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Willie Geist's 6 favorite humor books
The MSNBC host highlights authors who share his taste for satirical humor — from David Sedaris to the staff of The Onion
Willie Geist finds literary inspiration from satirists Jon Stewart and David Sedaris.
Willie Geist finds literary inspiration from satirists Jon Stewart and David Sedaris.
Peter Kramer/NBC
F

ear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (Vintage, $12). I had a friend who was so inspired by this novel that he once tried every drug in the famous passage that begins: “The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab.” Yes, the book is dark, but it’s funny as hell. In our deepest places, we all wish we could live like Raoul Duke for a while.

Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart (Harper, $15). A collection of satirical essays written by Jon Stewart when he was just on the cusp of his full Jon Stewartdom. His chapter “Adolf Hitler: The Larry King Interview” was an early inspiration for my book American Freak Show.

Little League Confidential by Bill Geist (Dell, $15). The book that taught American dads how to draft a Little League team. Rule No. 1? Always pick at least one kid with a good-looking mom. It’s good for morale. Timeless advice from my old man.

Our Dumb Century by the Staff of The Onion (Three Rivers, $18). Imagine spoofing an entire century and writing not a single unfunny word. My favorite in this vast collection of phony headlines? “Sinatra Warns Russkies to Knock It Off: Singer Gives Khrushchev 24 Hours to ‘Drop This Commie Bunk or It’s Ring-a-Ding-Ding for you Bozos.’” The book is relentlessly funny.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (Back Bay, $10). Take your pick of Sedaris’ books. I like this account of his impossibly messed-up family by a nose over Naked. As someone who fumbled through a semester in France, losing just about everything in translation, I appreciate it when the author points to calf’s brains in a shop and asks the butcher, “Is thems the thoughts of cows?” Sedaris is the good kind of crazy.

Still Standing by Carrie Prejean (Regnery, $28). Unintentional comedy is comedy just the same. There’s plenty of it in this memoir by the former Miss California.

Willie Geist is the host of MSNBC's "Way Too Early With Willie Geist," co-host of "Morning Joe," and the author of the new book American Freak Show.

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