“And, lo, the three wise men did see the young child with Mary his mother, fell down, and laughed; for Mary had given unto them the same bottle of myrrh the year prior.” — Snark 2:11
It’s that most special of seasons once again, when the last leaf has fallen, the days grow ever-shorter, and we draw the year to a close by passive aggressively insulting our loved ones and eating far too much cheese.
Between supply chain shortages, lingering pandemic, and the de facto legalization of coup attempts, everything is still a mess, and we know you’ve been too preoccupied with your ongoing nervous breakdown to get your shopping done. Lucky for you, Weekly Humorist is here with our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide!
You’ll find a wide variety of books here—novels, parodies, cartoon and poetry collections, nonfiction—all bound by the shared trait of being absolutely hilarious. You’ll find books by dear friends of ours, books we’ve put out ourselves (hey, we gotta make a living, too), and books that we just plain old love. (Books!) Any and all are sure to make wonderful presents for your comedy-loving friends and family.
So give your loved ones the gift of guffaw this holiday season with one of these hilarious titles!
Frog and Toad Are Doing Their Best: Bedtime Stories for Trying Times [A Parody]
By Jennie Egerdie; Illustrated by Ellie Hajdu
This parody of the children’s classic delivers a double-dose of wit and nostalgia as a balm for our modern troubles.
Curses for Christmas: A Beezle, Buzzle & Barb Book
By Brandon Hicks
The latest in Brandon Hicks’ Beezle, Buzzle & Barb series, this hilarious, gorgeously illustrated book is a sure-to-be holiday classic!
How to Be an Old Person: Everything to Know for the Newly Old, Retiring, Elderly, or Considering
By Brian Boone
If you’re like us, you’ve enjoyed Brian Boone’s writing for years, and as with everything he does, this book is ridiculously clever, delightfully absurd, and very, very funny. Whether you’re well into your golden years or just an old bag at heart, this gift book is for you.
Send Help! A Collection of Marooned Cartoons
Edited by Jon Adams and Ellis Rosen
It would be near-impossible to find a better pair than Jon Adams and Ellis Rosen to edit this compilation of that most-classic of tropes, the desert island cartoon.
Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession
By Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell
Can’t get enough true crime? You’re not alone. New Yorker cartoonist Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell explores our cultural fascination with the macabre in this unconventional graphic tale that’s part memoir, part criticism, part true crime history.
Beet Life: A Health & Lifestyle Guide to Show Your Life Who’s Boss, By Your Girl @Beets_By_Beth: Beth Gethard
By Tyler Holme
[Buy link: https://booksbybeetsbybeth.com/]
This self-published work by comedy writer Tyler Holme is a delightfully silly takedown of the social media influencer in all their vapid, deluded narcissism.
How to Survive a Human Attack: A Guide for Werewolves, Mummies, Cyborgs, Ghosts, Nuclear Mutants, and Other Movie Monsters
By K. E. Flann
The horror genre can feel rather redundant, given humanity’s track record the past few years. At last, there’s a guide to help monsters defend themselves against the scourge of normal people.
Before & Laughter: A Life-Changing Book
By Jimmy Carr
[Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HG18CYW]
This memoir from comic and all-around funny person from England Jimmy Carr offers readers an entertaining, insightful, and (hopefully) instructive look at the early career of the UK media personality.
Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark
By Cassandra Peterson
This memoir from the Queen of Schlock recently made headlines when Cassandra Peterson came out as queer.
Rude Talk in Athens: Ancient Rivals, the Birth of Comedy, and a Writer’s Journey Through Greece
By Mark Haskell Smith
[Bookshop link: https://bookshop.org/books/rude-talk-in-athens-ancient-rivals-the-birth-of-comedy-and-a-writer-s-journey-through-greece/9781951213343?aid=15298]
[Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1951213343ref=cm_sw_r_as_gl_api_glt_fabc_QVSK2XJJ187S57JCJBQJ?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&linkCode=ml1&tag=weeklyhumoris-20]
If you’re a comedy nerd like us, you’ll enjoy this witty exploration of the subversive comedies of ancient Greece and their indelible influence on the Western canon.
The Dating Dare
By Jayci Lee
[Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250621127]
One of Buzzfeed’s “2021 Romance Novels You Need to Read this Summer,” we see no reason why this delightful romantic comedy wouldn’t be equally well-paired with a cup of hot cocoa and a knit blanket.
Greg Maxwell’s Inferno: The Erotic, Judeo-Christian, Modern-Day Odyssey No One Asked For
By Keith James
This debut novel from Keith James promises gut-busting laughs on every page. Truly, one of the craziest, most hilarious comic novels we’ve seen in recent years.
I Am “Why Do I Need Venmo?” Years Old: Adventur es in Aging
By Janine Annett; Illustrated by Ali Solomon
Happy New Year? If you’re currently mourning the ineluctable march of time, then this title is for you!
