Humor in Books, and Other Places, Too! An Interview with Clayton Snyder

KRR- What was the last thing that made you literally laugh out loud?

CS- Dan Soder's HBO standup: Son of a Gary. There's a bit he does about mushrooms that had me rolling.


KRR- I just saw that. The thing about the...picture with the milk that was printing out when his mom came home was hilarious, and hit a little too close to home for me...


What kinds of things do you usually find to be funny?


CS- Satire, generally. Most things punching up at power and authority, or surreal humor. Lewis Black, Patton Oswalt, John Mulaney.


KRR- Name a few books that have made you laugh?


CS- Pratchett's Discworld Death line- Mort, Reaper Man, etc. Dresden Files are usually pretty snarky. Bjorn Larssen's Creation made me snort laughter more than once.


KRR- Yes! I loved Creation!


How do you incorporate humor into your writing?


CS- I typically just let it come naturally. If there's a situation that seems absurd, or a chance for a quip, I'll just drop them in.


KRR- Is there anything off limits in comedy?


CS- Punching down. The powerless, the underserved, the already oppressed and marginalized don't need that pressure, that sort of meanness. Comedy should be a tool, in that you look at the people and institutions imposing these hardships and point out their lack of clothes.


KRR- I love that idea of what comedy should be.


On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being dead serious, and 10 being non-stop jokes) what is the level of humor you usually prefer to read?


CS- I don't typically read for humor, but I appreciate it in my books.


KRR- What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you?


CS- I once tried to be nice to a pregnant coworker and accidentally implied she wasn't going to fit through a doorway. I still haven't lived it down.


KRR- Ouch!


What is the funniest thing you’ve ever seen/heard/read/written?


CS- The funniest? Probably a toss-up between movies like Airplane and Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, which is this sort of absurdist, loving spoof of Kung Fu flicks.


KRR- While teetering on the razor’s edge of the all-consuming void, is humor the best tool we have to fight the existential dread of a finite and bewildering existence?


CS- Yes. The alternative is to curl up on the couch with a bag of meat and cry until you're dehydrated.


KRR- Do you have any recommendations for this bag of meat, unless anyone wants to pursue that option? Er, you know what? Never mind...


What projects do you have out in the world, and where can we find them?


CS- I've several novels, all on Amazon, everything from satire to deep grimdark. River of Thieves, Cold West, Demons, Ink, The Obsidian Psalm, Norylska Groans, and a couple others.


https://smile.amazon.com/Clayton-Snyder/e/B00W3SRN6Q?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1641216896&sr=8-1