Author Topic: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?  (Read 4833 times)

Small Man Big Horse

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What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« on: July 31, 2021, 12:37:53 PM »
We've done this before, I know, but not for a little while and a good few books have come out lately. And it's inspired by having read the following recently:

Based On A True Story - Not A Memoir by Norm MacDonald - Which I think is the funniest book I've ever read. Packed with deliberately false stories you know aren't true Norm has such a way with words that even when you can guess the punchline a mile off it'll still make you laugh a stupid amount. He even managed to make a rape gag funny and I normally hate such things with a passion, but the whole story about Old Jack made me laugh hard even though I predicted how the story would end.

I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom - A genuinely true life memoir this time around, albeit one which includes a short musical and her thoughts on a number of diverse subjects, Bloom's startling honest about her life and it's a book that I just loved a huge amount.

Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe - Patronisingly I thought I knew all about the female body before reading this but boy was I proven to be an idiot time and again, and the mixture of science and true life stories is very funny throughout, I've recently obtained her second book and can't wait to read it.

How I Escaped My Certain Fate by Stewart Lee - I mean the stand up routines alone make this essential reading, but the footnotes are a mixture of the very fascinating and the very funny.

Mindspolitation by Vernon Chatman - Chatman offers to write essays for lazy arse students, and then produces stunningly absurd and strange but nearly always hilarious work, and the exchanges with the people he was writing for are fantastic too.

I know I've missed out a good few books I love and will have to add more later on, but what about you? What are your favourites?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2021, 01:59:07 PM by Small Man Big Horse »

The Mollusk

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2021, 12:45:38 PM »
Mindspolitation by Vernon Chatman - Chatman offers to write essays for lazy arse students, and then produces stunningly absurd and strange but nearly always hilarious work, and the exchanges with the people he was writing for are fantastic too.

You've missed a key detail here! He doesn't write the essays himself, he outsources the assignments to essay writing companies, the majority (if not all) of whom are foreign or don't speak English as a first language, which is where a great deal of the humour comes from.

bgmnts

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2021, 01:09:43 PM »
Graham Chapman's autobiography is a funny fake one.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2021, 01:43:17 PM »
You've missed a key detail here! He doesn't write the essays himself, he outsources the assignments to essay writing companies, the majority (if not all) of whom are foreign or don't speak English as a first language, which is where a great deal of the humour comes from.

Ah, yeah, I'd actually forgotten about that aspect but you're 100% right, and it is a big reason why it's such a funny read.

Graham Chapman's autobiography is a funny fake one.

I'll have to check that out as I've never read that but am very fond of Chapman.

kalowski

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2021, 01:44:32 PM »
I remember really enjoying Alexei Sayle's Great Bus Journeys of the World.
I'd like to read it again.

bgmnts

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2021, 01:47:26 PM »
Ah, yeah, I'd actually forgotten about that aspect but you're 100% right, and it is a big reason why it's such a funny read.

I'll have to check that out as I've never read that but am very fond of Chapman.

You should, pretty sure there's an audio version read by the man himself. It's called A Liar's Autobiography, Volume VI.

Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2021, 01:51:50 PM »
That Norm book is the best. The only book I ever had to stop myself reading in public because it was making me laugh uncontrollably.

James Acaster's Classic Scrapes is another one that had me laughing out loud a lot, and is pretty light and breezy to read. Would expect most fans of his to really enjoy it too.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2021, 01:56:37 PM »
That Norm book is the best. The only book I ever had to stop myself reading in public because it was making me laugh uncontrollably.

James Acaster's Classic Scrapes is another one that had me laughing out loud a lot, and is pretty light and breezy to read. Would expect most fans of his to really enjoy it too.

I got given that along with the Norm book for my birthday recently but have decided to read a couple of other books first as I thought it might pale in comparison if I read it straight after Norm's, but I am looking forward to it as I'm a big fan, especially after Cold Lasagne.

