The best books to make you laugh

Who am I?

I love comedy and have made it my living my whole life as a columnist and writer for every major humor site and publication including MAD, SPY, American Bystander, Playboy, McSweeney’s, The Village Voice and worked with the funniest humorists in the world. My cartoons have appeared around the world as well as The New Yorker. I’ve appeared in over 100 TV and radio appearances speaking on the subject of humor.


I wrote...

The Elements of Stress and the Pursuit of Happy-Ish in This Current Sh*tstorm

By Bob Eckstein, Michael Shaw,

Book cover of The Elements of Stress and the Pursuit of Happy-Ish in This Current Sh*tstorm

What is my book about?

The Elements of Stress and the Pursuit of Happy-ish in this Current Sh*tstorm is a humorous handbook to help readers better deal with the challenges and headaches of our times, from overeating, to love problems, money woes, global warming, night sweats, winter itch, general anxiety, and so much more. Plus, seventy stress-defusing cartoons from two of the best gag cartoonists in the world will help readers handle all the anxiety in today’s new world disorder––the perfect gift for fans of the original Elements of Style or anyone who has had it up to here. 

The books I picked & why

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Untrue Stories of Fiction

By Jack Handey,

Book cover of Untrue Stories of Fiction

Why this book?

This is the guy who wrote Deeper Thoughts and some of the best sketches on Saturday Night Live. He is a regular in The New Yorker and American Bystander and one of our generation’s finest humorists. This collection I feel is his best yet. I read a passage before I go to sleep to deal with this crazy world.

Untrue Stories of Fiction

By Jack Handey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Untrue Stories of Fiction as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The # * % < ! + & Year in Review

By Ron Hauge,

Book cover of The # * % < ! + & Year in Review

Why this book?

Possibly the most underrated cartoonist in the world. Everyone knows his work from Seinfeld and The Simpsons––I’m not overstating this is a comic genius. This book attempts to make sense out of this disastrous period in our history through his unique drawings and visual puns. This book is a Master Class in modern editorial cartooning.  

The # * % < ! + & Year in Review

By Ron Hauge,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The # * % < ! + & Year in Review as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2020 was hard. 2020 hindsight is easy!

We don't have to tell you what it was like. You were there. The pandemic, unemployment, civil unrest. Trump. More Trump. Maybe a little laughter could help. What have you got to lose?!

From Emmy® Award winner Ron Hauge (The Simpsons, Seinfeld, The Ren & Stimpy Show, In Living Color) comes 'The # * % < ! + & Year In Review', a retrospective collection of single-panel, full-color cartoons selected from his popular Instagram account. The year 2020 will not soon be forgotten, but perhaps we can gain a little perspective with these…


Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers

By Mike Sacks,

Book cover of Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers

Why this book?

Mike Sacks is an authority on comedy and scholar who created two volumes which are a Comedy Bible for any humorist, interviewing the funniest people from the last fifty years. This is a must-read for any comedy geek. The other volume is And Here’s the Kicker. But wait, that’s all, as they say. Sacks has also become the king of kitsch producing a series of books mocking pop culture (Slouchers, Passable In Pink, Randy! and Stinker Lets Loose!)

Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers

By Mike Sacks,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Poking a Dead Frog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR

Amy Poehler, Mel Brooks, Adam McKay, George Saunders, Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt, and many more take us deep inside the mysterious world of comedy in this fascinating, laugh-out-loud-funny book. Packed with behind-the-scenes stories-from a day in the writers' room at The Onion to why a sketch does or doesn't make it onto Saturday Night Live to how the BBC nearly erased the entire first season of Monty Python's Flying Circus-Poking a Dead Frog is a must-read for comedy buffs, writers and pop culture junkies alike.


This Is a Book

By Demetri Martin,

Book cover of This Is a Book

Why this book?

I think this is the stand-up’s best material, a combination of his short stories and drawings. Unlike most humor books this is a generous amount here but never boring or repetitive. I don’t know how this book didn’t receive more recognition than it did. There is very little else out there at this level of quality. I literally, pun intended, read this book at least three times.

This Is a Book

By Demetri Martin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Is a Book as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Demetri Martin is a Very Important Award-Winning Comedian, so spends a lot of his time time travelling around, with a notebook, filling it with jokes and incredibly long palindromes (over 500-words long, in fact). The very best of those are collected here, from his acclaimed comic drawings and the world's worst comeback lines, to brilliant charts and graphs (Incidence of Lung Cancer in Dragons, a Sad Clown/Happy Clown venn diagram) and a bittersweet ghost love story. Add in hilarious pieces on The Deleted Scene from A Christmas Carol, A Cappella Group Freak Accidents and Frustrating Uses of Etc., and This…


Dumb Jokes for Smart Folks

By Jessica Delfino,

Book cover of Dumb Jokes for Smart Folks

Why this book?

The most comprehensive modern joke book by a joke encyclopedia, Jessica Delfino. This is more a reference book for joke lovers and an ideal gift for that uncle and dad who thinks there are hilarious but really need a hand in the material department. 

Dumb Jokes for Smart Folks

By Jessica Delfino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dumb Jokes for Smart Folks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dumb Jokes For Smart Folks delivers a grown-up spin on the quintessential children's joke book. Chock-full of silly wordplay and looney leaps in logic, this collection touches on a variety of topics and themes, from the great outdoors, to celebrities, outer space, and recreational cannabis. Perfect for readers who wish to reconnect with their inner-child or anyone who enjoys a good guffaw- or groan-worthy joke.


How do you poach an egg? You just take it when the chicken isn't looking
What state is the most inquisitive? Why-oming
What do you get when you combine guacamole and bread? Avocadough


"Jessica Delfino…


1 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Saturday Night Live, Broadway musicals, and pop culture?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Saturday Night Live, Broadway musicals, and pop culture.

Saturday Night Live Explore 10 books about Saturday Night Live
Broadway Musicals Explore 112 books about Broadway musicals
Pop Culture Explore 99 books about pop culture

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Saturday Night, We'll Always Have Casablanca, and Thick if you like this list.