the prizes. I kept thinking how much I envy him having all the Wodehouse treasures ahead of him. Loving the suggestions above. My list of favourite humour would include Bill Bryson, Terry Pratchett, Thurber, Stephen Potter One-upmanship books, an Australian writer called Paul Thomas, Dave Barry, anything by the Onion, Connie Willis especially bellwether and Lois McMaster Bujold. Oh, yes, Calvin & Hobbes, Dilbert, Doonesbury and Pogo too.

Lug 29, 2006, 10:47pm

akenned5, I suppose you could envy me, too. I've read plenty of Wodehouse (thanks, Uncle Roger), but I've never read a single thing by Pratchett.

If I could just get my local library's hours increased!

Lug 30, 2006, 7:40am

He hasn't done much lately by I highly recommend P.J. O'Rourke especially Holidays in Hell. Anything by Christopher Moore will make you laugh and Scottish crime thriller writer christopher Brookmyre's books usually have a fairly decent sized comic streak mixed in--I reccommend especially One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night.

Also, I think a the Southern novel The Natural Man by Ed McClanahan does Confederacy of the Dunces one better in the comedy stakes.

Lug 30, 2006, 12:54pm

I loved Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, and then bought up all of Christopher Moore's books after that. He's smart-funny, irreverant, and just the right amount of goofy. I enjoy Neil Gaiman's wildly imaginative dark humor too. I have a number of Palahniuk books I haven't gotten to yet.

I tried to read Terry Pratchett's Equal Rites, but just couldn't get into it.

Lug 30, 2006, 1:05pm

Lug 30, 2006, 4:56pm

Some responses:

rikker: My wishlist has been growing at a disconcertingly fast rate since I started using this site. Something's going to give soon and it might happen during my next trip to Powell's City of Books in a couple of weeks. Goodbye paycheck, I hardly knew ye.

bertie31: For you and all the other sci-fi freaks in this group I highly recommend The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases, particularly for Neil Gaiman's entry on "Diseasemaker Croup," China Mieville's entry on "Buscard's Murrain" and Alan Moore's entry on "Fuseli's Disease."

akenned5: Reading Wodehouse for the first time is something I dream of doing again. Soon, when my device is complete, BWAHAHAHA!

sfwench: Give Pratchett's Guards!. Guards! a try. That's when the series really gets going for a lot of people.

papalaz: Nice list. Most people take Kafka too seriously. You know he was giggling when he thought up the opening line to "The Metamorphosis."

Lug 30, 2006, 5:06pm

I just speed-read the messages on this forum. It involves Russia.

But I did get to read coffeezombie's question (at least one of them) and I'm afraid my answer is a lot like Thalia's: my first Pratchett book was Good Omens, and for years I just stupidly thought "damn, that Gaiman is a funny guy". Then I read The Colour of Magic and found out it was all Pratchett.

(A bit of backstory to win meaningless points: it took me one and a half hours to get to college on bus, but I didn't mind cause it gave me time to catch up on my reading. And I remember having to stop reading The Colour of Magic two or three times so that I could stop laughing, because people were beginning to stare.)

I'm trying to read the Discworld series in order, but I take so long between books I forget everything in the meantime. It still cracks me up, though. Rincewind's a hell of a character.

Lug 30, 2006, 8:28pm

Just wanted to jump in here and mention one I just finished: Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan. I'm not even sure how to "brand" his humor because it is very different. Sort of a mixture of dry/dark/sarcastic/insane. I loved the book so much I made my husband read it, and I enjoyed listening to him cackle as he turned the pages.

I've enjoyed the recommendations of others here, and I'll probably be trying out some David Sedaris sooner than later.

Lug 31, 2006, 2:04am

coffezombie: I heard of Discworld, thought it may be interesting, had a look at them in the bookshop, but the ugly, ugly Kirby covers put me off it the idea of buying any.

Later Nautilus (German magazine devoted to fantasy and stuff) had a series of articles, and it sounded really interesting, so when I needed some reading material for the 8-hour car drive to Hannover for Expo 2000, I picked up Mort. Instantly hooked; I finished the book before we arrived.

Lug 31, 2006, 5:48am

Two authors who haven't been mentioned yet areBarbara Pym and Saki. Barbara Pym's earlier novels from the 1950s are the best. Any of Saki's stories involving Clovis should keep you in stitches.

Lug 31, 2006, 5:52am

PS. I do like Pratchett and Wodehouse as well, but I just thought I'd bring some new names to your attention. I think most of the Clovis stories are on line if you want a taster. Saki also wrote some effective horror stories.

Lug 31, 2006, 11:46am

Robertgreaves: I've had a collection of Saki's work on my wishlist for some time. I'll need to get around to it soon.

Anke: Those covers can be pretty garish. But what they contain between them...

My own Pratchett story is pretty basic: my father was and is a science fiction freak. He got me to read The Truth just as I was starting college and studying journalism. It clicked and I read the entire Discworld series over the next few months, just nabbing them out of his collection. He had to start getting them for me as Christmas presents just so he could get his own copies back.

One writer I haven't mentioned yet that seems pretty obvious: Jonathan Swift. "A Modest Proposal" is one of the great dark satires. I first read it in high school and like to revisit it every now and then.

Lug 31, 2006, 9:41pm

Some of my favorite funnies are:The Funeral Makers by Cathie Pelletier, The 5-Minute Iliad by Greg Nagan, Anguished English by Richard Lederer (and anything else he has written), and A Pen Warmed Up in Hell by Mark Twain. Also loved A Confederacy of Dunces, almost anything by Thurber, and absolutely anything by Gary Larson.

Ago 1, 2006, 4:45am

I see that a few group members have some of the comic crime novels of Donald E. Westlake. I've had some good chuckles reading those. Particularly enjoyed Bank Shot; gives entirely new meaning to the phrase "bank robbery."

Ago 1, 2006, 1:24pm

magnus mills and tibor fischer ar etow recent British writers worth checking out

Ago 1, 2006, 6:55pm

Anyone else a fan of Jasper Fforde? There's also a local book I love, Buying Dad, which is laugh-out-loudable.

