Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, writing-related question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: There’s always something that strikes our funny bone, and we all have different tastes. What type of writing makes you laugh out loud? Any particular writer?
Lisa J. Jackson: I find different things funny at different times. Most times I laugh out loud at puns, turns of phrase, or typos that give a phrase more than one meaning. I laughed while reading Janet Evanovich’s books several years ago. I believe I stopped reading at the 8th book, though, as I’d had enough. There’s only so much crazy and stupid that can go on before it gets boring. No other author leaps to mind for me. Is there such a category as ‘intellectually funny’? I never got the humor of South Park or Monty Python. I do enjoy the Airplane spoofs, though, I think it’s because of all the plays on words. Space Balls and most Pixar movies give me laughs because they play off words or phrases.
Deborah Lee Luskin: Humor is hard, but when done well, it’s good both for a laugh and an insight. Think Jane Austen. Think irony. Juxtaposition and contradiction are often the sources of good comedy: saying one thing and simultaneously meaning another. And then there’s the observation that comedy ends in marriage and tragedies in death – and maybe it should be the other way around.
Susan Nye: Human beings make me laugh – our frailties, our foibles, our optimism, our pessimism, our courage and fabulous capacity to get up every morning and sprint, dance or slog through another day. Authors that make me laugh include Nora Ephron, Firoozeh Dumas, Garrison Keillor, Dave Barry, Tom Wolfe … and of course … Mark Twain.
Julie Hennrikus: While many writers make me chuckle, or smile, David Sedaris makes me laugh. Out loud. I was reading Me Talk Pretty One Day on vacation a few years back. I was reading it before bed, and had to sit up because I couldn’t breathe. He balances emotions, but the laughs are what I remember.
Wendy Thomas: The world makes me laugh. Honestly, there is just so much to smile about (especially when you have a few years and you don’t take things so seriously) but the one thing that can make me laugh until I’m out of breath (yeah, I know, I must have been a teenage boy in a previous lifetime) is farts. Please, give me the most dignified moment and if someone farts, I’ve lost it. Honestly, when you live in a house with 8 people, ALL of whom are lactose intolerant, farts become a way of life.We have contests, we try to see how far away one can hear us. One of my boys has even figured out how to fart on command. (lucky him)
And of course when I told my kids that there is actually a surgical procedure done that can lower the tone of your farts… well that just sets us off anew.