Saturday, May 30, 2015

Catholic humor (essays)

I've been thinking about humor.

No, not because I've been looking in the mirror lately, because, after all, that's more likely to inspire thoughts about tragedy.

Humor as in humorous essays.

These thoughts were inspired by Dave Barry appearing on World Over Live, a show not normally devoted to humor (except when they have on Roma Downey and Mark Burnett marketing their latest Biblical Epics and quasi-Biblical soap operas). The segment was amusing, and Barry cited a favorite author, humorist Robert Benchley.

I like both Barry and Benchley.

It got me wondering about other humorists. I used to love the work of Art Buchwald. I wish newspapers would run more humor columns, rather than the partisan all-too-serious pieces they tend to run these days. Steve Martin's short pieces are amusing. The New Yorker has occasional good pieces. David Sedaris and Nora Ephron come to mind, though I don't read them as much as I probably should. There are others who sometimes tickle my fancy - though not consistently because of too many writers' tendencies to be cynical, sarcastic, or inappropriate these days.

Of course, there may be many great humor writers out there I don't know about writing for magazines I don't get, who don't get run in the local paper, or who post online.

But I also wondered further about Catholic humor. I plead total ignorance when it comes to such writers. Are there Catholic essayists out there who write humor? Too often it seems when faith comes in humor goes out.

As Chesterton noted, “It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.”

So who are the Catholic humorists? (Besides Jim Gaffigan.)

Pax et bonum

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