Laugh Is What You Make It

By Brad Ashton
Publisher: Brad Ashton
ISBN: 9781447512868

This book features something a little different. It doesn’t feature cartoons, but it does feature comics.

Brad Ashton has written comedy for Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Dick Emery, Frankie Howerd, Bob Monkhouse, and David Frost. In the mid-60s he was also Head Writer for Groucho Marx. This gives him over 70 years of comedy know-how, which he has distilled into this book, Laugh Is What You Make It.

Brad’s connection to the Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain goes back many years when he shared his wit and wisdom in person with members. Dissecting comedy is a notoriously difficult thing to do, so Brad’s approach here is to break gags down into groupings, such as exaggeration, puns and self-deprecation, and then share his approach to them, often citing his favourite examples before listing scores of his own.

Because there’s a degree of subjectiveness in comedy the full breadth of Brad’s approach guarantees that there’s something here to tickle your funny bone. What’s more, if you’re interested in improving your own comedy writing skills, this helps provide a structure upon which you can build.

Brad is, undoubtedly, a talented guy with a very long career, and Laugh Is What You Make It marks his retirement from the business after creating thousands upon thousands of gags. I’ll leave you with a couple to whet your appetite:

Network Rail announced this week that eight out of ten trains are now running normally. The other two are on time.

The energy company cut off my electricity. I was de-lighted.

Brad’s offering CCGB members a copy for just £10 (normally £12.95) plus postage. To receive your copy you can contact him directly at

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