Reading is the Best Medicine

August 12th, 2004 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Someone once told us that writing comedy is easy — a bit like falling off a log. Sure, if the log is 1,000 feet up, and when you look down, you realize you’re falling onto a bunch of sharp knives. Okay, maybe writing funny isn’t that hard, but it’s not easy. Especially when the only person you amuse is yourself. It probably should go without saying that happens to us. A lot. That being said, there’s an intrinsic part to writing funny, as Jonathan Ames points out:

Comedy is often asked about, and there are courses on it, but sometimes I think that comedy is one of those things, kind of like sports. Either you can shoot a basketball nicely or swing a tennis racket in a way that is fluid, or not. And so I don’t necessarily think about what would make something funny. It just happens that way. You know? And I wasn’t always aware that I was funny.

In this interview for, Ames covers the basic difference between non-fiction and fiction (reducing the constant self-reflection that writing about yourself requires…finally, one gets to eat a turkey sandwich without the requisite analysis), being funny, and how P.G. Wodehouse pulled him out of a depression (so much so that his current book Wake Up, Sir! is an homage to Wodehouse).

File Under: Square Pegs