Ago 2, 2006, 8:41am

I've read The Eyre Affair. IMO the idea for the setting was great, but major elements of the story (villain who's evil because it's fun, too far-fetched coincidences...) grated on my nerves. The fact that I'm not familiar with most (or maybe "any") books referenced in there didn'T exactly help.

Ago 2, 2006, 2:46pm

I've taken the three most popular areas of discussion in this group and given them their own topic listings. This one will remain for general discussion of funny books and humor in general.

So what makes y'all laugh? Abstract craziness, jokes, puns, slapstick, raunch, (so on and so forth)? What strands of humor do it for you? Personally, I have broad taste and will laugh at just about anything (this can be embarrassing in some places and situations. Funerals, cancer wards, rendering plants, etc.)

So let's hear it. Bring on the funny.

Ago 2, 2006, 4:14pm

What's funny to me?
Sarcasm, irony, dry wit, pushing social conventions to their illogical conclusions.
Verbal or visual puns. I get the biggest kick out of the Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffersbooks like How Are You Peeling? where they take fruits and vegetables and make them into other objects. I can't get enough of those.

Ago 2, 2006, 4:24pm

I love the absurd.

But I have a softspot for cancer wards, too, not to mention burn units. *Eyes tearing up with laughter at the thought*

Ago 2, 2006, 4:30pm

Yeah, I can see why we both love Palahniuk... I love the funny morbid stuff.

Ago 2, 2006, 9:03pm

Tongue-in-cheek and wordplay (mispronunciation, misuse, that kind of thing) are two I enjoy. But I'm always looking for an excuse to laugh, so most anything will do.

Ago 8, 2006, 4:37am

Montano and lorsomething have hit on my much of my own taste. Play with words and conventions of all kinds, in a variety of moods. I also love general absurdity, the crazily unexpected, sheer oddity of ideas. And much more - of course. But irony, wit, puns...satire... please me enormously.

Modificato: Ago 9, 2006, 11:53am

what makes me laugh, the absurd, the well observed, exaggeration of the tragically human

from unreliable memory,

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
I, Lucifer by Glen Duncan
Any and all of Douglas Adams' HitchHikers Guide or Dirk Gently series
White Noise by Don DeLillo
Mobius Dick by Andrew Crumey

One I haven't treated myself to yet, but I know will make it to the top of my list here is
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

Ago 13, 2006, 4:01am

Barbara Pym!! Yes, thanks Robertgreaves, I occassionally have tried to remember her name over the years, and never got it right. I also agree that Saki is hilarious. I picked up a copy of collected stories last week. They are out of copyright, so very cheap. Some are a little dated, but most just wickedly funny.

67naGopaleen Primo messaggio
Ago 17, 2006, 2:42pm

Yes, I just stayed with a friend for five days and I managed to read the whole 600 page short story section in The Penguin Complete Saki that I found on her bookshelf. Very wonderful.
Seeing as I've jsut entered this conversations, I'd better add The Glums to the list. As you can see by my name, Myles na gCopaleen under all his pennames is a favourite. And I'll have to add my voice to the general clamour about Terry Pratchett and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe (that one doesn't seem to come up on touchstone(?!?)). Oh yes, and Bill Watterson, Gary Larson, James Thurber (especially!), Catch-22, Mark Twain...

Phew! enough for one day!

Ago 20, 2006, 12:02am

I often find myself drawn to darker humor; the morbid, the bizarre, the borderline horrifying. Good times. The Book of Bunny Suicides is, for me, just the greatest single thing on God's green Earth. Actually that is a total lie, but whatever, still a funny book.

I also like satire, absurdity, wordplay and sharp observational humor. Some occasional lewdness doesn't bother me. Actually, lots and lots of lewdness doesn't bother me much either. Bring on the lewd.

Seperate note: Recent vacation in Canada yielded two new North of the border authors for me: Stephen Leacock and Stuart McLean. Haven't read either of them before and know little about them. Bought them on a whim and some decent recommendations. If anyone has read them before, throw out your thoughts.

New area for discussion, for those who are interested: Favorite illustrated humor. Can be graphic novel, comic strip collection, children's book, whatever. Personal faves are the above mentioned Book of Bunny Suicides, as well as Toothpaste for Dinner and much of Edward Gorey.

Ago 20, 2006, 12:43am

I expect you will enjoy Leacock. His works are gentle but very witty satires of Canadian society in the early 20th century.

Ago 24, 2006, 11:41pm

OK - I know this has nothing to do with books - other than I excountered this on this website... I was just browsing the store and saw thongs for sale with the Library Thing logo!! get out! Who? Why??

Someone explain this to me. What was Tim thinking????

And he does stats for everything else... is there any way we can access the numbers of items sold in the store?? and by whom???

its' the curiosity thing tonight...

Ago 25, 2006, 4:44am

Some reflections on "thongs in the store":

-- Tim thinks LT is for absolutely Everyone.

-- There is more on Tim's mind than just books and servers.

-- Some store stocking was outsourced to Victoria's secret.

-- Why no LT men's brief?

-- Why no LT bra??

Mendoza, thanks for putting this on the Humor group site. Conceptually if not literally (literarily?), it fits quite well here.

Ago 25, 2006, 5:02pm

Try Junior's Leg by Ken much fun.

Ago 26, 2006, 11:20am

I've noticed that as this group becomes larger, our shared books more and more begin to resemble the most popular books on the site. This makes sense statistically, but it is still nice to see Hitchhiker's Guide beating out Harry Potter.

A few responses:

pechmerle: Leacock's high on my list now. Thanks for your thoughts.

Mendoza: I totally dig the LT thong. Not that I would want one, or even find thongs all that appealing, but it's nice to know that one exists.

Ago 26, 2006, 11:22am

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

Set 1, 2006, 1:19pm

A few "of courses":

Hitchhiker's Guide
Tristram Shandy - currently reading, and loving it - keep having to make notes to myself in the cover of all the delightful pages
Leave it to Psmith and Carry on, Jeeves are the only two Wodehouse I own, but I plan to have a life-long affair with him, so expect to acquire more.

