Stockholm syndrome
July 24, 2011 7:50 PM   Subscribe

14 hours in a car with my dad. Recommend an audiobook or comedians we might both enjoy.

I'm in my 30's. He's in his 60's. We don't have much in common, but we both enjoy a good spy novel. Maybe John LeCarre?

Are there any good spy novels that are also laugh-out-loud funny?

Also good is comic nonfiction, like Bill Bryson. Anyone else we should check out? I think David Sedaris is hilarious, but maybe a little too pop-culturish for my dad's taste.

Or, comedy. We used to listen to Bill Cosby all the time in the car when I was a kid. I think he'd like Lewis Black (they are from similar backgrounds and about the same age).

What other ideas can I toss out to him?
posted by thinkingwoman to Media & Arts (37 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
How about Tina Fey's new book, Bossy Pants? I've heard it's getting great reviews.
posted by Leezie at 7:51 PM on July 24, 2011

Kurt Eichenwald's Enron book, "Conspiracy of Fools"
posted by milkrate at 8:03 PM on July 24, 2011

David Sedaris is great. My mom loved Me Talk Pretty One Day. If you haven't heard his audiobooks it's worth checking out, because he read them himself.
posted by radioamy at 8:09 PM on July 24, 2011

Garrison Keillor does a jokes-only show once a year on Prairie Home Companion. Compilations are available under the series name Pretty Good Jokes. The most recent one appears to be Even More Pretty Good Jokes. The shows are enjoyable even if PHC isn't your usual thing, and in my experience they are fantastic for multigenerational groups -- genuinely funny but not racier than PG.

Maybe it's just me? I am mortified to hear really profane and/or sex-based humor in front of my parents and grandparents.
posted by apparently at 8:16 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

How about the Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me podcasts? You can download many hours worth.
posted by anya32 at 8:17 PM on July 24, 2011 [4 favorites]

Kevin Kling tells entertaining stories.
posted by Phssthpok at 8:25 PM on July 24, 2011

I like The Moth podcasts. Free on iTunes, and the stories are short -- around 10 minutes -- so if you hit one you don't care for it won't last too long.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:33 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Our Man in Havana is an good, genuinely funny spy novel. I laughed. I make no promises about the quality of the audiobook, good or bad, as I have never heard it.
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:39 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

My dad and I are the same ages as you, roughly. Definitely recommend Bob and Ray. Yes, they're repetitive. No, it doesn't matter.

Sarah Vowell has a rather wacky voice which some people do not enjoy, but Assassination Vacation in particular is filled with other voices. Plus we are now instructed to refer to Robert Todd Lincoln as Jinxy McDeath.

This American Life, of course. The app has all of the archives.

The Tobolowsky Files

Chapter A Day has read Keith Thomson's Once a Spy and Twice a Spy, which you might enjoy.
posted by Madamina at 8:40 PM on July 24, 2011

Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner doing there comedy bit about the 2000 year old man. (Not the movie, from the album.) I also think he would like Robert Klein's old album stuff.
posted by AugustWest at 8:40 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

What about the WTF podcast with Marc Maron? He interviews comedians of all ages and stripes, and it's pretty fascinating. I also love the Fresh Air podcast for getting lost in an interview.
posted by annabellee at 8:43 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Car Talk podcasts? Should be good for a few hours :-)
posted by MiG at 8:45 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you have a few bucks to spare, the app for This American Life is really worth it.
posted by nevercalm at 8:48 PM on July 24, 2011

There are two patients in their eighties that come to my place of employment and they *LOVED* Sh*t My Dad Says on audio. Loved it.
posted by Fairchild at 8:58 PM on July 24, 2011

Stuart McLean does a lot of nice family friendly humour in his stories. I know people of various ages/personalities who like it although its not edgy.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 9:01 PM on July 24, 2011

the WTF podcast is great, but does have swearwords if your dad is the kind of old that doesn't like that (my parents are those kinds of olds). This American Life is a good choice.
posted by sweetkid at 9:02 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Bob Newhart's standup act will please literally anybody on earth.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:09 PM on July 24, 2011 [2 favorites]

If he likes Bryson and is at all outdoorsy, he will probably like Pat McManus. If he likes more adventure travel, Tim Cahill might be a good choice.
posted by The otter lady at 9:23 PM on July 24, 2011

Mike Birbiglia for comedy.

