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Stuff for the Teen Age

Laugh Till You Drop: Funny Books and Movies for Teens

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Comedy makes us laugh, plain and simple. Whether it's standup, or a funny movie or your grandmother telling you funny stories from her youth. You know the one about her going to school with her nightgown on. Whatever, let's face it, the human condition is funny.

The Canterbury tales / by Geoffrey Chaucer., Digital ID 497299, New York Public LibraryThe comedic format can be found in books, film, plays and in stand-up comedy.  Some really cool books get their points across using comedy.  Way back in Geoffrey Chaucer's time, his Canterbury Tales were considered uproariously funny. In fact, even in the 21st century when I think of the "Miller's Tale" and a red hot poker, I laugh so much that it brings me to tears. Try reading some of the tales in modern translation. People were always funny, even back in the day.

Teen fiction can also be funny.  For example, Louise Rennison's series The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson recounting the adventures of an English school girl through her diary is really based on Louise's funny and self-obsessed life as a 14 year old English girl. Another hilarious and poignant teen novel is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Using humor and wit, Mr. Alexie draws us into one boy's life on an Indian reservation. An otherwordly funny read is How I Spent My Last Night on Earth by Todd Strasser. Mix together an "astroid" hitting Earth and a girl looking for the boy of her dreams on the supposed last day as she knows it. It's a set up to keep you laughing. 

Thwonk by Joan Bauer takes a humorous turn on the legend of Cupid. Actually most of Ms. Bauer's novels have a funny twist to them. Close to Famous revolves around a young girl and her mom running away from her crazy Elvis impersonator stepfather. If you eat when you read, try Death By Eggplant a humorous story about a young man who wants to have his own cooking show. However, he needs to pass eighth grade first. There are some movies that make us laugh as well. Anything with Adam Sandler or Eddie Murphy is almost sure to get you rolling on the floor. Some suggestions are Anger Management and The Nutty Professor. I would also recommend any of the sitcoms like Everybody Loves Raymond and The King of Queens, and speaking of kings of comedy, Seinfeld.  These shows are in syndication, the New York Public Library owns them, and the good news is that you can pick them up with a valid library card.  

Programming at the library can also tickle your funny bone. In fact, in January, The Morris Park Branch Library will be hosting The Comedy Club for young adults ages 12 to 18 where we are calling all class comics to brush up on your best jokes with comedy master, Tara. The program will be Tuesday January 10, 17 and 24 at 4:00 pm. Until then enjoy a funny book or movie and keep laughing. 

See also: Notes From a Life-Long Learner: Comedy Writing

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