A few not mentioned on this talk group:
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos - the basis for the old Marilyn Monroe movie, which was cute/funny, but the source is a truly funny book
Wake up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames - a very funny tribute to Wodehouse set in modern times, where a young man, with overbearing uncle, comes into some money and decides to hire himself a valet - who gets him out of one unbelievable scrape after another - very funny, but of course, not Wodehouse, so maybe not a "purchase" book (I borrowed from the library)

Modificato: Set 1, 2006, 5:01pm

WOW! Just discovered this group and only time enough for a partial read through now, but I see that the touchstone list doesn't include any Tom Sharpe or George Herriman's Krazy Kat (although I guess it will now!). And don't forget Monty Python's Flying Circus stuff. Cheerio...

Set 20, 2006, 7:29pm

It's really too early to be talking about Christmas, but Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales is a delightfully witty piece of writing.

I used to listen to it as a child (it would be played each year on the CBC), but could only really appreciate its dry humour once I'd grown up.

It's always worth a reread.

Nov 28, 2006, 12:09am

Nobody seems to have posted here for awhile, but I have a question. Has anyone's sense of humor changed over the years? Not just being able to understand things you didn't when you were young, but for instance: I never liked The Three Stooges until I heard and my children laughing hysterically at them, then I watched and enjoyed it. That sort of thing.

coffeezombie: I think I could enjoy your Bunny Suicides after reading Watership Down.

Have to mention Ogden Nash for funny poetry.

Nov 28, 2006, 1:21am

Yes, Mrs. Lee, I've had similar experiences. In particular, when it first came out I couldn't stand The Simpsons. Later, I joined my son while he watched reruns and I came to appreciate the rich mix of jerky and satirical humor, along with the stream of "inside" jokes that go over the heads of children but cause us adults to chuckle -- references to movies, novels, classics, etc., that are worked in smoothly, go by quickly, but let you know this is not just dolt humor.

Now I too have favorite shows, like the "Apu's Wedding" episode, and many others.

This is just one kind of change, but a common one -- where first time around you aren't willing to give something a chance to find your funny bone, but when you do bear with it a while you find its wavelength and start laughing along.

Nov 29, 2006, 2:22am

I've firmly resisted the Simpsons, but I have to say, when I'm trapped watching it I giggle. How about Spongebob Squarepants? If anyone had asked me if I would enjoy watching such a thing a few years ago....thank goodness the newer stuff isn't as good, I'm off the hook again.

I just borrowed my first Terry Pratchett book from the library. I think it's a good sign when you laugh on the first page. Especially if you are in the middle of a Chinese restaurant waiting for your takeout. When I finish, I'm going to read the thread about him...or I may pick up the second one I borrowed and read it.

Nov 29, 2006, 8:54am

Another True Simpsons Confessions, here. I resisted the show for years when it first came out. I refused to accept animation and belching as acceptable adult humor. Now I am also an lover of Adult Swim on Cartoon Network.

Nov 29, 2006, 9:22am

I watched the Simpsons several times and failed to see what was funny about the show. Then years later I saw the original in the US and finally understood the hype. The German dubbed version is just plain awful and unfunny. That's why I never liked it. Same with Spongebob.

Nov 29, 2006, 5:09pm

Yes, yes, I love spongebob squarepants too. It is a hidden vice, though I have come clean to my 14 year old, who got me hooked in the first place. Spongebob, Patrick, Squidward, Plankton... true successors to Bug, Daffy, Elmer and Yosamite.

Dic 2, 2006, 7:03pm

I have a confession to make: I have never read anything by Wodehouse! Obviously this needs to be remedied. I'm another one of those people that likes to own, rather than borrow, a book, so somebody please give me a recommendation before I head over to Amazon.

I like Dave Barry - he makes me laugh, Thurber, Twain, O'Rourke, and yes, Douglas Adams. Calvin and Hobbes, Get Fuzzy, Pearls Before Swine, also tickle me when I need comic fare.

Dic 2, 2006, 7:51pm

Well, nevusmom, once you start reading Plum you have nearly 100 titles to get through if you get hooked on his comic artistry, although it took him about a dozen or so years at the beginning of the century to get into his humorous stride. He is by far the most consistently funny writer in the English language, which considering how prolific his output was, takes some beating. Which is why so many people will simply refer to Sir Pelham Grenville as the Master. Imagine if Douglas Adams had written nearly 100 books all of equal quality to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

Like Evelyn Waugh, Adams was in awe of Plum ... "Wodehouse is the greatest comic writer ever." In a radio broadcast from 1934, Hilaire Belloc called Wodehouse “the best writer of English now alive ... the head of my profession.” Stephen Fry, Sebastian Faulks, Kingsley Amis, and many others also all hold Wodehouse in the equally highest esteem.

So what to recommend ... ? Try some of these:

Joy in the Morning

Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

Uncle Fred in the Springtime

Pigs Have Wings

Blandings Castle

Meet Mr Mulliner

Really, picking a favorite Wodehouse is like picking the best book out of Douglas Adams' 5-book trilogy ... you can probably start with any title you get your hands on. However, I suggest you avoid anything written prior to about 1912 until you are stricken by the Plum bug, and you also have to remember that when he wrote his latest books in the sixties and seventies he was in his own relative dotage (eighties and nineties), although his writing then still surpasses that of most authors in their prime. Wodehouse's purple period was almost everything he wrote between the wars and on through the fifties. I hope that helped.

Dic 2, 2006, 9:02pm

Nevusmom, Rule 42's suggestions are all sound.
Also highly recommended starting points:
Life At Blandings, three of the best 'Lord Emsworth' novels, written over a 25 year span in Wodehouse's prime years, collected in one Penguin paperback, and all hilarious.
Code of the Woosters, one of the greatest of the Jeeves - Wooster novels.

Happy reading to you!

