Ok, y’all, it’s crazy out there. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been trying to find enjoyment in things that are funny to keep from going nuts. (Ironically, I’ve been watching/reading thrillers lately, so…I’m not following my own statement there.) But I think all of us need a little break here, so I’m going to list off ten of ALL THREE of those things above.
Yes, you read that right. TEN OF ALL OF THE ABOVE.
So let’s get started! No time like the present! These are in no particular order.
Ten Books To Make You Laugh*
*Very few of these books are funny from start to finish, but I tried to find ones that I remember thinking were funny even if they did take a serious turn for the characters at some point.
1. Lovestruck by Kate Watson
This story, about Cupid’s daughter Kali, may not be tons of laughs from start to finish, but I was definitely giggling through the first half. See, Kali accidentally sticks herself with a love arrow, making her fall in love with Benicio, this bass-playing cutie she’s supposed to match with someone else. It’s your typical comedy of errors and there’s a lot of humor sprinkled throughout.
2. Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George
This is an update of the Shakespearean classic, Much Ado About Nothing (which happens to be my favorite). Set in the 1920s at a speakeasy in New York, we follow Beatrice, who gets kicked out of her boarding school and must live with her uncle and cousin Hero at the speakeasy the Hey Nonny Nonny. Unfortunately, this also means living near Benedick, an aspiring writer who annoys Beatrice to no end. The witty banter and the comical situations are sure to make you laugh!
3. Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Charlie’s sister is about to get married. The only problem? Everything and everything that could go wrong, is. Howling dogs, house alarms, relatives that won’t talk to each other, a missing tuxedo, and an unexpected girlfriend are just a few of the issues Charlie navigates to make the weekend memorable for her sister–in a good way.
4. Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean
If you like historical romances, this series by Sarah MacLean is one of the best I’ve ever read in terms of characters, banter, and situations. When a stranger comes into Felicity’s bedchamber and offers to help her land a husband, Felicity agrees to his terms. But what neither Felicity or Devil expect is that this is going to be anything but easy. For one thing, Felicity is more of a firebrand than Devil anticipated.
5. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
In terms of comedic banter, Clare is always on point with hers. This, the first in The Dark Artifices series, definitely has a lot of funny moments and great character wit balanced with the seriousness of their world. Actually, any of Clare’s books would be good for a chuckle. If you haven’t read any of her books before, though, I definitely recommend you start with City of Bones.
6. It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt
I know what you’re thinking: Why did you include a book clearly about death on this list? But I promise you, this was the funniest thing I read in 2018. RJ’s soul was accidentally reaped and someone better figure out how to get her back to her body. RJ’s told she can remain in “the lobby” until her life expires or she can relive 3 moments in her life and make better choices. Easy, right? But what RJ doesn’t plan on is becoming a pawn between Death himself and an overzealous archangel in the process. (And Death is a Hawaiian shirt-wearing bro and Saint Peter loves Cornhole. Like, it’s about as surreal as what’s going on outside right now.)
7. Freya by Matthew Lawrence
If you’re familiar with Norse mythology, the name Freya should sound familiar. She was the Norse goddess of beauty, war, and death. To blend in with society, she goes by Sara now, but everything changes when a shadowy society makes her a deal: join us and you’ll receive unlimited strength and believers. Refuse and die. So Sara, fierce and battle-thirsty, chooses neither. Escaping with her friend Nathan, Sara tries to discover what exactly is going on and how to stop them. It’s the Norse-Goddess-in-the-21st-Century that is the funniest part of the whole book.
8. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
A YA twist on You’ve Got Mail, we meet Bailey. She’s got a crush on “Alex”, an online friend who lives on the opposite side of the country from her…until she has to move in with her dad in the same sleepy town as her crush. Nervous that “Alex” could be a creep, Bailey doesn’t tell him she’s moved so much closer. Or that her newest arch-nemesis, Porter, may not be as annoying as she first thought.
9. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
This is probably one of the most ridiculous books I’ve ever read–and it wasn’t too bad. Sixteen year old King Edward is dying and he has no one to pass the crown on to. Enter his cousin Jane, who is far more interested in books than husbands. Unfortunately, Edward has arranged for Jane to marry Gifford (known as G). Only what they don’t know is that G is a horse. Literally. From dawn to dusk, he’s a glorious chestnut steed. And there’s a dangerous plot afoot that will take all three of them to solve…before someone dies…
10. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
Funny from beginning to end, this high school comedy forces seniors to participate in a year-long Marriage Education program. Fiona’s “husband” is Todd, a jerky jock whose girlfriend has hated Fiona for years. And Todd’s girlfriend is matched up with Fiona’s crush, Gabe. There are tons of pranks, misunderstandings, and witty banter to fill the pages.
