Humour

What’s your favourite Robin Williams one-liner?

12 August 2014 10:49

Mr S was saddened to hear of the death of Robin Williams — a man who contributed to the gaiety…

Ian Fleming, James Bond and The Spectator

12 August 2014 10:30

It’s 50 years since the death of Ian Fleming and The Spectator has always taken James Bond seriously. The writer…

RIP: Simon Hoggart. The finest and funniest sketch writer to date

7 January 2014 11:54

Terribly saddened to hear of the death of Simon Hoggart, a lovely writer and to my mind the finest and…

Tom Sharpe nearly killed me

7 June 2013 12:13

I was on a train when it happened. I was bent double with my head between my knees, gasping for…

Seriously eccentric – Chaplin & Company by Mave Fellowes

16 May 2013 14:19

Chaplin & Company is an alarming proposition for anyone with a low threshold for the cute and quirky. Its main…

Alienation effect

7 May 2013 12:54

‘To give you an idea of the way people here consume stories, I have put this book together as a…

Fobbit by David Abrams – review

10 April 2013 9:58

Fobbit, by David Abrams, is an attempt at describing a wartime tour from different perspectives, including soldiers and support personnel.…

Death Comes For The Poets by Matthew Sweeney and John Hartley Williams – review

19 March 2013 10:00

Death Comes For The Poets is an unliterary book with a highly literary subject. It’s usually done the other way…

The Scots are more generous than the English. What a Red Nose Day joke

18 March 2013 13:08

Scottish people are more generous than English people, contrary to the widely held belief that the Jocks are comically tight-fisted.…

Shelf Life: Graydon Carter

5 December 2012 9:23

Editor of Vanity Fair, Graydon Carter, is this week’s Shelf Lifer. He reveals a predilection for Herman Wouk, an in…

The Fuhrer was not amused

6 November 2012 11:00

‘The German sense of humour,’ Mark Twain famously observed, ‘Is no laughing matter.’ Although many Greeks, stretched on the Euro’s…

The Good Loo Guide

20 September 2012 9:46

Funny the ways you can learn about a book. Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones alerted me to one recently,…

Review: Zoo Time by Howard Jacobson

14 September 2012 15:19

Winning the Booker can do strange things. For one, critics tend to become noticeably shyer around authors with some bling…

Three northern breakfasts

5 September 2012 9:44

I’ve been in Scarborough, working on a story. Stayed in a perfectly nice hotel and this morning came down for…

Jeremy Vine’s survival guide

29 August 2012 18:34

I first knew Jeremy Vine as a very young, charming, earnest and totally driven political correspondent for the BBC in…

House of Lords, Getty Images

The fictional House of Lords

6 August 2012 12:38

The House of Lords has yet again survived reform. ‘We have been discussing this issue for 100 years and it…

A knight’s tale

5 July 2012 12:00

I can’t help thinking that the literary editor is having a little chuckle to himself, in his own private way,…

Martin Amis and the underclass

16 June 2012 13:30

New Martin Amis novels haven’t always received a fine reception of late. So much so that even tepid praise now…

Across the literary pages: Amis Asbo special

11 June 2012 17:45

The promotional tour for Lionel Asbo: State of England has been suspiciously quiet. The fact that Martin Amis hasn’t sworn, bitched…

Happy birthday, Edward Lear

1 June 2012 17:00

The god of nonsense, Edward Lear, is 200 years old this year. (Yes, the Inimitable can’t have the whole stage…

Ed Miliband volunteers for a kicking, gets kicked

15 June 2011 18:22

“First he denies his own policy, then he tries insults.” So said Ed Miliband of David Cameron’s performance in PMQs…