Jimmy Carr has co-written a book called The Naked Jape in which he explains how to tell jokes.
Not only is this like Hitler writing a book on international diplomacy, it is clear from the extracts in The Sunday Telegraph that he has nothing interesting to say on the subject. Aside from recapping some classic one-liners that don’t work on paper, it’s full of well-worn observations about the power of shock, the importance of timing, and the fact that ‘k’ and ‘oo’ sounds are inherently funny.
There are, however, hints at why Jimmy Carr himself fails to be funny so regularly (however many ‘k’ and ‘oo’ sounds he uses). He advises, for example, that comedians should “project a demeanour of relaxed confidence”; so that’s what he’s trying to do! I’m sorry to break it to you Jimmy, it’s coming across as a demeanour of being an unpleasant, arrogant dickhead.
And on that subject, I read that David Blunkett’s book has only sold 768 copies in its first week of publication.
That isn’t very many.
While I am enjoying my continued feeling of glorious triumph over Blunkett (if you recall, my blog brought about his downfall), I would say that if you’re torn between buying his book and Carr’s, please buy the Blunkett – if he doesn’t shift a few more books he may redirect his poisonous personality (which in the world of literature just mingles nicely) back towards political ambitions (which, I believe his book makes clear, are to eventually run the world).