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Thread: An Example of Funny Writing?

  1. #1
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    An Example of Funny Writing?

    The answer must vary for everyone. And of course there are different kinds of funny. Some things only make you laugh with appreciation because they are so well done. That happens. Other things try to be funny and they are. There is slapstick, and then there is more serious comedy that contains excellent human observations that make one think as well.

    There was a book by Woody Allen called Feathers. It tried to be funny and I thought it was. I do not have to approve of someone's lifestyle to think they are funny and laugh at them. I could always separate that.

    To surprise a reader with laughter is less bold than obviously setting out to make people laugh while they are aware that they are supposed to. The latter is the harder assignment IMO.

    I also find the cartoon King Of The Hill to be quite funny. I thought some of the old Beavis & Butthead episodes were hilarious too. Same writer.

    I like either kind of comedy--the kind with serious undertones, and the kind that is obviously for no other reason than stupid laughter. What about yourself? Do you have some examples?

  2. #2
    Registered User fudgetusk's Avatar
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    Oct 2017
    Viz comics.

  3. #3
    Alea iacta est. mortalterror's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    I put together a brief history of comedy a few years ago:
    423BC Aristophanes writes Clouds
    422BC Aristophanes writes Wasps
    421BC Aristophanes writes Peace
    414BC Aristophanes writes Birds
    411BC Aristophanes writes Lysistrata
    411BC Aristophanes writes Thesmophoriazusae
    317BC Menander writes The Grouch
    234–184 BC Plautus writes The Pot of Gold, Amphytrion, The Haunted House, Miles Gloriosus, The Menaechmus Twins, and Pseudolus
    166BC Terence writes the Girl from Andros
    165BC Terence writes The Mother in Law
    163BC Terence writes The Self-Tormenter
    161BC Terence writes Phormio and Eunuchus
    160BCTerence writes The Brothers
    60 Petronius writes Satyricon
    160 Lucian writes True History
    1400 Geoffrey Chaucer writes Canterbury Tales
    1470 Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini publishes his Facetiae the greatest Renaissance joke book
    1498 Triboulet becomes court jester of France
    1501 Stańczyk becomes court jester of Poland
    1510 Hermann Bote writes Eulenspiegel
    1532 Rabelais writes Gargantua and Pantagruel
    1554 Lazarillo de Tormes written by Anonymous
    1565 Andrew Boorde compiles the Jests of Scoggan
    1566 The Merie Tales of Skelton published
    1583-1585 Richard Tarlton is comic for the Queen's Men
    1589 Christopher Marlowe writes The Jew of Malta
    1592 Shakespeare writes The Comedy of Errors based on a work by Plautus
    1593 Shakespeare writes The Taming of the Shrew
    1594 William Kempe joins The Lord Chamberlain's Men
    1597 Shakespeare writes Henry IV part I
    1598 Shakespeare writes Henry IV part II
    1599 Shakespeare writes Much Ado About Nothing
    1600 Shakespeare writes The Merry Wives of Windsor, Robert Armin joins Lord Chamberlain's Men
    1602 Shakespeare writes Twelfth Night
    1603 Shakespeare writes Measure for Measure
    1605 Cervantes writes Don Quixote
    1606 Ben Jonson writes Volpone
    1626 Francisco de Quevedo writes The Swindler
    1664 Moliere writes Tartuffe
    1675 William Wycherley writes The Country Wife
    1676 George Etherege writes The Man of Mode based on his friend John Wilmot
    1677 Aphra Behn writes The Rover
    1684 John Wilmot writes Sodom, or the Quinetessence of Debauchery
    1697 John Vanbrugh writes The Provoked Wife
    1700 William Congreve writes The Way of the World
    1707 George Farquhar writes the Beaux Stratagem
    1722 Ludvig Holberg writes Jeppe of the Hill
    1728 John Gay writes The Beggar's Opera
    1729 John Swift writes A Modest Proposal
    1730 Marivaux writes The Game of Love and Chance
    1738 Harry Woodward joins David Garrick's acting company at Drury Lane
    1743 Carlo Goldoni writes The Servant of Two Masters
    1759 Voltaire writes Candide
    1761 Carlo Gozzi writes Love For Three Oranges
    1764 Thomas Weston acts at Drury Lane
    1773 Oliver Goldsmith writes She Stoops to Conquer starring Ned Shuter
    1777 Richard Sheridan writes The School for Scandal and Thomas King stars in it
    1780 Denis Diderot writes Jacques the Fatalist
    1818 Thomas Love Peacock writes Nightmare Abbey parodying his friends Shelley and Byron
    1836 George Buchner writes Leonce and Lena
    1842 Nicolai Gogol writes The Inspector General
    1876 Mark Twain writes Tom Sawyer
    1878 Gilbert and Sullivan premiere H.M.S. Pinafore
    1879 Gilbert and Sullivan premiere The Pirates of Penzance
    1884 Mark Twain writes Huckleberry Finn
    1885 Gilbert and Sullivan premiere The Mikado
    1889 Jerome K. Jerome writes Three Men in a Boat
    1892 Oscar Wilde writes Lady Windermere's Fan
    1894 George Bernard Shaw writes Candida and Arms and the Man
    1895 Oscar Wilde writes The Importance of Being Earnest
    1911 Ambrose Bierce writes The Devil's Dictionary
    1912 George Bernard Shaw writes Pygmalion
    1914 Charlie Chaplin invents the Tramp
    1921 Charlie Chaplin makes The Kid
    1923 Harold Lloyd makes Safety Last!
    1924 Buster Keaton makes Sherlock Jr.
    1925 Charlie Chaplin makes The Gold Rush
    1927 Buster Keaton makes The General
    1928 Bertolt Brecht writes The Threepenny Opera based on The Beggars Opera
    1931 Charlie Chaplin makes City Lights
    1932 Ernst Lubitsch makes Trouble in Paradise
    1933 The Marx Brothers make Duck Soup
    1934 The Three Stooges sign with Columbia pictures to make a series of short films
    1935 The Marx Brothers make A Night at the Opera, John Steinbeck writes Tortilla Flat
    1936 Charlie Chaplin makes Modern Times, William Powell makes My Man Godfry
    1937 Henny Youngman performs on the radio
    1938 Abbott and Costello perfect "Who's on First", P.G. Wodehouse writes The Code of the Woosters, Cary Grant stars in Bringing Up Baby
    1940 Charlie Chaplin makes The Great Dictator, W.C. Fields makes The Bank Dick, Tex Avery invents Bugs Bunny
    1941 Bob Hope performs his first USO show
    1942 Ernst Lubitsch makes To Be or Not To Be
    1944 Frank Capra makes Arsenic and Old Lace
    1946 Martin and Lewis form a duo
    1950 Sid Caesar invents television comedy with Your Show of Shows, The Burns and Allen Show is televised
