Have you watched all the comedy specials offered by Netflix and other streaming services and need something more to lift your spirits?
If so, consider listening to audiobooks written and narrated by comedians.
Just as you would prefer listening to a standup comedian live on stage over reading the comedy script, similarly books written by humorists get funnier and more enjoyable when you hear them narrated in the voice of the authors themselves. The addition of the right inflection and timing by the author who is most conversant with or has lived through his/her material can elevate the experience of the listener. The anecdotes, observations and reflections can feel more real and provoke genuine laughter as they are delivered in the original voices.
Laughter is the best medicine and here are some audiobooks available on Overdrive and Hoopla that are guaranteed to have you in splits in no time!
America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t by Stephen Colbert
It’s high time we restored America to the greatness it never lost! Covering subjects ranging from healthcare (“I shudder to think where we’d be without the wide variety of prescription drugs to treat our maladies, such as think-shuddering”) to the economy (“Life is giving us lemons, and we’re shipping them to the Chinese to make our lemon-flavored lemonade”) to food (“Feel free to deep fry this book-it’s a rich source of fiber”), Stephen gives America the dose of truth it needs to get back on track.
The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman
One of the most honest and over-the-top dirty comedians in the biz pulls no punches as she writes about sex, drugs, depression, and wetting the bed well into her teens.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon—from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence, Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy. Includes special, never-before-solicited opinions on breastfeeding, princesses, Photoshop, the electoral process, and Italian rum cake!
Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
The comedian expresses all the joys and horror of being a dad with 5 kids, in a sharply observed, explosively funny way. From new parents to empty nesters to Jim’s twenty-something fans, everyone will recognize their own families in these hilarious takes on everything from cousins (“celebrities for little kids”) to growing up in a big family (“I always assumed my father had six children so he could have a sufficient lawn crew”) to changing diapers in the middle of the night (“like The Hurt Locker but much more dangerous”) to bedtime (aka “Negotiating with Terrorists”).
Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson
Written in her trademark unfiltered and witty style, Robinson’s collection is a call to arms. Outfitted with on-point pop culture references, these essays tackle a wide range of topics: giving feminism a tough-love talk on intersectionality, telling society’s beauty standards to kick rocks, and calling foul on our culture’s obsession with work. Robinson also gets personal, exploring money problems she’s hidden from her parents, how dating is mainly a warmed-over bowl of hot mess, and definitely most important, meeting Bono not once, but twice.
A collection of hilarious personal essays and political commentary from the charming, feminist and wickedly funny creator and host of the “Throwing Shade” podcast and TV Land show. Gibson’s essays expose the hidden rules that make life as a woman harder and deconstructs them in a way that’s bold and funny and provocative. Whether it’s shaming women for having their periods, allowing them into STEM fields but never treating them like they truly belong, or dictating strict rules for how they should dress in every situation, Gibson feels that oppression is both organized and chaotic, purposeful and unintentional.
A library of laugh-out-loud, award-winning recordings featuring George himself performing many of his best bits. The set includes Grammy Winners Braindroppings and Napalm & Silly Putty
with his acerbic observations, manic musings, in-your-face questions, and witty word play, all delivered with wicked glee.
Housebroken: Admissions of an Untidy Life by Laurie Notaro
This is a rollicking collection of essays showcasing this bestselling author’s irreverent wit and inability to feel shame from defying nature in the quest to make her own Twinkies, to begging her new neighbors not to become urban livestock keepers, to teaching her eight-year-old nephew about hoboes. Notaro also chronicles her chronic misfortune in the domestic arts, including cooking, cleaning, and putting on Spanx while sweaty (which should technically qualify as an Olympic sport).
From the co-creator and co-star of the hit series Broad City,a hilarious and poignant collection about love, loss, work, comedy, and figuring out who you really are when you thought you already knew, all told in the sharp, wildly funny, and relatable voice that has endeared Abbi to critics and fans alike.
I’ll Have What She’s Having: My Adventures in Celebrity Dieting by Rebecca Harrington
A hilarious look at the eating habits of the fit and famous—from Gwyneth’s goji berry and quail egg concoctions to Jackie Kennedy’s baked potato and Beluga caviar regimen— Harrington leaves no cabbage soup unstirred in her wickedly funny, wildly absurd quest to diet like the stars.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)by Mindy Kaling
In this hilarious instant classic, the creator of The Mindy Project and Never Have I Ever invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood.
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
Complete with sound effects, swear words, and scary situations, Jenny shares embarrassing and hilarious stories (many involving livestock and taxidermy) from childhood to motherhood. An absolute romp!
This wise, enlightening, and hilarious book that not only collects the best of Jewish humor passed down from generation to generation, but explains the cultural expressions and anxieties behind the laughs. With his background as a scholar and public-radio host, Krasny delves deeply into the themes, topics, and form of Jewish humor: chauvinism undercut by irony and self-mockery, the fear of losing cultural identity through assimilation, the importance of vocal inflection in joke-telling, and calls to communal memory, including the use of Yiddish.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Heartfelt, witty, and able to dip into a seemingly bottomless well of bonkers family dynamics and childhood memories, listening to David Sedaris read his stories is like swaddling yourself in a warm blanket. You will be happy you listened.
Nobody Cares: Essays by Anne T. Donahue
A frank, funny personal essay collection about work, failure, friendship, and the messy business of being alive in your twenties and thirties. Whether she’s giving a signature pep talk, railing against summer, or describing her own mental health struggles, Donahue reminds us that failure is normal, saying no to things is liberating, and that we’re all a bunch of beautiful disasters – and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Pure Drivel by Steve Martin
In this ingeniously funny collection of humorous riffs, readers will discover that Martin is a master of the written word. Hilariously funny and intelligent in their skewering of the topic at hand, the audiobook’s pieces, some of which first appeared in The New Yorker, feature Martin at his finest. With a playwright’s ear for dialogue, a sense of irony only Steve Martin could muster, and a first-class comic ability to perfectly time the punch line, Pure Drivel will have listeners crying with laughter.
Hilarious and heartfelt observations on aging from one of America’s favorite comedians, and a look back at a remarkable career. With his trademark wit and heart, Crystal outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. Includes a portion recorded in front of a live studio audience.
The Totally Unscientific Study Of The Search For Human Happiness by Paula Poundstone
Is there a secret to happiness? Beloved comedian Paula Poundstone conducts a series of “thoroughly scientific” experiments to find out, offering herself up as a guinea pig and recording her data for the benefit of all humankind. Armed with her unique brand of self-deprecating wit and the scientific method, in each chapter Paula tries out a different get-happy hypothesis. She gets in shape with taekwondo. She drives fast behind the wheel of a Lamborghini. She communes with nature while camping with her daughter. Swing dancing? Meditation? Volunteering? Does any of it bring her happiness? And more important, can the happiness last when she returns to the daily demands of her chaotic life? The results are irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny, and pointedly relevant to our times.
The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
From stand-up comedian, actress, and breakout star of Girls Trip, comes this sidesplitting, hysterical, edgy, and unflinching collection of (extremely) personal essays, as fearless as the author herself.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby
Whether Irby (author and blogger) is talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets; explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette (she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”); detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes; sharing awkward sexual encounters; or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms (hang in there for the Costco loot!); she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you’re invited! The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents. Also included? A one night only live performance at Poehler’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Hear Amy read a chapter live in front of a young and attractive Los Angeles audience.
-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian