Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category


My LOL collection. They’re funnier than they sound.

  1. Plato and Platypus Walk into A Bar — Thomas Cathcart, Daniel Klein
  2. The McSweeney’s Joke Book of Book Jokes — McSweeney’s, eds.
  3. Yiddish with Dick and Jane — Ellis Weiner, Barbara Davilman
  4. It All Started with Nudes — Richard Armour
  5. Punctured Poems — Richard Armour
  6. She’s So Funny — Judy Brown
  7. Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren’t As Scary, etc. — McSweeney’s Books, Ted Thompson, ed.
  8. The Classics Reclassified — Richard Armour
  9. A Bit of Fry & Laurie — Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry
  10. Lanterns and Lances — James Thurber
  11. Mountain Man Dance Moves: The McSweeney’s Book of Lists
  12. A Feast of French & Saunders — Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders
  13. Coyote vs. Acme — Ian Frazier
  14. Conversations with S. J. Perelman — Tom Teicholz, ed.
  15. The Party, After You Left — Cartoons by Roz Chast
  16. Theories of Everything — Cartoons by Roz Chast
  17. When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? — George Carlin
  18. Poetry for Cats — Henry Beard
  19. Without Feathers — Woody Allen
  20. Blackadder – The Whole Damn Dynasty (UK edition)
  21. Matt Groening comics: Work is Hell, Love is Hell, How To Go To Hell
  22. Dilbert comics
  23. Calvin & Hobbes comics
  24. Happy Bunny

The Festering Blurb:Bursting Open w/Pungent Prose

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Making Hay While the Sun Shines: Little Britain

Inside Little Britain

At the page for this book, one of the pull-quotes states that the reader read it cover to cover in one day. Bull! Shit! Even doing a “David Walliams-swim-the-the-channel-marathon” of reading, it would not be possible without skipping over a lot of stuff. Maybe skipping the stuff that’s in sans serif type.  I read it while I was sick at home and it took me the better part of three days. 

What I do agree with and that is not a total lie is that you really have to be a serious fan of the show and the duo to stick to reading this book.  It’s a good account of their 2005-2006 tour, but I’m reading this in 2013.  And I bought it in 2009.  So they have pretty much come and gone.  I saw David Walliams in A League of Their Own with James Corden. Haven’t seen Matt Lucas in anything other than Graham Norton.  So I don’t know if they are still at it.  (According to IMDB, they are doing a lot of stuff, just not LB stuff.)

The book is very intimate and yet glosses over a lot of negative stuff.  But the negative stuff was never the point.  It’s not meant to be an expose.  (I don’t know how to do the accent over the e.)  You do get a sense of how the media are total scums. They are basically in the business of lying through their teeth to sell papers or magazines or whatever. 

My favorite stuff about the book is its hidden wisdom on handling the vagaries of fame.  The truly successful famous are business-minded.  They get involved in all the decision-making; they broker deals; get involved with information technology.  They know how to honor engagements and be diplomatic.  Doesn’t sound like your average stoner/doper/drinker celebrity.  Not just them. Their families have to deal with a lot of crap from truly crap people. I especially love how Matt Lucas is a total Gooner! Then David goes and swims the freaking English Channel! In a record 10 1/2 hours!

So, it’s a damn long book. It has its tedious bits and its riveting bits.  Boyd Hilton has done a good job of assembling an ass-load of information and distilling it to something quite wonderfully atmospheric.  I would love to see a book about behind-the-scenes at The IT Crowd.  Did anybody take notes?



Pretty Good Joke Book: 5th EditionHumor everywhere — from the self-deprecating title to the understated wisecracks in the blurb.  The PRETTY GOOD JOKE BOOK is exactly what it says it is, unlike that book by Dave Eggers. You know the one. 

Anyway, I discovered this book a few years ago.  My uncle T. lent me his copy of an earlier edition.  I would read it all the time.  I would search it out on days when my teaching job just left me a shell of a human by 4:00.  Laughter is the best ,medicine.  If you want to see the missing word that might get me in trouble with Reader’s Digest’s intellectual property lawyers, highlight the word.

Jokes take a certain amount of finesse to present.  You may need to affect an accent or attitude to get the most impact out of the words.  You might need some background knowledge of current events.  You may need a passing acquaintance with racism.  Or you may need no brains at all.  No-brainer jokes. (Not as redundant as you might think.)  Overall, you need to understand what makes people stupid and ignorant.  That seems to be the foundation of most of the jokes in this book.

The most important thing about jokes for the layman – COMMITMENT, COMMITMENT, COMMITMENT.  Once you’ve sussed out the best way to lay it on your audience, commit to it 100%. The voice, the attitude, everything.  A lot of jokes, you need to play them straight for the punch lines to work.  That’s one of the more old-fashioned tenets of stand-up comedy.  I think it needs to make a comeback.  Used to be you were never to laugh at your own joke – part of that whole commitment idea.  Nowadays most comics laugh at their own jokes.  Dumbed down comedy.

But I digress…

I’ll do us all a favor and cut to the chase. Here are some pretty good jokes from the book of the same name.

How many writers does it take to change a lightbulb?  Ten. One to change it, and nine to say that they could’ve done that.

Why do chicken coops have two doors?  Because it they had four doors, they’d be chicken sedans.

