Stand-up comedians who have written novels

Comedians are essentially writers. They put words together in an order that makes us laugh.

But how easy it it to make the transition from gag-writer to full-on novelist? Not that hard, it would seem, given the dozens of well-known comedians who have turned their hand to fiction.

We can’t possible cover them all here, so if we’ve missed your favourite then we’re very sorry. Why not shout at us on Twitter or in the comments section?

We’re also going to skip over some of the incredibly well-known comics-turned-authors (think Ben Elton, Stephen Fry and David Walliams) and focus on some who you might not realise have made the move into literature. Starting with…

Russel Kane

The Humorist sounds exactly like the title of a book written by a comedian, and in this respect, Russell Kane absolutely delivers.

His 2012 debut (and so far only) novel focuses on a man, Benjamin White, able to assess and deconstruct comedy in an instant, but who never actually laughs at it. He makes his living as a comedy critic. Here, he talks about it all in a little more detail…

Milton Jones

Arch punster and one-liner extraordinaire Milton Jones has written a few books, including a couple aimed at the Christian community called 10 Second Sermons (and the sequel, Even More 10 Second Sermons).

His debut novel, Where Do Comedians Go When They Die?, subtitled Journeys of a Stand-up, clearly draws on his experiences on the circuit. How much of the lead character, Jerome Stevens, is really Jones himself, we wonder?

Mark Watson

He once performed a comedy show that lasted for 25 hours, so Mark Watson has already demonstrated that he isn’t short on words.

What better place to put them, then, than a novel? Or several. In actual fact, Watson has written five novels: Bullet Points, A Light-Hearted Look At Murder, Eleven, The Knot and Hotel Alpha.

Here he is reading from The Knot.

Dawn French

Pretty much everyone agrees that Dawn French is A Tiny Bit Marvellous, which is fortunate because that’s the title of her 2010 debut novel.

She followed that up with Oh Dear Silvia in 2012 and According to Yes last year. Here she is talking about it.

Ardal O’Hanlon

Irish stand-up and Father Ted star O’Hanlon published The Talk of the Town in 1999.

Known as Knick Knack Paddy Whack in the US, the book is set in t in Ireland in the 80s, and follows the fortunes of the hapless Patrick Scully.

David Baddiel

Baddiel has penned four novels for adults and several for children. The former started with Time for Bed in 1996, and also include Whatever Love Means, The Secret Purposes and The Death of Eli Gold.

These days, he is arguably better known for his children’s books, including the Parent Agency.

Will Smith

No, not the Hollywood one. Stand-up comedian and actor Will Smith (you might know him from The Thick of It).

His debut novel Mainlander, about a schoolboy who goes missing on Jersey, was published last year.

Andy Hamilton

Okay, so you might expect Andy Hamilton to have written a book or two, after all he has penned the scripts for some much-loved comedies including Drop the Dead Donkey and Outnumbered.

You’d be right. His debut novel, The Star Witness, came out last year, and follows a soap star’s fall from grace. It was crowdfunded by Hamilton, and you can find out more about it here.

Les Dawson

Finally, did you know that Les Dawson wrote a romantic novel under a female pen-name, Maria Brett-Cooper, called An Echo of Shadows? Well, you do now.


About Chris ShowSpot

view all posts

At ShowSpot we cover Comedy Shows, Videos, Reviews & have plans for much more so watch this space! Chris is our lead writer, bringing you the funny info since... well since he started bringing you the funny info.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of