Bookworm, Sketching

Sad Roots of Comedy

I am reading Craig Ferguson’s American on Purpose, and I enjoy it. I love his writing style and sense of humor. The most interesting thing about my reading choice, though, is that I recently developed taste for stand-up comedians’ memoirs. Not just anyone’s memoirs attract my attention, an author has to be a comedian. I’m still looking for roots of this reasoning myself, but so far, without finding any, I created a whole list of books of this kind I plan to read. And I’m good at making lists, you know.

So far I read only a couple of books. First I went to the boarding school for boys with Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot), then accompanied Steve Martin on his lonely journey (Born Standing Up), and now I am in Scotland, with Craig, whose teachers beat 5-year-old kids on the hands with the belts created and used for this purpose only.

I remember my days at school and many teachers being rude or mean or offensive, but at least they didn’t beat us. I’m so glad that the standards of education changed and keep changing. If they didn’t I would probably have to be a comedian to process all that crap that the gentlemen mentioned above came through. It looks like the laugh is truly the strongest defensive mechanism our brain develops so that we can stay sane, no matter what shit is happening to us. But does the comedy have to come from pain? (This is Jim Carrey’s belief who, I hope, one day will write a book to complete my list of comedians’ memoires). Can’t it have another source, like pure joy, for example?

I think I need to go through all my reading list to find the answer. And if I don’t find any I still will have some laughs. After all, these guys know how to make a joke.
The Daily Post


11 thoughts on “Sad Roots of Comedy”

      1. That’s kind of crazy. Anyway, pain can come from a lot of different sources. Everyone experiences pain in their lives.I don’t think you necessarily have to have a shocking story to be able to be creative.

  1. I met Craig a few times when he was in Rocky Horror over here in London (with Tony Head of Buffy fame, another nice man) and he is hysterically funny, naturally. Glad you shared this as I didn’t realise he’d written about his life. I’ll have to pick it up 🙂

    1. Wow, you met a really cool guy. I think he wrote two books, actually. I don’t know what the other is about, I will check when I finish reading the first one. 🙂

  2. You may disregard this suggestion since your focus is on comedians, but I’m currently reading The Garner Files, James Garner’s memoir. He was fascinating and very funny. I had no idea about a lot of his background, but picked up the book at the library after reading something about him when he passed away in July. I haven’t been disappointed.

    1. Everyone who is funny goes on my list 🙂 Thank you for the suggestion.
      By the way, I have read Christopher Moore’s Lamb that you recommended. An interesting and funny book indeed.

  3. I didn’t know Stephen Fry wrote a book, though I’m not surprised. I see by Googling he’s written several. I have always been a fan of his since first watching Fry and Laurie, but gained new interest in him with his interesting and in my opinion, important, documentary about living with manic depression. Another group of books to add to the pile!

    1. Stephen Fry wrote several novels, and they all are fantastic, you can read any of them and be sure you’ll enjoy it. Plus he created several documentaries, not only the one about the manic depression you mentioned, and also he directed a movie after one of Evelyn Waugh’s books. In short, he’s unbelievably productive and just cool 🙂

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