What’s a metaphor?  So that livestock can graze.

Yo’mama is so fat, when she was diagnosed with a flesh-eating disease, the doctor gave her ten years to live.

Why did the Unitarian cross the road? To support the chicken in its search for its own path.

Charles Dickens walks into a bar and orders a martini. The bartender says, “Olive or twist?”

What do you do when you see a space man?  You park in it, man!

If you’re going to try cross-country skiing, start out with a small country.

How is a singles bar different from a circus? In a circus, the clowns don’t talk.

Two men are talking.  1st man: My wife took a trip to the Caribbean.  2nd man: Jamaica?  1st man: Not at all.  She wanted to go.

I almost fell in love with a psychic, but she left me before we met.

You should always invite two Republicans to a party because if you only ask one, he’ll smoke all your pot.

We were so poor, we’d lick stamps for dinner. 

This 5th edition has “over 350 more jokes” than the last edition.  It’s a fat little book. If I may make a suggestion for the next edition, it’s time to get rid of the “Ole & Lena” jokes.  However, if they help sell the book to that particular demographic, okay, go ahead and keep them in.   Garrison Keillor says at the end of the book’s introduction:

Your clothes may be disheveled and your life in chaos, you may be of the wrong religion and be hopeless when it comes to politics, …but if you can tell a joke, you’ll be okay.”

I’d like to take that a little bit further.  If you can laugh at jokes, really laugh, you’ll be more than okay.  You’ll feel like life is worth living – even if it’s just to gather material for future jokes.

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The Fiver email header

[Friday 6 November 2009]   

"The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has granted the request for a stay filed by Chelsea Football Club," CAS (CAS) said today, talking about itself in the third person in a manner usually reserved for overly self-important R’n’B singers with sculpted goatee beards.

— Just when you think FIVER writers finally decided to behave themselves and be dignified… HA!

With this in mind, the Fiver can only applaud today’s decision by the Court of Behind Closed Doors Stuffed Around a Groaning Buffet Table Back-Scratching Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to "suspend" Chelsea‘s transfer ban.

— Honesty is not pretty.

Which would allow Roman Abramovich the whole of the upcoming winter transfer window to kick-start the global football economy by splashing out far too much on a single fashionable pet Russian that he can carry around in a small calf-skin shoulder bag.

— People have lost kneecaps and toilet bits for less than what’s been suggested here.


"There is no sign of recovery from this injury so we are looking at whether it is to do with his lower back," purpled Lord Ferg.

"I don’t want the game to be about Darren Bent v Spurs," third-personed Bent, "because it’s so much more than that."

"I’d like to see a two-tier Premier League because I am a Scotsman," he och-ayed.

"I want a call-up to the national side to be a joy for all the players, not torture," he whooped.


After poking round Fernando Torres’s nether regions with a pointy stick, Spain’s top groin expert says the Liverpool striker needs three weeks’ rest

—  i.e. a medical checkup.  Imagine getting paid to poke around that hottie’s pshysiog!

dodgy shellfish knack

— food poisoning from bad shellfish.  Now, looking at how it’s worded, does it mean that the knack is feigned or that the shellfish was off? Ambiguity makes for great writing.



—  down at the pub or bar


  1. THE GUARDIAN’S FIVER-isms: A Glossary for Glazey-Eyed


Inside Little Britain

BY Boyd Hilton

This book is similar to The Miracle of Castel di Sangro in that a writer is embedded with the team and lives with them for some months and reports on their lifestyle.  This one – since it’s celebrity-centered – name-drops A LOT, as you might expect of someone living with celebrities and writing a tell-all.  A lot of names are unknown to American audiences: Davina McCall, Nancy Dell O’lio, Phillip Salon.  But the book is not about all that.  It’s about hte quirky relationship between Matt Lucas and David Walliams.  It follows their LITTLE BRITAIN tour of England in 2005-2006.  Damn. I never even heard of the show until it came on BBC America in about 2007-2008.  I feel cheated.

I don’t know why, but I get a thrill out of seeing and reading about comedians taking comedy seriously.  It’s fun watching comedians at work.  Listening to them work out the angles of a joke; trying to keep track of ad libas to use later – like musicians who record random strumming for future reference.  It’s as intellectually stimulating as any learned discourse.  Boyd Hilton, the author, calls his book an “autobiographical documentary”.  Sounds a bit redundant to me, but otherwise I don’t have a problem with that.


FROM THE BLURB: “It is a journey back into their pasts, reflecting on just how they got from here to there – eaves dropping on personal tales…”

The back of the book wastes valuable blurb space on a couple of remarks from the Sunday Telegraph.  Don’t know why they bothered, really.  While spotty with cliches, the blurb was doing a decent job and didn’t need the remarks. 

This tome is a lot longer than it needs to be.  Aside from that, I love how Matt is a serious football fan, specifically Arsenal. (who beat Stoke 3-1 yesterday, but lost Aaron Ramsey to a severely broken leg.)  David is the polar opposite.  He hasn’t a clue!  Hee!  He didn’t even recognize Jensen Button of F1. F-freakin’-1!!!  Btw, I’m drafting this at our faculty meeting.  Oooh, naughty!

AMAZON’S LITTLE BRITAIN STORE:  “I want that one!” (Andy)

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