I also picked up Adam Buxton's Ramblebook in a charity shop this month, but have heard it's a bit of a bleak read in places so haven't dipped in yet.

I should have mentioned Bridget Christie's A Book For Her in the opening post as I loved that, it's full of great stories along with some fascinating insights in to her career and how female comedians are treated by the industry.

Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2021, 02:24:29 PM »
Arthur Mathews' Well Remembered Days is fantastic, it's like a book entirely populated by amazing Ted supporting characters and is great for convincing yourself that he alone is responsible for Ted's best stuff.

BeardFaceMan

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2021, 03:00:56 PM »
Arthur Mathews' Well Remembered Days is fantastic, it's like a book entirely populated by amazing Ted supporting characters and is great for convincing yourself that he alone is responsible for Ted's best stuff.

With a great audio book read by Frank Kelly, his voice suits the material perfectly.

Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2021, 03:13:03 PM »
With a great audio book read by Frank Kelly, his voice suits the material perfectly.

Did not know that. Fantastic, will look for, cheers.

Mr Banlon

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2021, 03:22:52 PM »
James Acaster's Classic Scrapes. Never really taken much notice of Acaster, but a friend bought me the book and I thought I'd give it a read. Yeah, it's pretty damn funny.
The Stench of Honolulu by Jack Handey (more of a humourist than comedian) is probably the funniest/stupidest book I've ever read.

Shit Good Nose

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2021, 03:33:51 PM »
The Fist Of Fun book is still a gem, and generously available to view and download for free from Stew's website.  Those Panini football stickers are still a work of mad genius.

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2021, 04:12:31 PM »
James Acaster's Classic Scrapes is another one that had me laughing out loud a lot, and is pretty light and breezy to read. Would expect most fans of his to really enjoy it too.

I listened to the YouTube compilation of him telling a load of his mad stories on Josh Widdecombe's XFM show and that had me in stitches. Does anyone know if it's worth getting the book if I've already listened to that - is it just written out versions of those stories or is there any new material in it?

Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2021, 04:18:02 PM »
I, An Actor - Nigel Planer / Chris Douglas

Me:Moir - Vic Reeves

The Gun Seller - Hugh Laurie

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2021, 04:55:54 PM »
Me:Moir - Vic Reeves

That's a great suggestion, a very, very rare example of an autobiography that is all about someone's early years before they were famous that I'm not complaining about as it's so funny, and it's an enormous shame that it didn't sell well and so a second volume was never written.

Quote
The Gun Seller - Hugh Laurie

I didn't get on with that but a fair few folk I know really love it so I should give it another go at some point.

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2021, 04:59:19 PM »
Arthur Mathews' Well Remembered Days is fantastic, it's like a book entirely populated by amazing Ted supporting characters and is great for convincing yourself that he alone is responsible for Ted's best stuff.

I started this recently and wasn't immediately grabbed but I'll persevere.

Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2021, 06:14:21 PM »
Another vote for Classic Scrapes. It’s hardly a literary masterpiece - it’s just a collection of anecdotes, and some of them fall flat. But it’s the most I’ve ever laughed while reading a book. Like actual uncontrollable, painful laughter.

The Adam & Joe Book is superb too. The opposite of your usual TV series cash-in - it’s absolutely packed full of gags, and they aren’t just recycled from the series. It must’ve taken them absolutely ages to put together. You’d have to pay over £80 for a second-hand copy these days, and it’s probably worth it.

easytarget

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2021, 08:32:31 AM »

The Gun Seller - Hugh Laurie

Not sure 'funniest', it has funny moments but is, IIRC, mainly a thrilling page-turner and extremely enjoyable.

Yet another vote for Classic Scrapes, and also Tina Fey's Bossy Pants, which is dead funny.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2021, 05:16:17 PM »
Not sure 'funniest', it has funny moments but is, IIRC, mainly a thrilling page-turner and extremely enjoyable.

