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amuse me

Since this morning I have read not only The Pirates! An Adventure with Whaling, but The Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists, which Patsington kindly bought in town on my request and bore home in triumph. And I want to read something equally funny. And, with the exception of The Compleet Molesworth (which as any fule kno is simply the funniest book ever written), I can think of nothing of equal funniness. Which means that, with the exception of the aforementioned and sadly recently read (by me) Molesworth, they are the funniest books in my house. It is all down hill from here.

So please, recommend me something funny. Here are some things (writers, books, TV programmes, films) I find not just funny but laugh-out-loud hilarious, just to help you pick. Bear in mind that I am absolutely appalling at coming up with things I like off the top of my head, so there are lots of other things that I find hilarious too. But these are enough for starters.....
Tim Moore; Black Books; Paul Feig; P. G. Wodehouse; Father Ted; Louise Rennison; The Day Today; Paul Merton on Just a Minute; The end of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, with the bears and the dog; Arthur Marshall; Monty Python and the Holy Grail (I'm not a huge Python fan, but I love this film, and the bit where Terry Jones, as King Bedivere, announces that they will use his finest scales to weigh the witch and the duck and then jumps off the platform makes me laugh for about five minutes. I don't even know why).; The Daily Show; Scrubs; Richmal Crompton; The Mighty Boosh; Hairspray; Peter Bagge, although he's pretty nasty (but the bit where Buddy's nephew is singing the theme from Beauty and the Beast while wearing a slip and a witch's hat makes me laugh just thinking about it).

Some stuff I don't find funny:
Terry Pratchett (with the exception of Good Omens, which I love); Jasper Fforde; Most people who are strongly influenced by Blackadder or Monty Python, even though I love both programmes.; Green Wing

Help me, hilarious LJ!


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 19th, 2005 10:41 pm (UTC)
Joanna Lloyd (school stories)
Joan Coggin (her adult detective books)
Nancy Breary
Tom Holt (maybe not)
Jane Shaw, especially the Susan books
Caroline Cooney, Family Reunion
EE Ohlson, Pippa at Brighton
Jul. 19th, 2005 10:50 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I've read and loved Joanna Lloyd, or at least the two I managed to buy for reasonable prices; her other school stories are, alas, missing from Trinity stacks, as are her adult books (a lot of books went missing during and just after the war).
Jul. 19th, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC)
I can lend you two Joan Coggins if you like. Also, I have two Joanna Lloyd books you haven't read, as I have four (probably Catherine Goes to School and Jane Runs Away from School?). Alternatively, Sue Sims does photocopies for okayish prices, if you want to have copies of your own. And Gill Bilski sells Joan Coggin books.

Have you read any Nancy Breary?
Jul. 19th, 2005 10:57 pm (UTC)
Oh! A new Pirates! adventure! I read the one with the Scientists, and loved it. I'll have to look for this other one!
Jul. 19th, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
Archives of the legendary Scrap Saturday, featuring the late and much lamented Dermot Morgan. I found a stash of MP3's of the show at work today and had to stop listening because I needed to get some work done.

If you like political satire and want to relive the insanity of the late 80's and early 90's (Haughey & Mara, Pee Flynn, Gay Byrne etc), then I recommend them!

Also for immediate (and possibly repeat) amusement, http://www.langerland.com
Jul. 20th, 2005 12:13 am (UTC)
OK, these are really just things that I think are funny, and I'm guessing you will already know of some or all of them, but I like a lot of the things you think are funny and don't like some of the things you think are not funny (specifically Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde). Also, I know exactly what you mean about when Bedivere jumps off the platform; hee.

TV shows:
Reno 911
Arrested Development
(these and Scrubs are the only sitcoms I have watched in about three years)
Mystery Science Theater 3000 -- most of my favorite episodes are from the late Mike Nelson era, though a lot of people prefer Joel. Favorite individual episodes include "Pod People," "Time Chasers," "Hobgoblins," and "Prince of Space".

