It’s funny, guys.

Guest post by Michelle.
Featured Image is from the comedy show, Robot Chicken.

This week, we talked a lot about humour in writing and how to tell when the writer is being humorous. It is very hard to write humour and I thought a good way to practice familiarising ourselves with humour and writing and commenting on it was to find a few extracts from books so we could discuss why we think they’re funny and how we can tell that they’re funny.

Extract 1

Fraud (David Rakoff: 2001)

“Sheila taught me a survival technique for getting through seemingly intolerable situations-boring lunches, stern lectures on attitude or time management, those necessary breakup conversations, and the like: maintaining eye contact, keep your face inscrutable and masklike, with your faintest hint at a Gioconda smile. Keep this up as long as you possibly can, and just as you feel you are about to crack and take a letter opener and plunge it into someone’s neck, fold your hands in your lap, one nestled inside the other, like those of a supplicant in a priory. Now, with the index finger of your inner hand, write on the palm of the other, very discreetly and undetectably, “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you…” over and over again as you pretend to listen. You will find that this brings a spontaneous look of interest and pleased engagement to your countenance. Continue and repeat as necessary.”

Extract 2

Insane City (Dave Barry: 2013)

“You came to a club with a woman who is not your fiancée, and a gorilla on your wedding day.”

Extract 3

Freaks I’ve Met (Donald Jans: 2015)

“I was convinced that the proverb about money not buying happiness was written by a rich guy who didn’t want you to feel bad because you didn’t have any.”

Which one do you find the funniest and why?



  1. I think extract 3 was the funniest because the famous proverb “money can’t buy happiness” was given a reason as to why it exists, but in a humourous way. It was written by a rich guy who didn’t want us to feel bad “because we didn’t have any” is rather blunt but is quite funny.



  2. I don’t know if it’s fine to have two choices but i have to say extract 1 and extract 3 did it for me. Firstly for extract 1 it contains dark humor about a person giving advice to someone else about how to be cordial with someone even if you deeply despise them and is presented flawlessly and seamlessly as if it’s perfectly normal to give people advice like that in life. As for extract 3 the saying is very old but the interpretation of its meaning is very raw and ironic.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. i think extract 2 and 3 did it for me as well. in extract 2, the writer shows us that by using the word “gorilla” the woman was not very much good looking and in extract 3, the writer shows us that the writer was throwing shade and not exactly trying to make the person not feel bad

    Liked by 1 person


  4. I think extract 3 is the funniest, this is because the writers perceives the rich man as being a savage, because he seems like he wants to be sympathetic but unintentionally he is looking down upon those without money.

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s