Yet another vote for Classic Scrapes, and also Tina Fey's Bossy Pants, which is dead funny.

I have to admit to being a bit disappointed by Bossypants, parts of it are laugh out loud funny but there's the odd dull chapter, though my expectations were perhaps ridiculously high as I love Fey so much.

Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2021, 06:09:43 PM »
Obvious choice but 1, Partridge arguably has to be up there as the pinnacle of the entire Partridge canon.

BeardFaceMan

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2021, 06:15:12 PM »
Hard to argue with that, but part of the brilliance of that book is getting Alan's POV of situations we've already seen, I wonder how it would be if you weren't familiar with Partridge's past work? Like, how would it compare to Nomad if you came to them both fresh?

Utter Shit

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2021, 06:22:18 PM »
I listened to the YouTube compilation of him telling a load of his mad stories on Josh Widdecombe's XFM show and that had me in stitches. Does anyone know if it's worth getting the book if I've already listened to that - is it just written out versions of those stories or is there any new material in it?

I wouldn't bother personally - the live audience of mates in the XFM shows makes them the best way to enjoy them IMO, even if the book/audiobook versions are more polished. Having said that, I can't remember if the book has any anecdotes that weren't on the radio. And the audiobook is still good, not least because Acaster is audibly amused by the stories as he tells them.

One comedian autobiography I'd recommend is Kevin Bridges'. He doesn't have a particularly unique life story, but he's so naturally funny that every anecdote is packed full of good lines.

I'm just finishing Romesh Ranganathan's autobiography at the moment - I wasn't expecting much to be honest and bought it on a whim, but it's very funny in places and he has had an interesting life.

Magnum Valentino

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2021, 08:13:22 PM »
Hard to argue with that, but part of the brilliance of that book is getting Alan's POV of situations we've already seen, I wonder how it would be if you weren't familiar with Partridge's past work? Like, how would it compare to Nomad if you came to them both fresh?

It works both ways, as the reason I hated Nomad so much is because so much of it feels like out of character behaviour for Alan. It's TOO deluded. But I only feel that way having followed him forever.

Sure who in fuck is going to be reading the Partridge books without watching the series?!

BeardFaceMan

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2021, 08:33:17 PM »
The book and the first series of MMM came out around the same time, it's possible people got the book after only seeing MMM. Not many, I grant you, but I'm just wondering if the books work as comedy books if you're not very familiar with the character.

Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2021, 08:35:01 PM »
You hated Nomad?

Magnum Valentino

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2021, 08:54:10 PM »
I do hate it yeah, I've read it once and listened to it once. He just feels so detached from reality in it, carrying out this awful task for no reason with no encouragement. It feels like a nightmare. It's my least favourite Partridge thing by miles. I don't hate everything about it, but the bits I like are hard to recall

Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2021, 11:55:27 PM »


Still haven't read any of his other books but this is a classic. A Mommy Dearest parody painting Bob Elliot as a power-mad pushy showbiz father, but with rebuttal chapters by Bob (a few of which are just him saying "whatever" then telling his own rambling story about going to a fish market or whatever).

Full chapter about a father/son cruise ship booking that goes awry, then the next chapter begins with Bob saying something like "I'm not going to insult your intelligence by pointing out that was just the plot to the Poseidon Adventure"

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2021, 12:40:29 AM »
I really liked Steve Martin's collection of short stories Pure Drivel.

kalowski

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Re: What Are The Funniest Books By Comedians?
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2021, 07:40:58 AM »
I do hate it yeah, I've read it once and listened to it once. He just feels so detached from reality in it, carrying out this awful task for no reason with no encouragement. It feels like a nightmare. It's my least favourite Partridge thing by miles. I don't hate everything about it, but the bits I like are hard to recall
But he puts the mag light in his mouth when he's in the attic and it stretches his mouth out, making him recall those times when the only clean cutlery is a dessert spoon. It's brilliant.

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