David Misch Recommended

When: Mon., May 13, 6 p.m. 2013

The best way to kill a joke, of course, is to explain what makes it funny. This puts David Misch in a bit of a tight spot—his Funny: The Book purports to explain "everything you always wanted to know about comedy." Misch delves into history, philosophy, psychology, and science, with a special focus on a few gifted practitioners (mostly American). He also dissects some jokes and invokes the names Aristotle, Freud, Hegel, and Schopenhauer—but the last only because it sounds funny. Amazingly, the book lives up to its title. Partially it's because a lot of the material Misch has compiled really is interesting, and he strikes the right breezy tone that doesn't belabor any of his points, even the brilliant ones. Partially it's because, as a former stand-up and comedy writer (he's an alum of Mork & Mindy and the animated series Duckman), he actually knows what he's talking about when he deconstructs a joke. He doesn't tell you why it's funny. He tells you how it got that way. Continue reading >>

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