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Since the year 2000, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction has been given to what a panel of literature judges in the UK deem to be the funniest book of the year. The award is a big bottle of champagne, over 50 volumes of comedy writing, and the prestige of having a pig named after your novel. While the prize is silly, the competition is fierce. Since the award’s inception, it has been given to notable titles like Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries. Some years, the competition has been incredibly stiff, like in 2003 when Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi was named as a finalist but did not win.
This year, the judges ran into a different problem. According to David Campbell, a publisher and one of the judges for the prize, none of the submissions made the panel laugh. He explained that because none of the books were deemed worthy, he and his fellow judges quote “decided to withhold the prize this year to maintain the extremely high standards of comic fiction.”
While it is seemingly bad news that no books published in a year span were deemed worthy of a comedy prize, there is some good news: The judges announced they will be rolling this year’s prize over to next year. So aspiring comedy writers, take note: You have several months to get a hilarious manuscript published to have a shot at two bottles of champagne and maybe they’ll even agree to name not one but two pigs after your novel.
I’m Evan Rook.