I’ve gone back to reading Wodehouse this past week and I’m back in gushing fanboy love again, not that there’s any other emotion you can feel with him. Wodehouse is the Master. “ Still the funniest writer ever to have put words on paper ” as Hugh Laurie called him. This is about the most understated compliment you can give Wodehouse.
What amazes me each time I pick up a Wodehouse book is the wonderful prose. Nobody writes like that anymore. There are lots of funny writers, but none can make you grin absurdly like him. As an example to his starkly different prose:
“What ho!” I said.
“What ho!” said Motty.
“What ho! What ho!”
“What ho! What ho! What ho!”
After that it seemed rather difficult to go on with the conversation.
See what I mean? Hilarious.
Wodehouse was one of the early writers who relied on situational comedy. He created hilarious situations for his characters, and the payoffs were always brilliant. An example, also from My Man Jeeves :
“I suppose you haven’t breakfasted?”
“I have not yet breakfasted.”
“Won’t you have an egg or something? Or a sausage or something? Or something?”
“No, thank you.”
She spoke as if she belonged to an anti-sausage society or a league for the suppression of eggs. There was a bit of a silence.
Some of the best writing on him has come from the great Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, Britain’s finest comedians, who incidentally also played Jeeves and Wooster on the telly.
I will end this really long post with a goodbye as captured between Bertie Wooster and his friend Bicky:
“Ripping! I’ll be toddling up, then. Toodle-oo, Bertie, old man. See you later.”
“Pip-pip, Bicky, dear boy.”