Named after humorist James Thurber (pictured), the Thurber Prize for American Humor is the highest honor awarded for print humor writing, and the 2013 finalists were just announced. The 2013 finalists are Shalom Auslander for his novel Hope: A Tragedy, Dan Nevin for his memoir Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad, and Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel for their novel Lunatics. This year's judges are Lisa Birnbach, Laurie Notaro, and Nate DiMeo. The prize will be given out on September 30th at Carolines on Broadway in NYC.
Check out a full list of past Thurber Prize winners below:
Abraham Lincoln was funny. Dante’s Inferno was funny. Chaucer was funnier than that one story involving a poker in the dude’s butt which your teacher had no choice but to admit approached funny because, I mean, poker in the butt.
But why don’t we teach these things? Specifically to younger students –- the ones who could benefit most from knowing that Moby Dick is packed with intentionally weird sitcom-y moments between the narrator and the crew. The ones who might study a little harder if they knew that Andrew Jackson was a smartass. The ones who would try harder to understand Shakespeare if they understood his insults.
Subject: GOOD NEWS TO SHARE WITH YOU!! From: David firstname.lastname@example.org To: Jane Austen
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Subject: Re: GOOD NEWS TO SHARE WITH YOU!! From: Jane [...]
And so it was written: "We'll just let it do what it do." It's a shame Gary Oldman (aka the anti-Henny Youngman) chose to read this excerpt from Soula Coaster in his fancy British voice instead of his often-used villainous British voice. Or maybe he could have read it as Sid Vicious! Or whatever that voice was in The Fifth Element! There are just so many great options! This better be a weekly segment, Gary and Jimmy.
It's a big day for comedy books, as there are new ones out from Parks and Recreation's mustachioed civil servant Nick Offerman and from comedian Bo Burnham, star and co-creator of MTV's unjustly-canceled Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous. It's the first book for each of the two authors. Offerman's is a humorous self-help tome called Paddle Your Own Canoe, while Burnham's is a book of poetry, writing, and illustrations called Egghead Or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alonethat's earned blurbs from Jack Handey, Conan O'Brien, and Judd Apatow.
When reading respected literature from the Western canon, it can be difficult to process humor found within a thick tome. Sometimes it’s too difficult to understand the comedy because it relies on antiquated references (imagine how well Family Guy might hold up). Oftentimes it’s just too difficult to accept that there even can be humor in a work that’s made it into the all-important canon. While there are exceptions (Mark Twain being the most obvious one), most classic works tend to be very serious, or at least have such a reputation. With comedy already unexpected, it becomes all the more surprising when one encounters what amounts to a series of dick jokes.
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