Dic 2, 2006, 9:04pm

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

Modificato: Dic 3, 2006, 6:28am

To all McGonagall lovers. There is a new compilation edited by Chris Hunt available which includes a previously undiscovered historical drama by the master! called 'Jack o' the Cudgel', published by Birlinn at £9.99.

Dic 4, 2006, 7:44pm

To all McGonagall lovers. There is a new compilation edited by Chris Hunt available which includes a previously undiscovered historical drama by the master! called 'Jack o' the Cudgel', published by Birlinn at £9.99.

Ooh! OOH! {twitches with acquisitiveness}

You know, I've been toying with the idea of starting a McGonagall group. But would anyone else participate? (And does it matter? c.f. Introverted in Chicago)

Dic 5, 2006, 7:05am

Look at it this way - if you don`t start one, no-one`s got the option of joining.

I wouldn`t worry what other people are going to do, if you want to start a group, then do so. Plenty of the ones I`m in go quiet for weeks at a time, then a contribution appears from out of nowhere.

Dic 5, 2006, 7:05am

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

Dic 5, 2006, 7:07am

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

Dic 5, 2006, 7:08am

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

Dic 5, 2006, 7:08am

Look at it this way - if you don`t start one, no-one`s got the option of joining.

I wouldn`t worry what other people are going to do, if you want to start a group, then do so. Plenty of the ones I`m in go quiet for weeks at a time, then a contribution appears from out of nowhere.

Modificato: Dic 5, 2006, 8:59am


That is what I call 'emphatic'. :)

Dic 5, 2006, 3:17pm

I know this site is about books, and that there is a group for Books Made into Movies, but I can't figure out where this topic fits, so.
I saw Stranger Than Fiction, the movie, last night. The only reason I bring it up is because it was humorous, and I think would be more appreciated by the literary mind than by those who don't read much. I took my daughter, who also loves to read, and we chuckled most of the way through, but I don't think my sons, who read as if it is torture, would find that much funny about it. Lots of references to literary devices and what not.

Dic 6, 2006, 2:05am

>90 nickhoonaloon: ... >95 bookishbunny:

The words that immediately came to my mind on reading nickhoonaloon's posts were not so much along the 'emphatic' line, but instead they would be more akin to 'repetitive' or 'redundant'! To tell the truth, at one point the word 'SPAM' even occurred to me. :(

Dic 6, 2006, 10:37am

Oh I think the problem is within LT, the site mechanics do go crazy on occasion and triple-post messages; I've seen it happen before. Don't think the user/poster has control over this.

Tell Tim about it via a note in "Bug Collectors" chat; there may already be a thread there for this problem.

Dic 6, 2006, 10:44am

we were being swamped by gawkers from Slashdot at the time.I susect Nick found himself pressing the return key impatiently when the system seemed to hang.

Dic 6, 2006, 12:18pm

MrsLee: re: "stranger than fiction". enjoyed it muchly and would opine that your non-readers would enjoy it too. will farrel alone would carry it for them perhaps...

Dic 6, 2006, 3:53pm

Re: 90 - 95

For what it`s worth, ciciha and SimonW11 are right, in fact the duplicate messages didn`t appear until later.

I saw bookishbunnys remarks - yesterday I think - and didn`t notice any duplications of my original message at that time.

I suspect Rule42 is quite capable of working that out.

One or two words came to my mind when I read #97, but I`ll keep them to myself.

Dic 6, 2006, 3:59pm

>101 nickhoonaloon:

Just call him ranch-breath or suppository-nose. That'll teach him.

Dic 6, 2006, 4:11pm

'suppository-nose'...heh, heh. :D

Could you tell us if that suppository has a 'cooling' effect? :)

Dic 6, 2006, 5:59pm

>101 nickhoonaloon:

I suspect Rule42 is quite capable of working that out.

Oh, did I not use the right font color for my post yet again? Damn, this online sarcasm thingy is really quite tricky, isn't it? :(

One or two words came to my mind when I read #97, but I`ll keep them to myself.

Oh, don't do that, nick. How can that moth worm morphidae flag it if ya don't even post it?!

Dic 6, 2006, 6:14pm

>102 Morphidae:

Just call him ranch-breath ...

Hey, that's my name, tinkleworm, don't wear it out!

It seems that you were right, mothmouth, you really ARE down in the gutter! And I thought you were just kidding when you said that. :( I only have one word to say to you ... tinklesnarfle

Hey, I'm lighting a large candle in your honor, mothymorph. It's got a big, hot naked flame. C'mon, baby, light my fire ... :)

Dic 6, 2006, 6:17pm

>103 bookishbunny:

Oh, chill out, will ya!

Dic 6, 2006, 9:39pm

CaryAnne - go toward the light!


Dic 7, 2006, 10:09am

Re Message 89. I would make member number two if you start a McGonagall group.

Dic 7, 2006, 10:23am

I suspect that bookishbunny, which her newly improved knowledge of `English English` could find an appropriate word for this situation.

I notice that Rule 42`s Profile page is given over mainly to boasting about the number of `red flags` he/she has received. That, and the reference to owning a lot of computer science text books, probably tells it`s own tale.

Dic 7, 2006, 10:53am

Nick, are you referring to 'certain individuals' tossing themselves into a situation?

Although it has been mentioned ad nauseam that there is a mad flagger in LT, 'certain individuals' will always take the little crimson pat-on-the-back to mean their posts are evocative and noticeable. Oh, to be so blissfully confident in one's efficacy.

Might I take this occasion to mention that I, too, have been flagged. Yes, I know, I am changing the world! I am a renegade! I am full of dangerous ideas! Do not deny my power over the written word! Mwah ha ha! (I need to cut back on the coffee.)

Dic 8, 2006, 5:03am

He`s gone quiet. I think the swelling must have gone down.

Dic 8, 2006, 8:29am

There's be a recurrence of infection in 'the other' thread.

There's a joke about an inflatable donut in here, but I can't find it this early in the morning.

Dic 8, 2006, 11:37am

Doubler said, I would make member number two if you start a McGonagall group.

OK! I'll get to work on it this weekend. (Must just take time to find and possibly PhotoShop the perfect photo of W.McG.!) World's Worst Poet group coming up...

