Sunday, May 30, 2010
I admire writers who can be funny. Bloggers, especially--a funny blog is the best. But writing humor is difficult stuff. My sense of humor is understated. I'm the kind of person who makes quiet, wry comments to the person next to me in the back row. I'm the kind of teacher who is rarely ever completely serious but also rarely ever completely joking. Only the quick ones catch on which is which.
I value funny. At almost every job I've worked, I've had a co-worker who regularly made it a point to tell me jokes or share funny comics with me or otherwise make me laugh. But it's so easy for humor to fall flat on the page. I can't always predict what humor I'll enjoy. I've definitely enjoyed Douglas Adams several times over (even this sort of bizarre Apple IIe computer game that I recall playing somewhat a lot as a teenager), and David Sedaris is absolutely golden, especially because after listening to him on This American Life and such, I can never read one of his books without hearing him actually narrating the stories in my head.
Recently I read Douglas Coupland's novel, The Gum Thief, at the gym. I'm not sure I'd say that the purpose of the book is to be humorous. I mean, to be honest, please do not ask me any time soon what the purpose of this book is. I loved it, and I have no idea what I think about it yet. But anyway, this was a book that caused me to allow spontaneous explosions of surprised laughter to escape me while I was running in ellipticals with my ipod stuffed in my ears. Who knows how loud I laughed?
What are your favorite funny writers? They don't have to be writing to be funny...my favorites are often the ones who just are funny.