Check one of the following:
Comedy is a sickness.
Comedy is a disease.
Comedy can be cured.
Comedy is a genetic malfunction.
Comedy is a state of mind.
Comedy is like religion, a leap of faith.
Comedy is like magic, an illusion.
Comedy is like sex.
Comedy is like shopping.
Eric Idle wants to talk about comedy. He also wanted a place to stick just about every joke he could think of without regard to it's quality. He wanted to write the De Rerum Comoedia, but probably felt it would be a little boring and instead tried to build a story around the idea. The result is that neither subject seems to get proper attention.
It's a quick read and contains more one liners that you can shake a rubber chicken at, but fails to be 'wet your pants' funny at any point. At times it feels like a cut & paste of comedy. Even more so with the comedian quotes at every chapter.
"In a perfect world "T.S. Eliot" would be "toilets" backwards."
"Satire is tragedy plus time." Lenny Bruce
"Tragically I was an only twin." Peter Cook
Overall, I liked the book. It made me think about comedy and thinking is good occasionally.
So what's the big deal with comedy? It is certainly a matter of taste. After all, I don't know why, but I find almost anything to do with Mr. T extremely amusing. So whatever your taste is or whatever happens to be the flavor of the month, everyone can relate to it even if they don't always get proper credit.
It stands to reason that humor is in everything as well. In nature, in the Bible, and in our government there is humor. Of course, in the case of our government the joke is on us. More importantly humor is good for us. It's a universal force. When you read this book you'll understand what I mean.
Don't just take my word for it: Review Review Review The Real Road to Mars
5-10-01 I just found this article from 98' and I wonder if it inspired the book.
Could there really be a common denominator to a phenomenon that encompasses so many varieties? Diabolical laughter, laughter as a joyous awareness of our finitude, as an escape from gravity into levity, as a tool of mockery.