Dic 9, 2006, 5:46am

I`m glad to hear you say that so emphatically, though I should avoid anything that smacks of `repetition` or `redundancy`if I was you - you never know when someone`s medication might wear off.

Dic 9, 2006, 5:25pm

I think us Brits are less polite online and in text than our Real Life over-politeness suggests. Hence I am slightly emphatic in my posts, which has led many online to believe I'm male. I haven't been flagged yet but I've been very curt on some threads. I think this forum is very polite, compared to others I've frequented.

Back on topic, I got The Penguin Dorothy Parker for £3 secondhand yesterday in Greenwich. I've already been laughing at her poetry. She was funny and I'm looking forward to reading it this week. No-one's mentioned Saki. I used to find him very funny when I was young

Modificato: Dic 10, 2006, 6:09am

Mixed feelings. I`m actually more grammatical online than I would be in normal speech. I have known people wrongly interpret my comments as brusque and/or hostile when they`re in writing, which never happens in real life. I think these things can be regional, or a product of upbringing, or of course the type of work you have done.

This is not the place for it, but I think there`s a whole interesting subject relating to intelligence/use of language. I have a friend who`s very much a professional person, a high-flier in a very specialised field. Clearly, he must have very advanced communication skills in some areas. Outside of his work, his conversation can make Sid Vicious look eloquent ! I know his father worked in a supervisory post surrounded by noisy machinery, and I guess that`s something to do with it. However, I digress.

As regards `rudeness`, I`ll decide what level of rudeness I`m prepared to put up with. I chose to remain fairly restrained myself, mainly because I feel there are enough people turning LT into a freak show for gawpers. Anyway, I`m bored with that game now.

I`ve got a Dorothy Parker book, a hardback short story collection. I`d been told her poems and stories were inferior to her much-quoted reviews and repartee, but I thought it was largely thoroughly enjoyable. I recall there was a magnificent display of Midlands grumpiness when I bought the book - the shop owner, who I knew slightly, glowered at the book as I paid and commented "That`s what happens. I get something good in and it`s gone again straight away."

The spirit of Marvin the Paranoid Android lives on !

Never read Saki - on my `always meant to read that` list

Modificato: Dic 11, 2006, 12:01am

"That`s what happens. I get something good in and it`s gone again straight away."/I>


Dic 10, 2006, 1:06pm

Jeez, leave for a week and a little bitch-fest pops up. Well, no one go hurt at least, so whatever.

Haven't been posting much (or gretting newbies to the group. Hi.) since I had a little "ice/ankle" related injury that's kept me on some very pleasant medication for a few days. I've been catching up now that I've got the energy to type again. Glad to see group grow and the messages pour in.

Got some reading done for my convules...convulas...recovery during the past week. Couple of recommendations. Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation is a morbid little romp through the history of the first three American presidential assissinations. The Futurological Congress by Stanislaw Lem is a nice slab of paranoid sci-fi, and pretty funny to boot. Read some stuff by Edward Lear for the first time since yonder childhood. Recommended to anyone who likes surrealistic children's poetry.

Keep up the chatter.

Dic 10, 2006, 2:33pm

I see you like S J Perelman - I have Farewell, My Lovely Appetiser in a book of short stories. It still makes me laugh out loud !

What`s his/her other stuff like ?

Dic 10, 2006, 4:13pm

First off, "his".

Second off, his other stuff is varying degrees of the same kind of brilliance. Joyful levels of cliche-bashing wordplay, comic flights of fancy and good ol' American satire. I'd recommend any of his books (quite a few are in print right now in America, though I know you live at the other end of the Atlantic).

If you are looking for an overview, The Most of the Most of S.J. Perelman would be a good one to start with. It's a reprint of an out-of-print collection and is missing an extended piece entitled "Acres and Pains" but makes up for the loss by being extensive and by containing some of his best work.

He used to write for the Marx Brothers, if you are looking for some indication of the type of humor involved.

Modificato: Dic 14, 2006, 3:45am

Questo messaggio è stato segnalato da più utenti e non è quindi più visualizzato (mostra)
</i>>109 nickhoonaloon:

I notice that Rule 42`s Profile page is given over mainly to boasting about the number of `red flags` he/she has received. That, and the reference to owning a lot of computer science text books, probably tells it`s own tale.

Actually, that is called humor. If you don't find it funny, that's fine, humor is personal to every individual. But you have to have the I.Q. of a nematode to mistake it for boasting. And what possible pejorative tale does owning computer science text books tell? Could it possibly be that my reading material is somewhat broader than yours? Do you realize that criticizing the books in another member's library catalogue is a violation of the TOS?

To quote some hypocrite from another thread: "I`m not directing these comments at anyone on this thread, but I have noticed that some LT groups are increasingly becoming a vehicle for childish displays of petulance. Let's keep it civil in this one !" Everybody please take note ... don't do as loony nick does, do only as he says.

I believe that's called being hoisted by your own petard. :)

Edited once more to add a 'close italics' code (because a butterfly made me do it!).

Modificato: Dic 10, 2006, 6:27pm

Questo messaggio è stato segnalato da più utenti e non è quindi più visualizzato (mostra)
>110 bookishbunny:

"Might I take this occasion to mention that I, too, have been flagged. Yes, I know, I am changing the world! I am a renegade! I am full of dangerous ideas! Do not deny my power over the written word! Mwah ha ha! (I need to cut back on the coffee.)"

Actually, you need to cut back on the personal abuse and read the TOS. The flagging is all very well, bookishninny ... but what you really need is a damn good flogging! You and Nick and your tittering little dialogue remind me of a David Sedaris story about two American tourists riding the Paris metro. I think it's called 'Picka Pocketoni'. Check it out.

>> Edited to add touchstones and quotation marks (since all post text now defaults to an italic font!).

Modificato: Dic 10, 2006, 6:45pm

</i>Hey, ranch-breath, rein it in.

