A far-reaching exploration of the humour, wittiness and repartee dominant among the First Nations people of Canada, as witnessed, experienced and created directly by themselves, and with the inclusion of outside but reputable sources necessarily familiar with the Indigenous sense of humour as seen from an objective perspective. An irreverent, insightful take on our First Nations’ great gift to Canada, delivered by a stellar cast of contributor: Janice Acoose, Kristina Fagan, Karen Froman, Drew Hayden Taylor, Tomson Highway, Mirjam Hirch, Don Kelly, Thomas King, Lee Maracle, Louise Profeit-LeBlanc, Allan J. Ryan
Edited by: Drew Hayden Taylor
Publisher: Douglas & MacIntyre, 2006
Format: Paperback, 176 pages
ISBN-13: 9781553651376 | ISBN-10: 1553651375
“THEY FUNNY; WE AMUSED. So, to laugh or not to laugh? ME FUNNY asks that you do. It tackles political correctness and other touchy subjects. But using humour to defuse stereotypes and dispel presumptions, moreover, this fine and funny book invites listeners across conventional cultural divides. I say listeners, not just readers, because this humour draws its power from tone, pacing and repetition…Choosing between outrage and amusement, Taylor says its more fun to laugh… Cast as a kind of satiric carnival – of stories and ideas-within stories- ME FUNNY is by turns serious, ironic, aggressive, sly, subversive, academically dense and out loud belly-laugh funny.” W. E. New, Globe and Mail.
“DHT has made the study of Indian humour something of his life’s work… It’s got a lot of jokes, many of them very funny. It also has a fair bit of serious analysis to go along.” Dan Smith, Toronto Star
“ME FUNNY is actually hilarious in parts, as well as thought-provoking and more than occasionally uncomfortable for non-Natives. [Taylor] has assembled a bitingly witty – and wildly politically in correct- collection of articles from the likes of Thomas King and Tomson Highway, two of the funniest writers in Canada.” Macleans Magazine.
“The book’s strongest pieces tend to be those that five up trying to define or dissect native comedy – which often has its roots in very dark places – and simply lead by example. These, and the between-chapter jokes labelled “astutely selected ethno-based examples of cultural jocularity and racial comicalness,” collectively make the book worth its cover price… Another stand out piece is by stand-up comedian Don Kelly, who takes the reader through the psychology of one of his routines, which often tread on fringe territory in their explorations of race and stereotypes. Kelly provides hilarious examples of how he creates and dissipates tension in his audience before things become too unbearable. Tomson Highway’s attempt to explain why Cree is the funniest of all languages is a gem but the books saves the best for last with Thomas King’s chapter on his much beloved Dead Dog Café Comedy Hour. King manages to take the piss out of any attempt at pomposity here with his astute conclusion : “What would we do with a definition of native humour anyway? We’d just waste time trying to apply the definition and we might miss the performance.” Emily Donaldson, Quill and Quire.