Ten Movies To Make You Laugh*
*My tastes tend to be more of what’s called “stupid humor”, so bear with me. I think Dad jokes can be really funny and puns are my meat & potatoes.
1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
My students and I were just talking about this movie yesterday! We needed a laugh and some of us were quoting our favorite parts.
2. Anything by Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Spaceballs, etc.)
If you’ve never watched anything by Mel Brooks before, it’s comedy gold from the 70s and 80s. My personal favorite is this little known movie called History of the World, Part I, but any of his are pretty much guaranteed to make you laugh again and again. The jokes can be super subtle.
3. 10 Things I Hate About You
This 90s classic is sure to lift your spirits!
4. Music & Lyrics
I think this isn’t a well-known movie, but it’s definitely feel-good. It’s a 2007 rom-com with Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore about a washed-up 80s pop star who is charged with writing a song for a current pop star. The characters are super quirky, the music is excellent, and the scenes are funny. My boyfriend and I watched this Saturday night! He’d never seen it before and really enjoyed it.
This is a classic for me! It’s so much smarter than anyone gives it credit for!
6. Jumanji (the newer ones)
If you haven’t yet watched the newest two Jumanji movies, this is a good time to do that. There’s nothing like watching Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson act like a self-conscious high school geek and Kevin Hart play a huge football player. But it’s Jack Black who is my personal favorite.
7. The Emperor’s New Groove
This movie always makes me smile! It does everything a movie shouldn’t–break the fourth wall, have inexplicable plot holes, etc.–and yet that’s why we love it so much.
8. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
If you haven’t watched this since your childhood (and I’m talking about the 70s version starring Gene Wilder), you really need to. It’s so smart. There were definitely jokes that went over my head as a kid that now are just downright hysterical to me as an adult.
9. Pitch Perfect
Aca-scuse me? With so many memorable lines, how could I leave this one off the list?
10. Austin Powers
Look, right now we really need a hero. And who better than the 60s British spy Austin Powers fighting Dr. Evil to brighten your day? Yes, the movies can be kinda dumb, but these were the movies of my childhood and the characters never fail to make me laugh. Plus, there are some big names in these movies! (Rob Lowe, anyone?)
Ten TV Shows To Make You Laugh
1. The Office
Ok, absolutely, this can be more cringey than funny at times. I don’t deny it. But there are some parts that are absolutely hilarious if that’s your humor.
2. Parks & Rec
If The Office is too weird, this is a nice substitute. I ended up liking this show far more than The Office. Set in my home state of Indiana, it’s a small-town Parks & Rec department that gets the “mockumentary” treatment.
3. The Good Place
I got hooked on this show this winter! Kristen Bell is a treat and the show will keep you laughing–and guessing!–every episode. It’s just so weird that it’s actually wonderful. And it’s wonderfully uplifting.
4. The Big Bang Theory
I watched this show for years and it never failed to make me laugh, especially the early seasons. There was so much to love about these quirky characters! A rewatch might be necessary.
I didn’t get into this show the way many people did, but I definitely enjoyed what I did watch. Six friends, a huge apartment, and a smelly cat. What could go wrong? (“We were on a break!” is not an acceptable answer in any situation.)
6. Whose Line Is It Anyway?
I don’t care if you find reruns on TV, bloopers on YouTube, or you watch the new episodes. This show is comedy gold. I literally cry watching compilation videos because it’s so funny.
This is my happy place. A few years back, I got hooked on this show and I’ve been watching it on Netflix ever since. It’s always funny and the episodes are still funny after you’ve seen them a few times.
8. One Day At A Time
With this one, I’m talking about the reboot Netflix did with a Latin family. It’s smart, witty, and yet pulls at the heartstrings every episode. I adore this show.
9. That 70s Show
I was too young to watch this when it was originally on, but I’ve caught episodes and a seasons or two on Netflix and it’s pretty freaking funny. If your dad isn’t like Red, you probably didn’t grow up in the Midwest.
10. Everybody Loves Raymond
You know, trying to come up with 10 of these was really taxing my brain here. Now I’m really showing my age, if I wasn’t earlier. I grew up on this show and it was just so funny in its portrayal of a “normal” family. Especially when it so perfectly mimicked so many elements of my own family growing up. (My grandparents were Frank and Marie to a T!)
Regardless of what you like/don’t like on this list, please take some time to laugh at something. We all need a laugh right now. Take care of yourselves!