(Edited to add a close italics code)

Modificato: Dic 10, 2006, 7:00pm

Ha, ha, so it was you was it oh mothy one? Might have known that you were the keeper of the Da Italics Code. I sense there might be a best-seller in there somewhere.

Dic 10, 2006, 10:27pm

Nope, not me, tinkleberry. I just added a (close italics) so the person who left it open wouldn't have to.

Dic 10, 2006, 11:29pm

Aha, I just knew all the years I spent playing Cluedo in my youth had a purpose to them ...

I accuse SimonW11 in the Humor Thread with the LOL!!

And now please pass me the envelope ...

Modificato: Dic 11, 2006, 12:02am

It's a fair cop gov!

Dic 12, 2006, 5:03am


Any falling out between myself and Rule 42 is, of course, fairly trivial in the scheme of things, and probably not something either of us should have got involved in, if we`re being truthful.

References to bookishbunny `needing a flogging` are a disgrace, but not nearly as disgraceful as the lack of a reaction from any other LTers, particularly when individuals who`ve previously shown intelligence and sensitivity have clearly been in this thread since.


Dic 12, 2006, 6:26am

Offensive trolls on LT is a new one on me. I come here to get away from **** like that. Strikes me anyone flexing their l33t haxx0r / ytmnd sense of 'humour' around here needs an entry in FFC 'Who Failed Today'.

Back on topic, has anyone except me read You're a bad man, Mr Gum by Andy Stanton? I know it's a kids' book but there's a hint he's writing a series. That would be brilliant.

Modificato: Dic 13, 2006, 2:26pm

All this talk of Dorothy Parker (who I love) made me think of an acerbic U.K. poet named Fiona Pitt-Kethley who is pretty hilarious, if you take your scotch straight and your coffee black. The Perfect Man made me laugh out loud, but it is not for the sexually squeamish.

Dic 13, 2006, 2:29pm

That's exactly how I take my scotch and coffee (sometimes simultaneously). I'll keep an eye out.

I'm finishing up Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and I really am enjoying it. It's my first Douglas Adams. I can't wait to read The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, which is sitting on my desk as we, write.

Dic 13, 2006, 3:21pm

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

Gen 13, 2007, 5:55am

I just watched the Harold Lloyd movie that our group profile picture is taken from. Very funny. Now I wish I could remember the title. Something about Safety and the lack thereof. Rented the movie or I would go look it up. I love Harold Lloyd because he has pepper in him. He doesn't put up with getting kicked around. Oh, and he's very funny.

Gen 13, 2007, 7:55am

Safety Last? is my friend.

Gen 13, 2007, 4:06pm

Good job morphidae. I'm just too lazy even to search online. Isn't that pathetic?

Modificato: Gen 14, 2007, 7:01pm

>134 Morphidae:

You have friends, mothydrawers ???? OMG, I never knew!

If we also add to your movie database chum diamonds, plus the friend that visits you once a month, that now makes you a serious contender for the title of "Miss Congeniality of the LTMB"! :)

FYI, my best friend is duct tape! :(

Gen 13, 2007, 4:32pm

Gen 14, 2007, 10:24am

I pull all the photos for the groups I create from old silent films (except for a group about coffee, since I couldn't find one that fit). The image is from "Safety Last," which is one of my favorite silent comedies. My profile shot is from the original "Nosferatu."

Gen 28, 2007, 2:54pm

200 members and counting. Soon we will marshall our forces and march on Washington. Bring your posterboard signs and gas masks.

Gen 28, 2007, 5:05pm

What would you write on your punny sign? Don't worry, I'll bring the bandages for the side-splitting humor. And a gas mask for the stinkers (jokes I mean, not politicians or policemen).

Maggio 20, 2007, 11:54am

At some point while I wasn't looking, we passed 250 members. We totally rule. Let's go over the the Science Fiction Fan's group and set stuff on fire to celebrate (Not really. I mean, this is the internet. How would we even do that?).

Maggio 20, 2007, 12:31pm

Wait a minute. Some of us are members of the SciFi group as well as this one. Self-immolation isn't in the cards for me!

Maggio 21, 2007, 4:05pm


Maggio 21, 2007, 6:09pm

Whoah! Lay off the caffeine, coffeezombie! (We lay dastardly plans in the private setting on our profiles! Shhhh!)

Modificato: Maggio 21, 2007, 6:59pm

Ahem. Douglas Adams fits both Humor and Sci-Fi categories, no?

Maggio 22, 2007, 10:21am

Let's go over the the Science Fiction Fan's group and set stuff on fire to celebrate ...

Now I finally know who's been filching all my Ray Bradbury novels! :)

Modificato: Maggio 22, 2007, 12:21pm

114: I prefer my dastardly plans to be laid out in the open, like some sort of nutty comic book villain.

145: If he weren't dead I'm sure he'd tell us what side he's on.

146: 451 degrees is the temperature at which paper burns. Oddly enough, it is also the temperature at which I punch you in the face and steal your copy of The Martian Chronicals! HA!

Modificato: Maggio 22, 2007, 2:15pm

What we should do is write fan-fic of Star Trek that ignores cannon. Then send out photoshopped pictures of Luke Skywalker with William Shatners head. Finally and most evilly we'll edit Terminator so Arnold is replaced with a Cylon.

Maggio 22, 2007, 2:29pm

This is a humor group. We could just start conversations about how frakking hilarious Arthur C. Clarke is.

Maggio 22, 2007, 3:05pm

Funny books - would have to include Kingsley Amis, Robert Benchley, movie reviews by Dorothy Parker and Anthony Lane.... P.G. Wodehouse is a good one.

Maggio 22, 2007, 3:19pm

Tom Sharpe is a humorous author I'd forgotten about (just thumbing through the touchstones again). But can't find much of his stuff this side o' the pond. Arthur C. Clarke? I don't believe in him. Doesn't exist.

Modificato: Maggio 23, 2007, 1:19pm

"You know, I think the Ewoks really are what made 'Return of the Jedi' the best in the series."

That ought to do the trick.

johnascott: I don't see why that would be funny. Arthur C. Clark is hilarious. Extended screeds about man transcending the bounds of physical existance? I practically spit my coffee all over my lap while reading that one.

