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Publication Date: 17 Jan 2019
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Page Count: 160
ISBN-13: 9780281080922, 9780281080939, 9780281082254

The Sacred Art of Joking

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ISBN: 9780281080922
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ISBN: 9780281080939
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Every few weeks a politician, pundit or soap star causes a media storm by making a gaffe or tweeting a joke that some people do not find funny. Comedy is very hard to get right and yet we think it’s important to have a sense of humour and not take yourself too seriously. On the other hand, a sense of humour failure can lead to losing your friends, your twitter account, your job, your career and, in some cases, your life.

James Cary knows about this. He is a sitcom writer who’s written jokes about bomb disposal in Afghanistan (Bluestone 42), defended comments about Islam by Ben Elton on Newsnight, been on a panel with radical Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary, sits on the General Synod of the Church of England and somehow managed to co-write episodes of Miranda. An odd mix, but one that makes him very readable. This entertaining, breezy book, explains how comedy works (with jokes and quotes) and gives much-needed insights into the controversy surrounding humour.
About the Author
James Cary is a BBC sitcom-writer (Miranda, Bluestone 42, Another Case of Milton Jones) and theologian. He’s also a member of the General Synod for the Church of England, and has spent a lot of his life watching jokes (some of them his own) go horribly wrong.

He runs a touring theatre company and performs. He has just produced a 64-date tour of the UK of a show about Martin Luther and 95 Theses, called A Monk’s Tale, which ran for two weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe. There are very likely to be future, perhaps even bigger, tours in 2018-9.

James is married, with two children and lives in Somerset.
Press Reviews

[Death by Civilization]: This seems a good moment to confess that many of the funniest things I've said on radio have been written by James Cary

- Milton Jones

You will laugh out loud, until you realise what a mess they've made of our country

- Douglas Carswell, MP, author of The End of Politics

a wonderful cascade of sage snippets . . . fit to grace bedside tables and smallest rooms in the greatest houses

- Alan Wilson

A truly brilliant debut book

- Iain Dale, LBC Drivetime presenter

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