Sometimes You Just Need a Silly Story

Police Squad

With all of the serious stories out there, one has to wonder if there’s still a place for some silliness.  I’m not talking about a story that throws in puns and sight gags, but one that sets out to be off-the-wall.  Thinks like ‘Naked Gun’ or ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’.  You still have great and coherent stories, but there is a zaniness to events.  I guess we still have comedy movies out there, which seem to be predominantly about crudeness or determined to have a message.  They still typically take place in reality and don’t try anything that makes an audience laugh in a WTF moment.

I tried this with Crossing Bedlam and its sequel, but I don’t think I was as successful as I thought.  It was still very much an action adventure with some bizarre elements thrown in for laughs.  Maybe that’s the best we can do too since comedy might require a secondary genre to help it along.  ‘Naked Gun’ had crime adventure, ‘Hitchhikers’ had science-fiction, and most sitcoms tend to be a slice of life or coming of adventure thing.  So, you probably do need some stable elements to make the humor hit harder.  If all you have is craziness then you can lose people who would like some kind of plot.  Even an anime I watched called ‘Amagi Brilliant Park’ had a story, which was trying to save a magical amusement park by getting 250,000 guests in 3 months.  It was off-the-wall crazy and I can’t even find a gif to do it justice.  I mean, it started with the female lead asking the male lead out on a date at gunpoint.  Even with the insanity, it was a pretty good story that made the comedy work in its favor.

Maybe we tend to sacrifice silliness for the seriousness of adulthood because we take our jobs as authors so seriously.  We want to be seen as a mature professional, so we might instinctively shy away from things that go too far.  Kind of like we establish ourselves and then we can let our guard down.  I didn’t even consider making a character like Lloyd Tenay until I had a lot of Legends of Windemere under my belt.  Makes some sense since we don’t always release our full zaniness with friends until we’re comfortable enough to feel that they won’t turn us into the men in white coats.  Still, it does feel like we’re seeing less and less in terms of silly stories.  At least in books, which could mean that people are becoming more accustomed to comedy been seen or heard instead of reading about it.

I’m genuinely trying to think of the last book I read that had a lot of comedy, but I’m coming up blank.  I don’t want to say it was ‘Hitchhikers’ because that was a very long time ago.  So, I’m going to open up the floor and see if anybody knows of some good comedic books.  At the very least, maybe we’ll come up with a few thoughts on silly stories in general.  Do people even like them?  Is it because people have become very critical of comedy?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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18 Responses to Sometimes You Just Need a Silly Story

  1. L. Marie says:

    Books written for kids have a lot of humor. I remember reading THE DAY MY BUTT WENT PSYCHO to my niece and nephew. ( They loved it!


  2. Sue Vincent says:

    I think it depends on your sense of humour. Terry Pratchett always gets me… and some of Alan Richardson’s books, especially Sex and Light: How to Google your way to godhood ( which is a serious book on a serious subject, but hilarious anyway.)


  3. quiall says:

    Even adults need a little ‘silly’ in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There is one over in your sidebar that I hoped would qualify. The Hat gets pretty zany.


  5. One of the reasons my grandson (he’s 11) and I love Big Bang Theory. We both get something different from the show, but it’s still funny.
    A couple of other oldies like Gilligan’s Island and The Munsters, never get old either 🙂


  6. It is very hard to find really funny books, I’d offer up Piers Anthony’s Xanth series however, I think he might still be writing them.


  7. We must be careful what we laugh at these days lest we insult or offend! *Smirks* We’ve traded silliness for puns and innuendos (which are usually not as humorous and more ‘hurtful’). While they have their place, I’ll take true silliness and the opportunity for loud gut-busting humor any day. 😉 “Write it and they will come.” 🙂


    • True. Sarcasm is a favorite in movies today and that tends to come with a level of cutting. You also have a lot of people who don’t get sarcasm because they take everything literally. I can’t really say I prefer one of the other though. I grew up with the puns of the Marx Brothers and the silliness of the Three Stooges. Both schools make me laugh.


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