As it is World Book Day in the UK today, two of our writers reflect on some of the finest comedians and their experience with literature. Of course, they have their own ways to tell stories which capture the imagination, but what do they have to say about certain books? Why not find out below!
More than once, US comedian John Mulaney has roasted the fact his college major was English Literature. Not limited to the fact he spent $120,000 US Dollars to (not!) read books, and all culminating in Mulaney turning up to his graduation bewildered and hungover. The usual student experience, really.
In his special Kid Gorgeous, he splits his chaotic tales of “studying” spaced out with random facts such as the realisation his degree cost more than the cost of the US Civil War. For a list of books that he never read. It is simply just relatable comedy, regardless of whether you stopped studying literature at GCSE, A level or are still reading into why Emily Dickinson is a lesbian.
The sketches are side-splittingly funny, even when the reality of spending a horde of money on a degree that might be worth that much. It leans into the value of degrees while also playing fun at the fact that, yes he was a chaotic student once. (But just because John Mulaney was able to be this successful without doing his reading doesn’t mean you can get out of finishing the Iliad for your seminar). – Louise Chase
Love him or hate him, Russell Howard does have a way with making stories come to life. He is pretty good at impressions and with that in mind, his sketch about the English accent being voted ‘the sexiest accent in the world’ is very imaginative. He argues that isn’t true as there are many regional dialects and the West Country accent does not deserve to be considered sexy. As someone who hails from that side, he knew what he was talking about. How you may ask? By reading E. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey with the West Country twang.
I have friends and family from the West Country and it was a strange thing for me to think about. When thinking about their accent… yeah, that is definitely not a voice I’d want to read me erotic literature too either. Although he does over-exaggerate the way he speaks (since he has lost the accent), he definitely proved it is not a sexy accent! – Jo Lisney