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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

Today’s my stop of the Brain Finds a Leg blog tour and I asked author Martin Chatterton to write a guest post on comedy. I asked him a few questions, such as the funniest word in the English language, favorite comedy movies, etc.

Mr. Chatterton is a very very funny man. A quick look at his website and this is evident. He’s also written a  quite few (undoubtedly hilarious) books.

Guest Post: Comedy by Martin Chatterton

It’s a difficult thing, trying to pin down what makes comedy writing ‘funny’. Better people than me have tried and failed. I think if you examine it too much it’s a bit like explaining the punchline to a joke; you understand it but in understanding it, it stops being funny.
Wow, heavy.

I’ll move onto easier territory.

What makes me laugh? In writing it usually comes back to PG Wodehouse. He’s still my favourite comic writer. And knowing how hard he worked to make his books appear lighter than air only adds to the admiration.  Other than Wodehouse, there are few writers who make me laugh (Mark Haddon’s ‘A Spot of Bother’ being a recent exception). I think that’s mainly because a lot of the best comic writers are working in television and film. ‘Literature’ does not have much use for comedy unfortunately. Personally I find my breakfast rising whenever I approach a book that takes itself too seriously (which is pretty much most of them). So writers like Larry David, Woody Allen, Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, are people who I look at and think  ‘I wish I’d done that’.

Three things I find funny?

I watched the recent ‘Seinfeld Reunion’ show and the scene where Larry David falls backwards off a roof and is saved by grabbing hold of his assistant’s ‘muffin’ (a roll of belly fat) made me cry with laughter. It was so beautifully crafted and utterly surprising.
What else?

I loved the British TV series ‘The Mighty Boosh’. This is completely different from the Larry David/Ricky Gervais type of comedy in that it taps into a kind of English surrealism that I love. I think ‘The Brain Finds A Leg’ has a fair amount of that kind of thinking in it. Monty Python and Spike Milligan are also favourites.

I find death funny. That sounds morbid but I can explain, honest. Mel Brooks said that ‘Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.’ I wrote a book a few years back called ‘Michigan Moorcroft’ which was inspired by my love for strange (true) death stories, the favourite being one in which a tango teacher danced out of his fifth story studio and off the balcony while demonstrating to the class. Or how about the guy who slipped off a cliff trying to retrieve a lucky four-leaf clover? Tragic for them, funny for us.

Favourite comedy movies? Anchorman. Armageddon. The Life of Brian.

Funniest word in the English language?  Erect.


My thanks to Martin Chatterton for this guest post, and to Peachtree Publishers for letting me participate in the The Brain Finds a Leg Blog Tour! Check out all other stops!    …And Armageddon?!!



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