We all need a good laugh and these 11 books by popular comedians are guaranteed to make you laugh out loud!
These amusing tales will keep you hygge when it’s cold outside and give you something to look forward to when you come home from work or after a long day.
The first national treasure on our list is Jennifer Saunders. She describes it as ‘my life in laughs’ and it pretty much does what it says on the tin. She covers everything from bluffing her way into the BBC, having kids and fighting cancer. It’s hilariously relatable, especially when she discusses her struggles with procrastination that makes her inherently human.
Romesh Ranganathan is one of my favourite comedians, especially after his performance with his mum on BBC Three’s Asian Provocateur. His wit is typically self-deprecating as he talks about his career, both past and present, hip-hop and family life. Romesh talks with great candour about his mistakes, the criticism he has received and about his dad’s death. An easy read, but an amusing one and I whizzed through it in a couple of days.
3. Dear Fatty
The other half of French & Saunders is as witty as you would imagine. I’ve read a few of her books now, and she writes with real warmth and honesty which I love. I also went to her stand-up show which brought me to tears and this book was equally moving. Fatty is her nickname for Jennifer Saunders and the chapters are written as letters. She writes as an optimist but also as a realist but her humour shines through in all her stories, she writes about meeting Lenny Henry, her dad’s death and her childhood crushes. It’s very relatable and a heart-warming read.
4. Yes Please
If you haven’t watched Parks and Recreation yet, then you definitely should, as Amy Poehler plays one of the main characters, Leslie Knope and she is brilliant. ‘Yes Please’ pretty much sums up her approach to life, she is full of enthusiasm and up for anything. In this book she talks about her love of sex, relationships, her marriage, having kids and being a friend. She doesn’t get too personal, as she was married to fellow comedian Will Arnett from Arrested Development and had two children with him before they divorced. She gives advice throughout the book and shares amusing anecdotes about growing up in the 70/80s. If I wanted to be her friend before reading her book, then I definitely do now, as she shows her wisdom and comedic talent throughout the pages.
Iain Stirling started his career as a CBBC presenter and after he quit, his stand-up led him to his biggest gig yet – being the voice of Love Island. I loved this book because it is about modern times, he is a millennial who thinks he needs to grow up and face the trials and tribulations of our times. He discusses the addictive nature of social media amongst other things and he includes short interviews with his mum, Love Islanders and other influencers to fill in the gaps in his knowledge of modern life. He put a lot of thought into what could have been just a throwaway comedy book, but he has added advice and reflection to the anecdotes which makes the book so much more, as well as being extremely relatable for millennials.
If you’ve seen any of Joe’s television appearances then you may know what this book is about. He loves to email people who wrong him in some way, and he loves to win. He tells a story of his correspondence with a ticket inspector on 8 Out of Ten Cats does Countdown which essentially sums up what this book is about. In many ways, he pokes fun at the absurdity of modern life, but in a gentle way so he doesn’t actually offend anyone. He also draws funny pictures and indulges his slightly surreal humour throughout this book and it’s an absolute joy to read.
Sue Perkins launched her career as part of comedy duo Mel and Sue, and they went onto achieve great success as the hosts of The Great British Bake Off. Sue is extremely matter-of-fact and it is this frankness that makes her so likeable. She talks about her relationship with Mel, her partner Anna Richardson (who tried regressing her to a past life), having a brain tumour, her comedy career and her trip to India and Southeast Asia. She is dry and witty throughout and is a spectacle-rly good read.
Tina Fey has worked hard for what she has, which is an incredible career in comedy, including her work as a boss on 30 Rock and this book tells you about her journey. This book isn’t overtly about giving advice, but there are some quite profound musings in here. She discusses being a woman and her job with the typical sass that she’s known for, and its hard not to be impressed with what shes achieved, paving the way for more woman behind her. What’s more, she’s clever and witty about her criticisms without being apologetic for it, proving once again, that she is the boss.
It feels like Graham Norton has been around forever, as we all remember him when he was on late-night Channel 4 with So Graham Norton before he graduated to the BBC with The Graham Norton Show. It would be easy for him to brag about his life but he doesn’t, and his stories are typically self-deprecating. He discusses normal things like family, friends, relationships and his dogs, when this could have all been about celebrity anecdotes. His wit is as sharp as ever and reading his stories is like listening to your funniest friend tell an anecdote. I’m sure he’ll write more books and I look forward to it.
Another comedy actor from Parks and Recreation, Nick Offerman plays the inimitable Ron Swanson, a great character who I absolutely love. Nick as a person is not bad either, and as the title suggests, he really can make (and paddle) his own canoe! He is married to Megan Mullally (famous as Karen from Will & Grace) and he talks about her with such love that it is just beautiful. He talks about his acting career, what he did before acting and his numerous hobbies that hes also very good at. He’s very wise and funny whilst doling out his musings on life and what he thinks about it all. If you thought that you couldn’t like him any more, then you probably will after reading this!
11. A Book For Her
I also wrote Bridget Christie’s A Book For Her in 10 Books for Feminists about Feminism, but I liked it so much that I wanted to include it here as well. This is a book about being a woman, and a very funny woman at that. This book was inspired by a standup show that catapulted her comedy career as it was very good. I saw one of the shows that she did after that and it was smart, funny and heartwarming, just like this book. Christie uses her comedy to make the world better, and I absolutely respect that.
What’s your favourite comedy book? Or any book that has made you laugh out loud? Let me know in the comments below!
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