What are some books that will give me a stronger understanding of humor? I've always had an interest in comedy and was voted class clown in my high school but turned it down because of stupid hipster bullshit. I know that taking comedy seriously is the most unfunny thing you can do but I don't care. I legitimately have an interest in it as an art form. I don't plan on making a career out of it or anything though. So what are some essential comedies and nonfiction that analyzes comedy? Pic related. I'm currently reading Don Quixote.
>was voted class clown in my high school but turned it down because of stupid hipster bullshit
>turned it down
I need clarification. Were you offered a certificate or something? Did your high school do badges or something?
It was a senior superlative type of thing. You got your picture in the yearbook alongside the other people who got most athletic, most school spirit, ect. I didn't want some sort of cheesy pic of me doing something totes wacky in a yearbook. Looking back on it, I'm not sure if it was the right decision but I don't really care that much.
No, I didn't think it would be hipster to accept it. I thought I was to cool to have some totally randumb picture of me in the yearbook because I had seen what they did previous years. It was also to connected to the establishment so it wasn't cool in my eyes. I think a lot of it was just me letting my insecurities get the best of me. I considered pulling a Sartre and claiming that it was because I didn't want to be turned into an institution but decided that was to pretentious and also not the real reason why I was doing it anyway.
Surprised not to see Wodehouse mentioned. The greatest comedic writer in the language, for my money. Start with "The Inimitable Jeeves", then pic related, which contains the infamous scene of Gussie Fink-Nottle leading the awards ceremony at Market Snodsbury Grammar School, probably the funniest single scene in all of English literature. This will likely send you down a rabbit hole of Wodehouse exploration, which is an experience everyone should have, because his world is a delightful, care-free one which nothing can impose on and which never seems to age.
Wodehouse aside, a more comprehensive scan of comedic writing in English literature should probably begin with the Renaissance comedies (I'll skip the start with the Greek memes). Though their comedies is not how we understand the word now, our understanding of it derives from theirs, and reading Midsummer Night's Dream, Volpone, The Alchemist, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside is not time badly spent. Aside from that, the ones you definitely want to read are Swift, Sterne, Pope, Byron, Gilbert & Sullivan, Wilde, Waugh, and I suppose Douglas Adams, if you must.
You would be surprised for people who pride themselves on being funny. Once, when I was in primary school, someone said to me, "You're not the class clown, you're the class comedian," and I cannot tell you how much it meant to me, and how often I've thought about it.
you went to a gay high school if you can turn shit like that down
the whole point is that they're announced at the end and everybody laughs and has a good time
if you know in advance, what's the point
(maybe schools are just obsessed with not hurting people now)
It sounds as if you are interested in making a career out of it. Wheres your sincerity anon? All standups, screenwriters, satirists, humorists take it very seriously as an art form.
I think that spending time here gives you a kind of sarcastic cynicism and ironic post nihilism which is conducive to quality empathetic humour, as opposed to the contrived and surface level variety.
If you are enjoying Don Quixote, I really recommend Pickwick Papers. Some people here dislike Dickens because they were forced to read him in high school or something, but I think his humour is brilliant. Pickwick Papers has themes similar to Don Quixote, a delusional idealist against immoral world etc.
Other books that made me laugh out loud were Confederacy of Dunces and The Sot-Weed Factor
Read Rise and Decline by Evelyn Waugh. I've been meaning to read more of his work since I laughed pretty hard at the absurdity of each sitch the main character gets in.
This guy gets it
Although I am interested in screenwriting/directing, I'm reluctant to try to do anything involving comedy because if I would succeed, I worry it would make it difficult for me to be taken seriously once I want to something that isn't supposed to funny and if I fail, that would be the most humiliating thing I can imagine. The latter is probably the main reason. I am trying to live my life more sincerely, even though DFW/New Sincerity is just a meme. I'm tired of being in the audience and poking fun at everything.
Thanks! I've read a bit of Swift and Wilde. I read Adams quite a few years ago. I enjoyed it then but that could have had something o do with being 12.
Although I do think 4chan is a great place to learn about absurd/surreal/blue comedy, it's also filled with all of that meta-comedy/post-post-ironic bullshit. Although I do find the latter funny, it feels really empty and after years of doing that shit, it gets really old.
I'll look into it
Where should I start?
I know a lot of people on here dislike him, I really enjoyed Fight Club. Are there any specific works you would recommend?
This sounds cool. I was actually planning on reading The Decline of the West soon.
Follow up to this, I totally forgot to mention Chaucer. Much of the Canterbury Tales is comedic. It's also a _lot_ more lewd and vulgar than literature would be for the next centuries, up until the 20th. It's an exaggeration, but not a great one, to say that English literature was born with the big fat kiss Absalon's planted in Alisoun's arse.
I've just read choke, so start there.
It's got two or three good slapstick moments where whether you like him or not it works - something at least worth looking at imo. Choke is also early Palanhiuk so I guess either there or with a later more renowned novel.
Regardless of what you want to call it, it needs to stop. I find it hilarious but this type of humor is nihilistic, empty, and it self-cannibalizes. It's already imploding on itself. Pic related.
People always told me that I should become a stand-up comedian which totally kept me riding that comedy-high.
But that isn't the root of the thing, it starts when you're a kid and you aren't good at anything. At that point you might as well become funny.
I'm glad I did though because comedy in many ways is a gateway to critical thinking and helps with dealing with the absurdity of a lot of things. Also, everyday conversation is a blast when you can make people laugh.
And to answer your question, yes I am a prententious sad shitstain like everybody else on this board, but at least I can laugh about it.
same desu. i tried to make my humor pretentious in hopes that people would take me more seriously but people end up just not getting my jokes and thinking they are funnier than me with their shitty unironic reddit-tier puns and star wars references and it really bothers me enough that i almost consider not giving a courtesy laugh whenever i hear them
Context heavily influences my comedic elitism. In everyday casual encounters it is barely there. I tried to watch the first episode of Friends and turned it off after five minutes. But if me and my friends were riffing as successfully as they do on that show in our day to day I would be laughing my ass off the whole time. I don't know how to feel about it but I roll with it.
Do you guys find that you're looking more and more for a girl with a sense of humor above anything else? Sure tits are nice but I couldn't live a life with someone who doesn't appreciate my lame jokes.
I've never had this problem desu, all I do is to try to make jokes that I myself think are funny. I've really reached a point were I myself am the most important audience. Because making jokes that ypu yourself don't think are funny gets really tiring really quick.
It's possible though that I surround myself with people who appreciate comedy.
Keep in mind though that such comedy would be extremely difficult when done entirely improvisational. That show was written by an entire team of comedy writers over the course of a week or more. If you'd be able to pull that off off the cuff then of course you'd be happy with yourself.
Anti-humour is probably the closest term, humour that is funny because it ironically contrasts conventional forms of humour.
Neil Hamburger is a good example
I feel like dad-jokes are anti-anti-humor
After a rejection of conventional humor using anti-jokes, we now have a return to extremely conventional humor in the form of those jokes
>Dad I have to tell you something.. I'm gay.
>Hello Gay, I'm Dad!