"Im in yur univerz, advanzing yur speciez development." - The Monolith

Modificato: Maggio 24, 2007, 5:11pm

>149 scottja:

Yeah, since Fred Hoyle and Larry Niven both quit doing Vaudeville Arthur C. is now probably the only truly funny guy still left doing the music hall circuit. His rendition of They Didn't Believe Me is simply priceless and has me in stitches every time I see him and Charles Pellegrino perform it in front of that huge fake monolith.

Maggio 23, 2007, 2:23pm

>151 marfita:

But can't find much of his stuff this side o' the pond.

If that is a reference to B&N or Borders then I have to agree - one can't find much of anything interesting in those glorified coffee-table book establishments. But I own a dozen Tom Sharpe novels all purchased in used book stores on this side of the pond. However, they are all trade paperbacks except for one. It is certainly almost impossible to find hardcover issues of his works in the USA. Even when Overlook Press recently reissued titles such as Wilt, Blott on the Landscape, The Great Pursuit (IMO by far his best and funniest novel) and The Midden they were only issued as softcovers rather than hardcovers.

Maggio 23, 2007, 2:24pm

#152: lolbbq! Maybe Frank Herbert would have been a better choice. There's certainly nothing funny about riding giant worms across a desert planet or an interstellar political system based on hallucinogens and dudes with flippers floating around in....

Ok, let's go with finalbroadcast's non-canonical fanfic idea. Provided it's slash fanfic, of course. Hott Data on R2D2 action coming atcha!

Maggio 24, 2007, 12:07pm

Questo messaggio è stato cancellato dall'autore.

Maggio 24, 2007, 2:29pm

See your commentary on Dune only goes to enforce the idea it was one of Herbert's TA's that wrote Dune.

Maggio 24, 2007, 6:35pm

WHO is pointing out typos ? And why does that enrage you ? I find it mildly annoying to try to read something full of spelling mistakes - they get in the way - and it's hard for me to take someone's literary musings seriously when they write like a third grader.

Modificato: Giu 1, 2007, 9:41am

As we were on the subject of obelisks (and sometimes an obelisk is just an obelisk), here's something for everyone to enjoy (and click through the rest of the week for more obelisky goodness):

Brewster Rockit

Maggio 31, 2007, 9:50pm

>159 scottja:

But no one had mentioned obelisks on this thread until you just did ... so that was vewy, vewy sneaky of you to try and mind-control everyone like that! :)

Only monoliths had been mentioned here, and monoliths are not necessarily obelisks, even if all obelisks do tend to be monolithic.

Don't even get me started on the subject of menhirs ...

Giu 1, 2007, 9:40am

#160: You are too sharp by half. You're on my list now. I thought I could get away with it since obelisk is not only a synonym, but also a near-anagram of monolith.

Giu 1, 2007, 12:21pm

Or wild boars.

Modificato: Giu 7, 2007, 8:54pm

>161 scottja:

The word obelisk is also a near-palindrome of megalith ... now isn't that scary? Sheesh, I'm starting to get goosebumps and all the hair at the base of my spine is bristling! Damn, I told you NOT to get me started on the topic of men hairs! :(

Giu 1, 2007, 4:11pm

>162 marfita:

Sometimes a truffle is just a truffle .... ;)

Giu 5, 2007, 2:34pm

I just started reading V. and I realised that Thomas Pynchon is actually really witty, not just absurd. I started reading Pynchon with The Crying of lot 49, which didn't have many laugh out loud moments. However when I read the anecdote about the boy with a screw in his stomach I laughed so hard I woke up my girlfriend.

Giu 5, 2007, 2:49pm

I don't suppose any of you ever read this but I found it funny. It is a true western about a teenager who leaves home thinking he killed another boy over a girl. He goes to the Four Corners and enlists with bank robbers but later becomes a sheriff. His life story is sometimes hilarious for the predicaments he gets in and the decisions he makes. It is "The Last of the Bandit Riders" from 1878 to 1938.

Giu 5, 2007, 6:34pm

#165: Yeah, Pynchon's pretty funny. Mason and Dixon had some hilarious stuff too.

I was choosing some 'favorite authors' earlier and I realized that several of the funniest authors I know haven't been mentioned in the Humor group (other 'literary' types, rather than humor genre writers).

I'd recommend Donald Barthelme (start with Forty Stories and/or Sixty Stories) and Mark Leyner (especially My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist and Et Tu, Babe) to anyone with a sense of humor.

Giu 6, 2007, 8:00pm

I've gotten some pretty good recommendations from LT, and I'm hopin' y'all can help me. I'm going to need some happy reading material (and I've already read all the Terry Pratchett I can get my hands on) for the next couple of weeks. It will have to be something I can get from my small town library (I noticed that Barthelme and Leyner aren't listed). Mason and Dixon is on the table already. Any thoughts?

Giu 7, 2007, 8:00pm

>168 marfita:

marfita, it's not clear from your post what exactly you are looking for. Are you looking for something to read on a 2-week vacation with possibly anything up to 16 hours per day to throw at it, or are you just looking for suggestions for regular reading material for the next two weeks or so? I don't know if I would call Thomas Pynchon "happy reading" in the same way that I would venture to call P.G.Wodehouse or David Sedaris that, unless you are applying that term to anything that may make you laugh at some point, in which case I guess it is. Are you aware that Mason and Dixon is just under 780 pages long? Since you stated that particular title is already on the table I suspect that most folk reading your post will feel that you already have your hands pretty damn full for the next couple of weeks and don't need to be burdened with anything additional.

Personally, I would use the Pynchon to completely work my biceps so that I would then be able to carry all the more Plum, Sedaris and Sharpe that I wanted to read instead - but you already know about these authors, so why would you ask? What are you looking for here?

Giu 8, 2007, 12:55am

Along with P.G.Wodehouse I'd recommend checking out the Rumpole of the Bailey books by John Mortimer. You get humor, mystery, wit and an occasional tinge of sadness. Your local library likely has these books and will help you avoid talking to the family for a while.

