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The Naked Jape: Uncovering The Hidden World Of Jokes

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  778 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Is Man the only animal that laughs? Why are clowns so scary? Do jokes make children more intelligent? Are men funnier than women? Can God take a joke? What's brown and sticky? Top comedian Jimmy Carr and fellow joke-lover Lucy Greeves tour the strange and wonderful world of jokes - to find out what's funny and why. With over 400 of the best jokes ever told, The Naked Jape ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Penguin UK (first published January 1st 2006)
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3.79  · 
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 ·  778 ratings  ·  57 reviews

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This is a fun book! A professional comic and his friend, who seems to be some kind of academic type, collaborate to write a treatise on the nature of humour. They've done a good job, and there is at least one joke on every page - a really varied assortment too, ranging from traditional staples (What's brown and sticky?) to sophisticated meta-jokes. Some of the ones I liked most are in my updates.

You can read it for the jokes alone, but I thought the discussion was at least as worthwhile. They lo
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, humour
Absorbing, funny and surprisingly well written. This is not a shameless celebrity cash-in, this is apparently something which the two authors cared about and wanted to do properly.

They manage the tricky balancing act of fitting plenty of laughs in the text while also taking the subject seriously and giving the reader a really informative and fascinating discussion. Their investigation into every aspect of jokology takes in Elegba the trickster god, The Wise Men of Gotham, the ancient Roman idio
John G.
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, humorology
The best book I've ever read about humor and laughing, from one of my favorite comics too. Very deep and serious examination of humor, its history, its functions, its value. Great, great jokes too!
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I considered covering this up when I read it outside, as Jimmy Carr is one of those comedians who make ironic or ambiguous offensive jokes, then quite happily accept ticket money from people who wouldn't know irony or ambiguity if they hit themselves in the face with them.

Al Murray, he's the worst one for it. And he has such kind eyes.

Anyway, having said that, I like Jimmy, and his jokes make me laugh SO PERHAPS THE JOKE IS ON ME. This book is a very good exploration of all the different aspects
Steve Mitchell
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Although there is a joke at the foot of every page and a dozen between chapters, this is not a particularly funny book. This is a genuine attempt to locate the place that the joke and laughter occupy in the human psyche. As the quote from E. B. White says at the start of chapter five; “Analysing humour is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested, and the frog dies.”
This is a genuinely well thought out treatise into the nature of humour and well worth a look provided you realise that aro
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fantastic. I'm a huge fan of Jimmy Carr, so I was expecting an informative book with a humorous and engaging narrator. I was not disappointed. (Kudos to Lucy Greeves as well for her part in the writing--don't want to leave her out, because they co-wrote this so flawlessly that I don't know who wrote what). I enjoyed the scattered jokes, the observations on the role humor plays in our lives, and the stories about the effects humor has had on specific people throughout history.

To save an
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Amusing read but no great insight into comedy. Surprised by the amount of toilet humour and 'Carry-On'-style innuendo in a book with pretensions to be a bit more thoughtful. What came across clearly from the authors was that there are still taboos in comedy for modern comedians, the taboos now are anything that contest the brainless liberal ideology that underpins their own thinking.
The research quoted was just confirmation bias to give the appearance of depth to a book that studiously avoided a
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Surprisingly scholarly and incredibly boring. Read it strictly for the jokes and skip 90% of the theories and rhetoric.
Jun 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
I bought and read this believing it to be a 'how to get more humor in your delivery book'. It isn't.

In this tome, Carr and his co-author repeat the same turgid point chapter after chapter, "Jokes are funny. People like them. If you deconstruct them they loose what makes them funny. "

But deconstruct is precisely what Carr and Comrade try to do. Without much success! They do succeed in making the same points over and over and over, though. Yawn.

