News

Inside Jeremy Strong’s naturally funny mind

By Saskia Calliste

From the The-Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog to the My Brother’s Famous Bottom series, funny man Jeremy Strong has written over a hundred books! He will be bringing some of his first class hilarity to Barnes Festival 2019 and introducing his latest book Armadillo & Hare. And this is no ordinary hare of course. For starters, this one plays the tuba... We can’t wait to hear more!

What’s the funniest book you’ve ever read? 

Oh, I have read so many really funny books. I love Andy Stanton’s MR GUM series and for adults I love anything by Bill Bryson and also Spike Milligan’s works. They both have a really off-beat, surreal sense of humour. I also adore P G Wodehouse. When he is on top form nobody can beat him for style and perfectly poised sentences. Millionaire Wooster identifying with the working class is hysterical! I also love the Asterix series and the crazy use of Latin.

If you could meet any literary character, who would it be and what would you say to them? 

I would like to spend some time with Bertram Wooster, the casually unaware hero of P G Wodehouse’s ‘Jeeves and Wooster’ series. I would tell Jeeves that I have a very smart black and white cat named after him – and he is my butler. He always follows me around to make sure I am ok. As for Bertram Wooster I would simply like to sit down in a comfy armchair and chat to him about the world and listen to him telling me about his aunts and his view of the world – always optimistic and idotically misled.

What’s your top tip for writing funny characters? 

Make them funny! Ha ha! Actually this is a difficult question to answer and one I have never really thought about. I have a feeling that if I had to ’think’ about making a character funny it wouldn’t work. You can’t force humour – at least that’s what I feel. My mind tends to think ‘funny’ quite naturally. It’s a trait that doesn’t work well in a serious situation. Also I often shoot out something I think is funny and people just ignore it or look at me as if I’m from somewhere way beyond our own galaxy. I see my jokes nose dive into the ground and crash and burn. I still haven’t learned to stop myself from speaking!

What’s your favourite My Brother’s Famous Bottom quote? 

I haven’t got a clue!  I remember in MY BROTHER’S FAMOUS BOTTOM TAKES OFF Dad returns from their trip to America and gets arrested for stealing a sheep. It refers back to something much, much earlier in the story that the reader will have forgotten about, so it comes as a big surprise and I think it’s very funny too. Maybe you have to be caught up in reading the book to understand!

Tell us a joke?

It’s actually a poem by Ogden Nash called REFLECTIONS ON PARSLEY.

Parsley

Is gharsley.

That’s all of it! I read this when I was about 12 and suddenly realised that you could play with words and have fun with them!

Share this article

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
Linkedin
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Scroll to Top