Giu 8, 2007, 9:01am

##169 & 170 I'm talkin' about two weeks at home, bored witless. And 780 pages would keep me for maybe two days, depending on how much I'm relishing it. Shogun, for example, took me six days but I didn't want it to end ... and I was working full time.
I've read all the Wodehouse, Sedaris (and you are soooo cruel for mentioning Sharpe - hee hee - as I can't find ANY), Pratchett, Diana Wynne Jones, Christopher Moore, John Mortimer, Sarah Vowell, David Rakoff, Sandra Tsing Loh, Carl Hiassen, Tim Dorsey, Christopher Buckley, Janet Evanovich I can get my hands on. I need something new. And I need to be cheered up. I'm not askin' for much, am I? I'll settle for "distracted without being scared."
I have lined up: M&D, Open House by Berg (an Oprah book - Chick Lit! Chick Lit!, which is making me nervous, but I'll face it out), a couple of teen books by Lubar, and Ella Minnow Pea. These will take up four days by my calculations.

Giu 8, 2007, 9:16am

Jasper Fforde - I don't knwo what his library availablity is whereever you are, but he's very funny - not two weeks worth of funny, but maybe one.

Starts with the Eyre Affair and has a second series with the big over easy which the latest the Fourth bear belongs to.

Good omens if you haven't read it is at least a day's read.

Modificato: Giu 8, 2007, 9:32am

#171: M & D is a bit heavier than any of this other stuff (I'd guesstimate 1 page of M & D = 5 pages of Shogun in terms of density of prose / ideas), but it's worth giving a try.

Based on your other tastes, I'd definitely recommend Bill Bryson. Say, A Walk in the Woods, I'm a Stranger Here Myself or Notes from a Small Island. I'd definitely hope your library had some Bryson.

I'd also recommend some of the classic American humorists. Anything by James Thurber, Robert Benchley, S. J. Perelman, Woody Allen, maybe Dorothy Parker.

Giu 8, 2007, 10:10am

Oooooo! I'd forgotten about Fforde and Bryson! I used to read a lot of Benchley (and still quote him on French vowels) I've never read any Perelman, and I'm always meaning to. This is the perfect opportunity! Thanks!
I'll save Pynchon for later in the week. I've already nibbled a few paragraphs here and there.

Giu 8, 2007, 10:23am

If you need something that's long as well as funny, what about The good soldier Svejk? That comes to about 750 pages in Penguin...

Giu 8, 2007, 11:40am

You might like Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe stories. These are primarily mystery/crime/police detective stories but unlike your usual crime books these are very well crafted, very funny in parts, with 3-D characters, and so on. Here are a couple of reviews that hint at what you will find:

Giu 8, 2007, 1:07pm

>175 thorold:

"If you need something that's long as well as funny, what about ..."

... the Holy Bible !! Personally, I've always found the The Book of Revelations to be a real hoot; it has me ROFL every time! :)

And if you look at the touchstone generated by my mention of that work you'll see that it was written by Anonymous who has to be one of my all-time favorite authors. Him and Various just crack me up. :) Not many people know this, but despite their individual prolific outputs those two even managed to find time to write some stuff together under a well-known nom de plume.

Giu 8, 2007, 1:19pm

#177: I'm pretty sure Anonymous is actually a pseudonym of Thomas Pynchon.

Giu 10, 2007, 1:19am


If your library has them, Evelyn Waugh's Scoop and Black Mischief are both very funny, and relate to each other. Sorry, neither is very long. But they are different from the other suggestions you have.

Giu 14, 2007, 10:56am

A small list of funny books I found over at Cracked Magazine.

Giu 15, 2007, 2:52pm

Giu 16, 2007, 9:17am

Well, I want to weigh in and say that I hated the one Jasper Fforde book I tried to read. I thought it was arch, trying too hard, and not ffunny at all.

Giu 16, 2007, 9:31am

Prayer for Owen Meany is sad but also uplifting and one of the funniest books I've ever read. I've read it about eight times, and it still has the power to make me laugh out loud.

Lug 26, 2007, 3:16pm

Years ago I read this hilarious book about a woman archaeologist who finds a barrow burial filled with an intact viking ship and a similarly intact crew of vikings. They've been in suspended animation and come alive after she disturbs their sleep. Turns out they have a quest to fulfill. She has to drive them around, provide food and clothing and keep them from being too obviously and anachronistically in trouble until they fulfill their mission. The book was great.

But... I can't remember the author or the title! Can anyone help me? I'd love to get this book again.

Lug 27, 2007, 11:45pm

Thank you! I've been trying to remember this book for at least a dozen years. Did you like it?

Set 19, 2007, 12:33pm

We've topped 300 members. And my armies grow...

Set 19, 2007, 3:03pm

We've topped 300 members. And my armies grow...

And I suppose you think military escalation is funny, do you, funny guy?

Anyway, arrr, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day, mateys.

Ott 4, 2007, 12:43pm

It depends on what kind of military you're talking about. A well trained army of merciless killers? Probably not so funny. A loosely assorted collection of book nuts with comical nicknames? That's just a tad less goofy than a chimp militia (though only half as threatening).

Modificato: Ott 4, 2007, 5:58pm

Armies Don't March On An Empty Stomach!



Maggio 6, 2008, 7:28pm

I'm reading Zuleika Dobson right now, so I guess that qualifies me to be able to join this gang...

Gen 7, 2010, 12:12am

How can a message board become dormant? It should be at the top of any group talk list and function as a sort of traffic control or place to debate whether to start a new talk or not. Right?

I think the various Talks shortchange humorous verse. Maybe there are too few people from the hard sciences at LT. Scientists really get into rhyme and English really needs rhyme to be funny as it is a lousy language for punning (at least, compared to Japanese).

I started a Word-play Umbrella group before I found the humor group. If anyone here would like to drop by, please do. Ideally, LT will develope sub-groups or cliques between the group and the talk so one would not feel obliged to start a group like word-play outside of the broader category of Humor.