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I Found This Funny: My Favorite Pieces of Humor and Some That May Not Be Funny At All
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I Found This Funny: My Favorite Pieces of Humor and Some That May Not Be Funny At All

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3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  430 ratings  ·  77 reviews
I Found This Funny is a compilation of work by some of Judd Apatow's favorite authors. The book showcases many different styles of writing, from fiction to short humor to essays to comedy sketches to poetry. Featured writers include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Conan O'Brien, Lorrie Moore, Paul Feig, Jonathan Franzen, Alice Munro, and many more. Proceeds from the book will go to 8 ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by McSweeney's (first published October 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,255)
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Aryn
Dear Judd,
You've certainly got a deliciously dark side to you, don't you? Tell your critics who complain that your title is deceiving that perhaps they should actually read the entire title, especially the ...and Some That May Not Be Funny At All part. However, considering you're one of the men behind some of the laugh-out-loud movies of our day, just putting your name on the book would probably be considered "deceiving" and "false advertising."

That being said, I think your book probably could h
...more
Amanda
I'm always unsure how to rate short story collections. Should I rate it on how many of the short stories I liked? Or how cohesive I found the collection? I liked most of the stories/poems/plays in this collection, though I can't say all were funny. Some, like Tony Hoagland's poetry or Nora Ephron's contribution, made me laugh out loud. Ernest Hemingway caused my lip to curl. One selection that I found particularly meaningful was Jonathan Franzen's excerpt, a meditation/memory of Charles Schulz's ...more
Khris Sellin
Nice collection of writings put together by Judd Apatow, the Freaks & Geeks guy. I would say some of these pieces are hilarious, but most of them are not funny but "funny," as in quirky, and some even a little creepy. A lot of my faves in here, from Dave Eggers, Conan O'Brien, Steve Martin, Miranda July, David Sedaris, Jonathan Franzen (great piece about Charles Schulz), Jon Stewart, etc., etc.
Matt Kozlov
Some gems in here. Some eyebrow raisers.
Clark
Good, not great. I was surprised to find that I had actually already encountered a fair amount of the stuff in this book in other places. In a way it felt a little warmed over. That being said, great pieces by Steve Martin, Jonathan Ames, Raymond Carver, Dave Eggers, and Rodney Rothman. I also really loved the Robert Smigel and Conan O'Brien pilot. It was something I had heard Conan talk about before, but it was a real delight to actually read it and kind of a bummer to know that it never took o ...more
Daniel Liddle
If you enjoy collections of short stories as well as contemporary comedic voices such as Conan O'Brian, Jon Stewart, and Bill Hicks, then this is a good read for you.

Important to note is that many of the stories are just good stories, and have little to do with an overarching comic theme. Too often we mistake books/collections on comedy to stay in the comic, but this collection explores the relation between the comic and non-comic.

Stories of note:

The stories of comedy insight, Apatow's diary o
...more
Brooke Everett
Funny, but not funny in a way that you'd immediately expect from Judd Apatow. A good portion of these are deliciously dark. While I didn't love all of them, I was happy that they were all included. Sometimes you need a kick in the pants from someone else to read something you might not otherwise. I appreciated the variety of what was included - stories, poems, drawings, and scripts. Apatow does provide a disclaimer at the end of the introduction - "To be honest, one third of this book might be d ...more
Erin
My copy is ARC.

I appreciate that all Apatow's proceeds from this book go to what sounds to be a very worthwhile charity promoting writing, so I will choose to forgive it. The book is maybe 1/3 humor (which I typically didn't find all that funny - lots of filler cartoons and one entire sitcom screenplay) and 2/3 short stories that Apatow likes...and that would be OK if most of them hadn't been lifted from a book called You've Got to Read This which I had already read (the book is, I believe, wri
...more
Nadia
Apr 12, 2011 Nadia rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: quit
I am wondering, mid-way through the book, if the "I Found This Funny" title is actually referring to "I found it funny that I'm making you read such intense and dramatic works while you *thought* you'd be reading something funny."

