Despite having invented a winning, almost scientifically proven formula for determining the hilarity value of a book, we still can't tell you which is the most humorous book of all time. We've had numerous discussions, which led to debates, which led to arguments, which led to all-night ballyhoos and still no grand decision has been made. (Though admittedly, the all-night ballyhoos may have ended in some kind of agreement; we have no memory of anything past 3:00 a.m.)
With no idea of where else to turn, but wanting to provide you with some kind of list of the most funny books ever, we searched Google to see if anyone else has been able to rank and file the world's humorous tomes. Much to our relief and chagrin, we realized we are not alone: many folks have made many lists of the best comedic books, but none of them were in complete agreement with another as to what should be on those lists. Only a few were brave enough to even rank their books by most humorous to least or vice verse. Hence, we came to the intelligent conclusion, that we were attempting the impossible, trying for the unattainable, going for…oh, you get the idea.
But we really wanted to have some kind of Canon of Humor Books to use as the basis of what all appreciators of funny lit should read. To do that, we wound up compiling all the lists we found to determine which books, if any, made it onto each one. Surely, that would mean those books are the most universally funny ones, eh?
Alas there was only one: Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which Esquire Magazine ranked as the 15th-most funny book of all time.
There were, however, several books on a variety of lists, if not all of them. We decided if a book made it onto 3 or more, then that would be where we'd start our Canon. And, frankly, after taking a gander at what we wound up with, we agree that those books are among the funniest literature out there (to date) that we've been able to find.
Hence, the compilation of the Laugh Line Canon of Humor Books has begun. We believe everyone should get at least one chuckle out of each of the following books. If they don't, then there is something wrong with them and they need to get to the emergency room pronto! Consequences could be dire if one lacks a sense of humor.
And now, without further ado, it is decreed that all hallowed halls of all libraries, cyber or otherwise, shall have a copy available of each book listed below if the librarians actually cared about their patrons:
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams
by Kingsley Amis
by Philip Roth
by Joseph Heller
Three Men in a Boat
by Jerome K Jerome
Cold Comfort Farm
by Stella Gibbons
Money: A Suicide Note
by Martin Amis
A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
The Innocents Abroad
by Mark Twain
by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett