That quote has been around for decades, maybe even centuries. Yet no one seems to agree on who actually said it.
What is true, though, is comedy is hard.
Finding the mesh of humor to appeal to a wide range of people isn't easy. Each of us has a different sensibility. What's funny to me, may not be funny to you. And visa versa.
Comedy is even harder in mysteries.
I've been thinking a lot about humor in mysteries after just finishing Tim Dorsey's recent novel, Electric Barracuda. Dorsey is the Three Stooges of the mystery world, mixing slapstick, politically incorrect humor and wild escapades into what could be called a novel. The plots are outlandish and the characters unbelievable.
Still, Dorsey's humor isn't for everyone and that's all right.
The mystery genre is blessed with a number of very funny mystery writers. What makes these novels work is the fact that the authors take care to keep the seriousness of the murder serious but find the humor in the absurd behavior of people.
I like different kinds of humor.
Donna Andrews, Elaine Viets and Nancy Martin write funny. Paul Levine also writes funny with his Solomon vs Lord series. And let's also add in Toni Kelner and Steven Forman. Harlan Coben has that perfect mix of humor and seriousness with his Myron Bolitar series.
I know I am forgetting some very funny writers. Who are your favorites?
Well, we know that isn't going to happen for a least a month or so.
So here's something to warm you up -- the Hawaii Five-0 series, which airs 9 p.m. CST, 10 p.m. EST Mondays on CBS.
Just watching those warm waters, lovely beaches and sunshine will make you put on your swim suit now...of course, that would look a little silly with your hat, gloves, scarf and coat.
And because we all do need a bit of silliness sometimes, here's a comment and a song about Hawaii Five-0.
If you're feelin' lonely / You can come with me.
Feel my arms around you / Lay beside the sea.
We will think of somethin' to do.
Do it till it's perfect for you / And for me too.
You can come with me.