(There is a spoiler of one of the stories below..)
There's no doubt that the works are fascinating and emotional, and it certainly is an interesting and wide-ranging collection, but after finishing Dan Chaon's "I demand to know where you're taking me" about a wife who's
...more
Tiffany
Okay, I'll admit... I was expecting some laugh-out-loud hilarity when I first purchased this book (last Christmas, might I add...) Though, after reading Judd Apatow's introduction, it was very clear to me that this wasn't going to be HA HA funny. This novel is an anthology of short stories, sketches, poems and cartoons that Apatow put together when he decided that he needed to start reading more. Since I have never been very good at picking out short stories to read (but have enjoyed a LOT that ...more
Jay
It's marketed as a humor anthology, but the selections are mostly appalling or depressing. I know he warned me in the second half of the title, but wow! There are a few gems in among the icky stuff, e.g. Ian Frazier's "Coyote v. Acme" and Jonathan Franzen's reminiscence of his relationship with Charles Schulz's "Peanuts" through Franzen's childhood, plus works by Philip Roth and Flannery O'Connor that have appeared in better company elsewhere.

I'm grateful to this book for including some authors
...more
Steven Pattison
This might be the only collection where writing from Adam Sandler is in the same anthology with fiction from F Scott Fitzgerald.

Despite the title of this book & reputation of the famed editor there's little humor compiled but there is however some terrific fiction from Raymond Carver, Andre Dubus & Tobias Wolf and there's some great non-fiction from Paul Feig, Jonathan Franzen, Steven Martin and a profile of Bill Hicks from the New Yorker magazine.

The best "funny" piece just might be t
...more
Sarah
I found this half-assed. I appreciate the fact that Judd Apatow has a finite amount of time, and that editing a charity project is not his first priority, but much of this felt like he just picked the top few stories off the pile his interns handed him and called it done (he nearly admits to this in the foreword). I think a little more in selection, and a lot more care in sequencing the pieces (they are currently, and eternally, for that matter, alphabetically by author) would have served this b ...more
Claire
Definitely not very funny! But really good pieces by a variety of writers - a nice sampler platter of writing.
Nickie Matthews
While this collections of short stories and poems is not laugh-out-loud funny, many of the pieces are witty and entertaining. Where this collection really excels is its diversity of authors. Combining SNL scripts, person journals by Apatow himself,satirists- like David Sedaris, and classics by Hemingway, Apatow did a great job of puttng togther a great collection of works. I really enjoyed and have already revisted some of my favorites. Check out the piece by Steve Martin, surprisingly well writ ...more
Janet
Didn't find many of the essays funny so I stopped reading...
Wysteria
Uh. I'm not really sure what to make of this collection. There's really no cohesive thread that links all the bits of writing together. They are presented in alphabetical order by author, which is strange. None of the stories are particularly "funny" but they are all brilliant examples of good writing. Some pieces I liked better than others, especially Tony hoagland's poems, but nothing really stuck out as the definitive piece of work, the one thing that I would remember forever. Overall, not te ...more
Matt
Not all the humour pieces hit, but the ones that do are great. This is a collection I can see myself owning someday
Caitlin
A pretty good collection of some funny and some not so funny written pieces. I was familiar with more pieces than I thought when I ordered it from McSweeney's (probably from my early college days when I was convinced I was a fiction writer...) some of the pieces stand out, some don't, and some don't make sense in the context of the book,but its a great collection to have a around and thumb through. PLUS all the proceeds go to 826 National with is an AWESOME organization that has branches in most ...more
Emily Yelencich
Such a great collection! I don't know why I am remotely surprised that Judd Apatow has excellent literary taste, but I found myself more delighted with each story. As Apatow states himself, not all the stories are funny...I don't even think that the stated 2/3 of the book are funny; however, this selection has more to do with a specific sensibility, taste and persuasion. I am very excited to dig deeper into these picks and read more short stories, novels and poetry by the authors exhibited in th ...more
EMP
The WHOLE title tells you not to expect every entry to be funny. Plus, he says it again in his intro and mentions he was feeling weird when he made the selections. I love Judd Apatow, but I'm not a fan of short stories in general. It's like the writer has license to start building an excellent story and then end it abruptly with something choppy and stupid. Just me, I guess. Enjoyed the introductions to some interesting writers, but I only really liked about a third of his choices.
Brad
Jan 15, 2014 Brad marked it as gave-up
Apatow's introduction makes it pretty hard to stay motivated enough to read this entire collection. He basically says, "I had my assistant read a bunch and show me stuff I might like. A lot of it isn't even funny, but here it is." It doesn't help that the care an editor might put into ordering the stories was reduced to alphabetical order by author.