    1951 Lucille Ball goes from radio star to television star with I Love Lucy
    1952 Harvey Kurtzman launches MAD magazine
    1955 Ingmar Bergman makes Smiles of a Summer Night, Billy Wilder makes The Seven Year Itch, Jackie Gleason stars in The Honeymooners, Humphrey Bogart and Peter Ustinov make We're No Angels
    1957 Don Rickles mocks Frank Sinatra in Las Vegas
    1959 Billy Wilder makes Some Like It Hot
    1961 Joseph Heller writes Catch-22, Lenny Bruce performs at Carnegie Hall, The Dick Van Dyke Show begins
    1962 Johnny Carson hosts the Tonight Show
    1964 Peter Sellers acts in Dr. Strangelove
    1966 Zero Mostel stars in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
    1968 Rowan and Martin's Laugh In "Sock it to me!"
    1969 Monty Python's Flying Circus premieres on the BBC, as does The Benny Hill Show
    1970 Douglas Kenney, Henry Beard, and Robert Hoffman launch National Lampoon Magazine
    1971 Caroll O'Connor plays Archie Bunker on All in the Family, Richard Pryor performs Live and Smokin'
    1972 Alan Alda stars in MASH and George Carlin performs Seven Dirty Words You Can't Say on Tv, Redd Foxx creates Sanford and Son, Hunter S. Thompson writes Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    1973 William Goldman writes The Princess Bride
    1974 Mel Brooks makes Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein
    1975 Monty Python makes The Holy Grail, Andy Kaufman performs Mighty Mouse, SNL begins with Aykroyd, Belushi, and Chase
    1977 Woody Allen makes Annie Hall, George Carlin performs at USC
    1978 Steve Martin performs A Wild and Crazy Guy, John Belushi stars in Animal House, Cheech and Chong make Up in Smoke
    1979 Douglas Adams publishes the novelization of his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Richard Pryor Live in Concert, Monty Python's Life of Brian
    1980 Caddyshack starring Dangerfield, Murray, and Chase, Dangerfield performs I Don't Get No Respect, Leslie Nielsen stars in Airplane!
    1981 Howard Stern breaks out of radio anonymity, Richard Pryor performs Live on the Sunset Strip, Weird Al Yankovic performs Another One Rides the Bus
    1982 David Letterman gets his first talkshow, Carlin performs at Carnegie
    1983 Eddie Murphy performs Delirius, Bill Cosby Performs Himself, Rowan Atkinson creates Blackadder, Richard Pryor performs Here and Now
    1984 The Bill Cosby Show, Sam Kinison gets his break on Rodney Dangerfield's Young Comedians Special, Eddy Murphy Beverly Hills Cop, Carlin on Campus
    1986 Robin Williams performs Live At the Met, John Hughes makes Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    1987 Eddie Murphy performs Raw, Ed O'Neill plays Al Bundy in Married with Children, Rick Moranis stars in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs, Bill Cosby performs 49
    1988 Roseanne Barr stars in Roseanne, Leslie Nielsen stars in The Naked Gun
    1989 Jerry Seinfeld makes Seinfeld, Matt Groening airs the Simpsons on Fox, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Bill Hicks: Sane Man
    1990 The Wayans Brothers create In Living Color, Sam Kinison performs Banned, Howard Stern gets his second television show where he plays games like Hooker Hollywood Squares, Lesbian Dating Game, and Guess the Jew
    1991 Andrew Dice Clay performs at Madison Square Garden hickory dickory dock, Sam Kinison performs The Family Entertainment Hour
    1992 Jay Leno hosts the Tonight Show, Denis Leary performs No Cure for Cancer, Martin Lawrence creates Martin, Bill Hicks performs Relentless, George Carlin Jammin' in New York, Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey make Wayne's World, Simon Nye creates Men Behaving Badly
    1993 Mike Judge creates Beavis and Butthead, Bill Hicks performs Revelations, The Conan O'Brien Show airs, Jeff Foxworthy "You Might be a Redneck If"
    1994 Kevin Smith makes Clerks, Jim Carry stars in Ace Ventura, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber, Jason Alexander voices Duckman
    1995 Kevin Smith makes Mallrats, Adam Carolla co-hosts Loveline
    1996 Chris Rock performs Bring the Pain
    1997 Trey Parker and Matt Stone create South Park
    1998 Seth MacFarlane creates Family Guy, the Coen brothers make The Big Lebowski, Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik debut Penny Arcade
    1999 Jon Stewart hosts The Daily Show, Chris Rock performs Bigger and Blacker while hosting The Chris Rock Show, Matt Groening creates Futurama, Kevin Smith makes Dogma, George Carlin performs You Are All Diseased, Stephen Colbert creates Strangers With Candy, Mitch Hedberg performs stand up
    2000 Dave Chappelle performs Killin' Them Softly, Johnny Knoxville creates Jackass, Eddy Izzard performs Dress to Kill, Larry David creates Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dave Willis and Matt Maiellaro create Aqua Teen Hunger Force
    2001 Ricky Gervais creates The Office
    2002 Chuck Barris' autobiography Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is filmed
    2003 Dave Chappelle hosts The Chappelle Show, Lewis Black performs Black On Broadway, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain create Peep Show
    2004 Chris Rock performs Never Scared, Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein create Drawn Together
    2005 Stephen Colbert creates The Colbert Report, George Carlin performs Life Is Worth Losing, Charlie Day costars in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    2006 Mike Judge makes Idiocracy, John Lee and Vernon Chatman create Wonder Showzen, Sacha Baron Cohen makes Borat
    2007 Judd Apatow makes Superbad, Louie CK performs Shameless
    2008 George Carlin performs It's Bad For Ya, Louie CK performs Chewed Up, Ben Stiller makes Tropic Thunder
    2009 Louie C.K. performs Hilarious, Adam Carolla starts his podcast, Daniel Tosh starts Tosh.0
    2010 Bryan Johnson and Walt Flanagan win the Podcast Awards for Tell 'Em Steve-Dave!, Rob Corddry stars in Hot Tub Time Machine
    2011 Trey Parker and Matt Stone present The Book of Mormon, Norm MacDonald performs Me Doing Stand Up, Patrice O'Neal performs Elephant in the Room
    2012 Bill Burr performs You People are All the Same
    2013 Seth Rogen makes This Is the End co-starring Danny McBride, Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon create Rick and Morty
    2014 Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi make What We Do In the Shadows, Eddie Pepitone performs In Ruins
    "So-Crates: The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing." "That's us, dude!"- Bill and Ted
    "This ain't over."- Charles Bronson
    Feed the Hungry!