Seven Easy Steps To Go To Hell: A Beezle, Buzzle & Barb Book
By Brandon Hicks
A tremendously funny cartoon gag book spoofing the seven deadly sins and the first book in Hicks’ Beezle, Buzzle & Barb series. (Note: This and Curses for Christmas would make a great two-part gift for the cartoon-lover or Satan-worshipper in your family!)
Eat Your Heart Out
By Kelly Devos
You don’t see many comic novels these days–and certainly not many zombie comic YA novels—so this recent title from Penguin understandably caught our eye.
Peterdown: An Epic Social Satire, Full of Comedy, Character and Anarchic Radicalism
By David Annand
[Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1472155858]
An ambitious satire of 21st-century Britain that explores questions of community, place, and modern development.
Lyssa Strata: A Comedy for the Frustrated
By Martti Nelson
A delightful and inspiring debut novel, inspired by Aristophanes’ ancient Greek comedy, Lysistrata.
The Witch Demands a Retraction: Fairy Tale Reboots for Adults
By Melissa Balmain; Illustrated by Ron Barrett
Vibrantly illustrated by the legendary Ron Barrett (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Melissa Balmain’s poems are uproarious and impeccably written.
Big Time: Stories
By Jen Spyra
[Bookshop link: https://bookshop.org/books/big-time-stories/9781984855268?aid=15298]
We’re big fans of Jen Spyra’s writing. Her short stories are insane and absolutely hilarious. This book has been a recent bright spot in the Humor genre.
Slouchers: The Novelization
By Mike Sacks
One of Vulture’s Top 5 Humor Books of 2020, this novel spoofs the Gen-X, grunge-laden movies of the early 1990s.
Dumb Jokes for Smart Folks
By Jessica Delfino
Why do the dads of the world have a monopoly on corny jokes? Jessica Delfino asserts mom-joke preeminence is this hilarious collection.
The Elements of Stress and the Pursuit of Happy-ish in This Current Sh*tstorm
By Bob Eckstein and Michael Shaw
This guide to reducing anxiety and depression is filled with dozens of hilarious cartoons by two of The New Yorker‘s finest.
Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life
By Ali Wong
Fans of Ali Wong’s fiercely funny standup specials will enjoy this humorous collection of stories and advice, written as letters to Wong’s two daughters.
A Gaslight in the Attic
By Matt Lassen
One of the most carefully studied Shel Silverstein parodies we’ve seen in a long time, this illustrated collection of poems skewers all the blowhards and hatemongers of the Trump era.
#Veryfat #Verybrave: The Fat Girl’s Guide to Being #Brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-in-the-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini
By Nicole Byer
The infectiously effervescent Nicole Byer (Netflix’s Nailed It!) teaches us the value of joy and self-love.
Great Men of Science
By Brian Boone
The single best word to describe this novel about a miniature clone of Thomas Edison traveling through time to steal patents is BONKERS.
If You Give the President a Twitter Account
By Matt Lassen
This hilarious children’s book parody is cleverly written and vividly illustrated by a seasoned MAD magazine veteran.
By Charles Yu
Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction, this experimental novel tackles Asian stereotypes in TV and film with pathos and humor.
Toxic Femininity in the Workplace: Office Gender Politics Are a Battlefield
By Ginny Hogan
Ginny Hogan has been a favorite comedian and writer of ours for some time, and in this book, she mines her experience working at tech start-ups to hysterical ends.
From the Campaign Trail or Thereabouts
By Michael Bleicher and Andy Newton
A biting political satire ripped from the headlines of the 2016 US presidential election. Keep an eye out for Bleicher and Newton’s follow-up novel, The Carlyles, in 2022.
The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Book Cartoons
Edited by Bob Eckstein
New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein salutes books and bookstores in this excellent compilation.
New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay
By Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor, and Carrie Wittmer
If you don’t know about New Erotica for Feminists, can you even call yourself a comedy fan? Written by the immortal founders of The Belladonna, this book became an instant classic and is sure to please the radical feminists in your life.
How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings: Non-threatening Leadership Strategies for Women
By Sarah Cooper
We all know Sarah Cooper from her viral Trump lip-syncs, but did you also know she’s a heck of a writer? Check out this hilarious collection and find out for yourselves.
The Illustrated History of the Snowman
By Bob Eckstein
This NYT bestseller from author and cartoonist Bob Eckstein is a tried and true classic of the holiday season.
Based on a True Story: Not a Memoir
By Norm MacDonald
This sleeper hit casts the beloved SNL veteran and standup comic in a heavily fictionalized, through-the-looking-glass depiction of his comedy career.
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Andy Newton is a writer living in Astoria, Queens. His work has been published by National Lampoon and McSweeney’s.