Suffice to say, the word "Funny" in large print on the cover is a tad misleading...but hopefully the book made tons of money for 826.
Meredith
I only chased this one down because I was on the hunt for works by Miranda July (love her) So admittedly, I've only read ten, maybe more, stories out of this collection of more than 30 anecdotes, essays and short stories. Apatow is a modern hero of humour and he has edited an excellent anthology including Steve Martin, Hemmingway, Carver, Conan O'Brian, really all walks of comedy. And of course Miranda July did not disappoint.
Daniel
Solid collection despite the misleading title. And yes, Apatow even talks in the intro about how some of the pieces are intentionally dark (the Agee) or weird (the cartoons). Still, it feels like a missed opportunity, given how broad and interesting the whole area of humor writing is. Maybe a Volume Two could make a better run at the idea. Some strong pieces, though, particularly the Handey, Sedaris, Feig, Lethem, a couple others.
Beth
Well, this was a good consistent collection of short pieces, but at least half of them were not remotely funny (nor were they intended to be), so I'm not sure this book is going to reach the right audience. Perhaps Apatow was trying to draw in his unwitting fans and then ambush them with some fantastic short stories that they wouldn't normally read. This also included some great poems by Tony Hoagland.
Janet
A real mix of writing styles, with a few comics, some poems, some excerpts from memoirs, a couple of short scripts, and a bunch of short stories. Also a mix in terms of quality; some were great, some really not worth reading. I ended up reading most of them and enjoying maybe half. Favorites for me tended to be the shorter items (the poems and comics) and a couple of the short stories.
Suzanne
This was quite an interesting selection of pieces. Only a few of them were conventionally funny. Others made me think by being included here---a good example is Flannery O'Connors' "Good Christian People" and Raymond Carver's "Elephant" If you like your humor thought-provoking and a non-mainstream, and you like to be challenged a little in your reading, this is a good collection.
Pmlaub
It's thick and perhaps too full, but so much fun! The LA Times story about Richard Nixon had me up all night laughing. I also enjoyed sinking my teeth into the dark side of humor. Based on Apatow's own reflection, I re-read Carver, O'Connor, Fitzgerald, and others with new eyes and found them deliciously hilarious. The Miranda July story was funny, sad, and downright shocking.
Gene Maranga
Dec 30, 2010 Gene Maranga is currently reading it
A collection that has proved to be moving in many ways. I've only just started reading it and I've caught myself smiling as well as feeling emotions that can only be explained as deeply moving. It's not a LOL type of book. Expect the highs and lows of Freaks and Geeks to reemerge with an intelligent humor derived from self-pity and shame.
I can promise I'll finish it soon
Julie Jones
This was a wonderful collection of pieces, albeit badly named. Most were nor funny or were very dark humor. I loved the range of authors- Pulitzer prize winning all the way to a failed sitcom pilot. I bought this for my brothers birthday before I read it and I'm glad I did. I'm also grateful this is the book I took on vacation with me- perfect to pick up and our down!
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Judd Apatow is an Emmy Award-winning American film producer, screenwriter, director and former stand-up comedian. He is best known for producing a distinct series of critically and commercially successful comedy-style films, including Anchorman, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Talladega Nights, Knocked Up, Superbad, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Step Brothers, Pineapple Expres ...more
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