I like funny, in case you haven’t noticed. Sometimes the funny is sarcastic. Sometimes it’s wry. Sometimes it tends a little toward the Three Stooges. Funny is different to different people, but it needs to be a few things:
- timed right
- over the top, but not too over the top
Some of my favorite writers have humor down cold. Here’s my top ten list, in no particular order:
- Jonathan Swift: while most know him for Gulliver’s Travels, his A Modest Proposal was my first introduction into satire– and I was hooked.
- William Shakespeare: not only has the man inspired me to want to be remembered for the words I bring to the world, but he has enough comedy to keep me entertained for days. My favorite varies, but I’m currently in love with As You Like It (subject to frequent change).
- Robert Aspirin’s Myth Adventures series taught me the power of puns. Piers Anthony later taught me that a pun could be overdone, which just barely keeps him off this list.
- Douglas Adams: Towels, 42, and Vogon poetry. Enough said right there. He is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.
- Sir Terry Pratchett: we lost a great man last year and the world laughed a little softer for a while, but Discworld will always be around to remind us that there are things to laugh at… and about.
- Jasper Fforde: Thursday Next is the reason I decided to write humor. I wanted to take great classical literature and turn it on its ears… or noses.
- Mark Twain is always borderline for me, but he deserves a mention here.
- Jeff Kinney and his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series makes me laugh. Don’t ask me why. I’m an adolescent male at my humor center.
- Lewis Carroll: You had to realize Carroll would make it on my list. I find his wry sense of humor understated and underappreciated.
- Me: I mean, duh. Why write humor if you don’t enjoy what you write?
I couldn’t think of a single female humor writer who truly makes me laugh. I know Erma Bombeck is popular, but she never really gets me going. So I might need some help filling in this tenth spot.
So, how about it, readers? Who are your favorite humor writers? Who did I leave out? Who should I have left out?