  4. #4
    Registered User RetsixArp's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Donald Barthelme (1931-1989): his "Come Back Dr. Caligari" & "Guilty Pleasures."

    "Caligari" has the great diary story, "Me and Miss Mandible": the 35-yr-old journal keeper has been magically transported into the sixth grade--he believes for an error he made as an insurance claims adjuster--, where the teacher, Miss Mandible, & his classmates soon realize that he's not like the others (the chair is the right size, so the student must be the wrong size). He compares his earlier tour of the sixth grade w/ this one.

    This is one of Barthelme's few "flash fiction" pieces that has a plot; for Barthelme cited several times in a "story", "See the Moon?" (in "Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts"), that "fragments are the only forms I trust."

    Some of Barthelme's fiction features random illustrations cut from books & magazines that he labels w/ equally random captions: plenty of LOL moments!
    No American troops were harmed during the Watergate cover-up.

  5. #5
    Inexplicably Undiscovered
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    Jun 2007
    next door to the lady in the vinegar bottle
    Blog Entries
    Any of the works by the great American comic playwright, Neil Simon, whom we lost last week.

    Also, a very funny poem I just came across a few minutes ago. It's a parody by Kenneth Koch:

  6. #6
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    Mar 2015
    New York, NY
    I think the Humbert-Quilly fight scene near the close of Lolita is dark comedy.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2006
    Para Handy Tales.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2008
    Right Ho Jeeves is a near perfect piece of comic writing.

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