On April 1, the Stephen Leacock Association announced the five finalists for the 2011 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. We sent all five nominees the same questionnaire in order to get a little more insight into who these writers are, what their books are about and what what they think of being nominated for the Leacock!
Our first victim was Trevor Cole, author of Practical Jean. You can read his Q&A here. Today, Red Green, author of How to do Everything, accepted the challenge of answering our questions.
How to do Everything provides sage advice on everything from getting a job to cooking with acetylene. Any question you can dream up (and even those that would never occur to you) gets answered by Canadian comedic icon Red Green. While his solutions might not always work, they'll always get a laugh. However, one bit of advice you might want to take before picking up this DIY guide is "don't try any of this at home."
Q: For readers not familiar with How to do Everything, Tell us what it is about!
A: A compilation of tips and suggestions for repairs, renovations, builds, relationships, career and life.
Q: Where were you when you found out you were nominated? What did it feel like?
A: Boarding a plane for Minnesota. It made me feel a lot better about going to Minnesota.
If you can't win, which other shortlisted author would you like to see win?
A: The one who would admit they'd made a horrible mistake and would then give the award to me.
Q: Who are some of your favourite humour writers?
A: Stephen Leacock, Will Rogers, Samuel Clemens.
Q: What is the funniest place in Canada?
A: My house.
Q: Why humour? What compelled you to write funny stories?
A: To make people not want to hurt me. Also work avoidance. You can't learn to be funny but you can learn to be funnier.
Q: What's the funniest book you've ever read?
A: Dave Barry's Greatest Hits.
Q: Where is your favourite place to write?
A: On my boat.
Q: What makes something funny?
A: If it's a somewhat plausible, somewhat ridiculous, and extremely concise, surprise.
Q: If you could meet Stephen Leacock, what would you say to him?
A: Nice beard. Also thank you for being a courageous example of thinking locally and acting globally.
The remaining three nominees will also be answering our questionnaire, so be sure to check back throughout the month of April.
We also have three Leacock prize packs to give away, consisting of all five nominated titles. To enter, head to the Stephen Leacock Medal discussion group in the CBC Books Community and let us know which title you think is going to win and why!