I'm sure you're aware of the rest of the Will Ferrell/Vince Vaughn/Luke Wilson oeuvre; I thought Dodgeball had its moments, and I love Old School though it's not really anything like the end of Anchorman.
You've seen Christopher Guest's movies, right? I can watch those over and over and laugh every time.

Damn, I don't know.
Simon Brett's mysteries? They're really not laugh-out-loud funny, though, just kind of incidentally funny.
I don't have nearly enough funny books.
Jul. 20th, 2005 12:50 am (UTC)
I'm haven't seen or read most of the stuff you've mentioned, but I do find Monty Python and the Holy Grail and P.G. Wodehouse funny and Jasper Fforde very unfunny.

Books I find funny: Don't Care High by Gordon Korman. Funniest book ever. Also A Semester in the Life of a Garbage Bag and Son of Interflux by the same author. Probably hard to find but worth looking into. Sarah Caudwell's books. My favourite is A Sibyl in Her Grave. I find Karen Joy Fowler's stuff dead funny, particularly Sarah Canary and The Sweetheart Season. What about rereading The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, if you find those funny?

Movies: Definitely The Big Lebowski. Also The Lady Eve.
Jul. 20th, 2005 06:24 am (UTC)
Have you ever read W.E. Bowman's The Ascent of Rum Doodle? It has its own fan site here.

The funniest book I read last year was the spoof guide to Molvania - "Once known only by war historians and Soviet drug runners, this landlocked republic is now being discovered by the discerning traveller... Sadly, the spectaular cable-car that once carried visitors across the gorge no longer operates, but you can still see the old pylons and engine-house as well as view a memorial plaque dedicated to the service's last 20 passengers... The unofficial capital of the Great Central Valley region, Jzerbo may not look all that inviting to the first-time visitor, with its jumble of grim Soviet-era housing and concentration of heavy industry. But thanks to frequent, heavy smog, many of these visual eye-sores remain hidden from the average visitor." Apparently they've published another one in the series to a spoof South-East Asian country.
Jul. 20th, 2005 11:13 am (UTC)
W.E. Bowman's The Ascent of Rum Doodle

That is quite amusing, alright. Brian has it if you want to borrow it.

The bit in the Molvania guide that nearly killed me was the fact that their national anthem was sung to the tune of "Oh What A Feeling", from Flashdance.
Jul. 20th, 2005 07:17 am (UTC)
I can't recommend Steven Fry's novels highly enough. Particularly 'The Liar', which actually made me snort loudly on a tube once.

Also, continuing the boys stories / school stories theme (from Molesworth and Richmal Crompton) have you read any of Anthony Buckeridge's 'Jennings and Darbishire' series? They're fantastic and very, very funny. The earlier ones, from the fifties, are the best ones though. The ones he wrote in the sixties and seventies go off the boil slightly.

Also, Bill Bryson, although he has to be enjoyed in small doses or you get fed up of him. But 'Notes from a Small Island' makes me crack up every time I read it, and it must have been six or seven times by now.

And I presume you have already read Janet Evanovich? If not get 'One For The Money' immediately.
Jul. 20th, 2005 11:15 am (UTC)
Damn, I am low on suggestions as most of the things I find funny are already on your list. Cursed HIVE MIND!

Have you read A Confederacy Of Dunces, perchance? It's not on your list, and it's hysterical.
Jul. 20th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
Have you ever watched the 80s TV series Cheers? The first season is the best, with Shelley Long (Diane Chambers) nailing every nuance of her character. The second and third seasons are pretty funny too, but nothing tops that first one, imo. I think my favorite Cheers episode ever is from it, where Sam arranges for Andy Andy to take Diane on a date. They're all on DVD now.
Jul. 21st, 2005 12:39 pm (UTC)
Lauren Child's Clarice Bean books.
The Diary of a Nobody.
Angela Thirkell (not laugh out loud but wryly amusing)
Spinal Tap and Best in Show.

And I agree with slemslempike about Jona Coggin/Joanna Lloyd and Nancy Breary
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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