Since the recent passing of Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a true comedian. Does a great comedian make people laugh or think? As a writer of comedic fantasy, I take inspiration from those who can do both. To me, the real purpose of comedy is to teach a lesson in a way that audiences can enjoy. So, to steer you in the right direction, here is a list of the top ten funniest writers of all time, well, according to me, anyway.
1. Mark Twain: One of the greatest, if not the greatest humorist of all time! Mark Twain’s comic works continue to make people laugh, even today. I recommend The Diary of Adam and Eve and The Mysterious Stranger.
2. Terry Pratchett: By far, my favorite author of all time. Best known for his Discworld series, Pratchett’s works are irreverent, and oftentimes, hilarious. I recommend Guards! Guards!, Going Postal, and Men at Arms, among my favorites.
3. Caitlin Moran: Moran’s humor is outrageous, vulgar, and always hilarious. Check out her neo-feminist manifesto, How to Be a Woman.
4. Helen Fielding: Is the author of the ever-popular Bridget Jone’s Diaries and one of the most well-known women humorist today.
5. Christopher Moore: Popular for his irreverent works of fantasy, mostly dealing with vampires, he is an author I’ve only recently discovered but can’t wait to read more of. If you hate Twilight and love comedy, check him out!
6. David Sedaris: Widely acknowledged as the funniest writer working today, David definitely makes my list! Check out his work, Naked.
7. Gerald Morris: Another author who inspired me to write comedy/parody, Gerald Morris is best known for his Arthurian parodies. I recommend starting with A Squire’s Tale.
8. Douglas Adams: If you thought I’d forget Douglas Adams, think again. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is one of the funniest series ever written. Check them out!
9. Joseph Heller: Please say you’ve heard of Catch-22. If you haven’t, go check it out now!
10. Geoffrey Chaucer: Last, but not least, is one of the original writers of comedy. I’m sure you’ve read (or at least heard of) The Canterbury Tales. Maybe you were assigned to read it in school but didn’t. Go back and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed.
There you have it: the top ten funniest authors of all time, according to me. Next time you need a pick-me-up or a chuckle, give one of these authors a try. And if there is a writer you’d like to recommend, please do so by leaving a comment below. Thank you for reading!