Best comedy literature to buy this Christmas

Best comedy literature to buy this Christmas

Love a laugh or know someone who does? We round up the best comedy books

Brian Donaldson rounds up the best comedy books, old and new, to give to those among your entourage who love a good laugh

Easily Distracted, Steve Coogan
Recently on a Guardian stage with Armando Iannucci to discuss the finer points of the creative process (and to slag off the Tories), Coogan’s memoir collided rather conveniently with his 50th birthday. Covering everything from his early adventures at the Edinburgh Fringe (we get a mention: hurrah!) through to the hacking scandal that pushed him forward into the public arena more than he would normally have wished, Easily Distracted is a treat for fans of his early (and middle) funny work and the more recent seriousness of Philomena.
Published by Century.

Daft Wee Stories, Limmy
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might even feel a fair bit nauseous at the antics within the many, many short tales (71 to be precise) which comprise Brian Limond’s debut book. Featuring not-so subtle titles such as ‘The Fat Workie’, ‘Crap Films, ‘Arnold’s Arse Eye’ and ‘Your Shite is My Shite’, Limmy’s daft wee stories have underlined his transition from niche Glasgow act to UK star.
Published by Century.

A Book for Her, Bridget Christie
As an accompaniment to her latest semi-surrealistic, anti-misogynist, quasi-political tract stage show, A Book for Her dissects how Christie went from delivering wilfully obscure and little-loved Fringe hours to becoming a thoroughly hailed Edinburgh Comedy Award winner. Essentially, she discovered the magic formula on how to make feminism funny.
Published by Century.

The Wholly Viable, Phil Kay
Anyone seeking the rationale behind Phil Kay’s comedy mind-set might feel vaguely frustrated here. But for a vivid literary representation of the wild freewheeling turbo ride that has been select sections of his life (both good and bad), The Wholly Viable (see what he did right there?) is a blast. He also seems to get into all manner of scrapes while in charge of a bicycle.
Published by Heroes Books.

Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari
Recently outed as the sixth highest paid comedian in the world (ahead of Louis CK but behind dodgy ventriloquist Jeff Dunham), the American stand-up and scene-stealing star of Parks and Recreation received a tidy seven-figure advance for this, his first book. Modern Romance an idiosyncratic take on 21st-century dating and its comedic pitfalls. We hope his sociologist collaborator Eric Klinenberg got a decent slice of that pie.
Published by Allen Lane.

Love All the People, Bill Hicks
He may have been on the end of a curious backlash in recent times, but the Southern preacherman’s stand-up shows (aka The World According to Bill), remain the template for most of the angry, socially aware comedians who have followed in his wake. Love All the People features letters, lyrics, interviews and routines which give an insight into an often difficult soul and utterly mesmeric talent.
Published by Constable.

Toast On Toast, Matt Berry & Arthur Mathews
Hold on to your breeches for some ‘cautionary tales and candid advice’ from everyone’s favourite struggling actor extraordinaire. The man with the propensity for doing it doggy style with the wife of an actorly rival might not be best placed to spread his wisdom to young upstarts of stage and screen. But that’s exactly what he does here in Toast On Toast, with memories of everything from RADA to It’s a Right Royal Knockout.
Published by Canongate.