Writer Dorothy Parker was one of the wittiest satirists ever. Here are a few of her priceless comments I find funny:
“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”
“I hate writing, I love having written.”
“There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.”
And one of my very favorites: “It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard.”
Humorist Will Rogers said some funny things about politics and politicians in his day, as I read them, I found them very current. Does that mean that things stay pretty much the same?
“Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.”
“There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.”
“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
“Now if there is one thing that we do worse than any other nation, it is try and manage somebody else's affairs.”
Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.
Before Will and Dorothy, there was Mark Twain.
“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
“In 'Huckleberry Finn,' I have drawn Tom Blankenship exactly as he was. He was ignorant, unwashed, insufficiently fed; but he had as good a heart as ever any boy had.”
One of my favorite satirists is Andy Borowitz. His quotes are political: they’re also so close to the truth that it’s hard to differentiate the satire. I’ll post a few of my favorites that aren't obviously political.
"To mark Michael Phelps' amazing Olympic career, I think the USA should legalize marijuana."
"If you buy your July 4 supplies at Walmart you can celebrate our independence from Britain and our dependence on China at the same time."
These were the top vote getters in Goodreads poll of funny books:
Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Catch 22, The Princess Bride, Good Omens, Me Talk Pretty One Day, A Confederacy of Dunces, The Importance of Being Earnest, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and One for the Money.
Authors known for humorous novels:
And Elmore Leonard because of his quirky characters.
I’ve read quite a few of the authors above, and some made me laugh out loud. Though I’m a mystery, suspense, thriller reader, even those genres require a bit of levity for a break. It can be dialogue, characters, or scenario, but it should be there.
Who are your favorite humorous authors? What books made you laugh out loud?
Polly Iyer is the author of eight novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and Indiscretion, and three books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games, Goddess of the Moon, and Backlash. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit her website for more on Polly and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.