Carr includes a few examples of studies done on hum
Richard Ings
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
A somewhat interesting exploration of the origins of humour, though mainly flimsy and anecdotal. Still, there was an interesting insight into the nature of the offensive joke - that it is possible that as long as we are laughing at people (even if it is hurtful) we at least recognise their humanity; it is only when we dehumanise them that jokes become irrelevant. With this in mind, it is still largely dominated by a snobbish 'you can't joke about that' mentality when it comes to comedians such a ...more
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-brits, non-fic
If you know what you are looking for, this book can GIVE YOU EVERYTHING. Okay, that was an exaggeration, but this book is fantastic IF you are looking for a book ABOUT jokes and humor, the history, the politics, the culture of joking. It is a sort of anthropology. THIS IS NOT A JOKE BOOK. There are jokes on every page (straight forward, lining the bottom of the pages, I mean) and in between each chapter. But the text is a brilliant survey of the joke taken from different perspectives: myths, off ...more
Feb 07, 2013 added it
Recommends it for: those who want an answer to the question "Are you havin' a laugh?"
Shelves: freebox, falsestarts
Man walks into a bar...
I got about three-fourths through this book, which was quite fairly enjoyable and mildly thought provoking, when I took it into a regular Friday night Chinatown haunt, and, due to some sadly predictable stupidity between the drunken owner and a douchebag patron, decided that I wanted to be elsewhere. It didn't seem worthwhile wading back into the shitstorm (the cops had everything under control) to retrieve it, so I guess I'll never know how it turns out. I'm sure it'll be
Aug 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Like most people you probably think Jimmy Carr is a bit of a cock. That occasionally funny bloke who lives on comedy pannel shows and those shows about the 50 most blah blah blah movies/show/events that seem to fill up the Saturday night TV schedule whilst sucking the life out of you. Actual his stand-up material is quite good if a bit formulaic.
Well along with Lucy Greeves (ok she probably did most of the work) he has gone and written a rather brilliant book about comedy. There's also a joke an
Frederic Kerr
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jimmy Carr is a British comic who doesn't do bits, chunks or long form observations. He writes and performs jokes and has thought a lot about that process. This book explores what makes us laugh and traces the sociology and history of jokes. At the bottom of every page is a joke, some unattributed, some by Carr and many by others. Carr and co author Greeves met at Cambridge and their prose is informed and entertaining. Highly recommended. This book was published in the UK as "The Naked Jape." Th ...more
Alex Bleach
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Alex by:
Shelves: used-to-own
Definitely a good history of jokes and joking. Many glaring omissions fails to acknowledge many of the UK 70s comedians who paved the way for alternative comedians as a reaction; instead we get the typical "Bernard Manning was racist". Too many quotes from Jimmy Carr's jokes, we know he co-wrote the book, but in places it feels more like a vanity project than an attempt to cover the history of jokes. The book also drifts into feeling a lot like somebody's university media studies thesis and neve ...more
Darrin Woods
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's got Jimmy Carr in, which makes it aces already. I am very impressed with the balance of scholarly study and a relaxed tone in this volume. If you want to read a book about jokes, not just of jokes, then I would suggest this one.
Aug 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, humor
This is a good overview of the research and theory behind humor. The authors try a little too hard to be funny themselves; sometimes I would rather read it in a straightforward tone. It's fun and interesting, though, very well-researched, and a good gateway to other resources in the field.
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
It's been a few years since I read it, but the more I think about it, the more I believe this is the best non-fiction book I've ever read, leaving a more lasting impression on me, as a person, than any other.
Ray Savarda
The text is rather not funny, giving an wide-ranging analysis of jokes and history, etc. Many of the "bottom-of-the-page" (one on most every page!) jokes are pretty funny, and the section of longer jokes before every chapter holds many funny ones also.
Overall, a decent read.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-gave-up
I only read the first two chapters of this book. I doubt I will finish reading it; at least not in the new future. I found that it was just repeating the same point over and over, and not even then jokes at the ends of chapters were making it worthwhile.
Josephine Myles
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Not only a really interesting dissection of how jokes and humour in general work, but it's a joke book too. I laughed out loud many times while reading! You don't even have to like Jimmy Carr to enjoy the book ;)
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. Funny, informative, a great non-fiction read (and I don't say that very often).
Ven Benables
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this in a charity shop so my cash went to Barnado's rather than some offshore tax haven. Surprisingly absorbing and well researched book.
Jul 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book about the history of jokes, why we laugh, etc. and it contains a lot of jokes that are great fun. A wonderful summer read.
Jul 29, 2012 marked it as to-read
Slowly walking through this one.
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny, microhistory
This book is a funny look at jokes that works well. They explore joking in our society, history, what it's for, how humour is useful, theories of humour, offense, and every other part of joking.
David Raffin
Mar 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
An interesting book on the subject of jokes.
Compiled by the comedian Jimmy Carr ("Throwing acid is wrong. In some people's eyes.")
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-checkout
Plenty of entertaining jokes, plus interesting observations on humor.
Ellen Evers
Mar 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Nice overview. On one hand it's great that the authors tried to be scientific, on the other hand, they did not manage to distinguish between good research and weird speculation.
Farhat Baig
Jan 09, 2011 rated it liked it
nice attempt to explain why we like jokes. interspersed with one liners throughout (one per page)
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James Anthony Patrick "Jimmy" Carr (born 15 September 1972) is an English comedian and humourist, known for his deadpan delivery, dark humour, and use of edgy one-liners. He is also a writer, actor and presenter of radio and television. Carr moved to a career in comedy in 2000 and has become a successful British comedian. After becoming established as a stand-up comedian, Carr began to appear in a ...more
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