I love Bill Bryson and I really like the works of Ian Frazier as well, particularly Great Plains and On The Rez.
posted by Ostara at 9:28 PM on July 24, 2011

I recently made a ten hour drive much more endurable for my girlfriend and me by listening to the Blue Collar Comedy channel on Sirius. It's not as cheesy as it sounds, there was some pretty funny stuff on there (obviously you will need Sirius radio).
posted by jayder at 10:02 PM on July 24, 2011

Todd Barry -- all 3 of his albums. Dry, but not much swearing. Should be okay for your dad.

Sean Cullen -- Live! Clean and very funny.

The Sklar Brothers -- both albums. Slight swearing, but reasonably clean.

Paul F. Tompkins -- Impersonal. Completely clean, very funny.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 10:06 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wayne and Shuster.
posted by bentley at 10:11 PM on July 24, 2011

Nthing Garrison Keillor or This American Life. You mentioned Bill Bryson, that was one of my picks too. I'm trying to stay within your guidelines here...

However, and stick with me, the audiobook version of World War Z: A History of the Zombie War is really enjoyable and thought provoking. They do each chapter with different narrators (Allen Alda even has one, and he's great) because of the books format as 'interviews' with first hand survivors of the recent Zombie War.

It's got a great mix of political, theatrical, military, hope, dark comedy, and all that to keep the mid-chapter commentary (between your father and yourself) really interesting. It's also active/fast enough to just shaddup and listen to as the countryside rolls by.

Besides that, maybe some Jerry Clower if you can find it. I don't know what background you or your father come from but he's the quintessential southern storyteller comic, all good, clean (PG or so), and wonderfully delivered.

Maybe some story by Christopher Moore? I may be the only one on the planet but the way books like Lamb are narrated are really funny/enjoyable to me. YMMV.

Enjoy the car trip. Take toilet paper 'cuz you never know...
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:15 PM on July 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

I really loved listening to Craig Ferguson's American on Purpose when I was driving cross country.
posted by itesser at 12:04 AM on July 25, 2011

John Pinette is hilarious and virtually always in good taste.
posted by megatherium at 4:30 AM on July 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

The BBC did a really good adaptation of the John LeCarre Smiley stories

Started listening to them with my dad when driving to Belgium.
posted by dnc at 4:41 AM on July 25, 2011

Why has no one recommedended That Mitchell & Webb Sound yet? Fantastic! It is the basis of a lot of the material they used for That Mitchell & Webb Look though, in case you have watched that series.

David Mitchell's solo podcast, David Mitchell's Soapbox is also worth a giggle or four.
posted by like_neon at 5:27 AM on July 25, 2011

When I used to have a long commute, I enjoyed listening to CDs of George Carlin reading his various books (some were abridged, some not).
posted by LaurenIpsum at 5:47 AM on July 25, 2011

Perfect timing, as I, too, am preparing my iPod for a good long road trip with my dad. Tom Clancy's "Patriot Games" is downloading right now...

The Areas of My Expertise by (Metafilter's own) John Hodgman always pleases on a road trip, especially the 51 States section.

Have you heard Just a Minute from the BBC? It's really funny. I haven't found a good archive source yet, but has a lot of best-of.
posted by mimi at 5:54 AM on July 25, 2011

Metzger's Dog by Thomas Perry is a very clever crime caper novel (not a spy novel, but close enough?). I read it years ago and recently enjoyed the audiobook also. (in fact, I convinced my dad to listen to it too).
posted by maryrussell at 5:56 AM on July 25, 2011

Piggybacking on mimi's suggestion, a lot of BBC Radio 4 shows are excellent. In addition to Just a Minute, I would also recommend:
- The Unbelievable Truth (also David Mitchell, no I am not obsessed...)
- I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue (I think this it's similar to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me)
- Fags, Mags and Bags ("fags" in the British sense, it takes place in a convenience store)
- Just a Minute (a classic),
posted by like_neon at 6:39 AM on July 25, 2011

Ha, I love Just a Minute I recommended it twice :P
posted by like_neon at 6:40 AM on July 25, 2011

I have recently gotten addicted to Wait Wait Don't Tell me as well, I think it's very cross-generational in terms of appeal.
posted by radioamy at 7:22 AM on July 25, 2011

You can't beat Brian Regan for clean, absolutely hilarious stand-up. Just look at the reviews for that MP3 album.
posted by Falwless at 7:29 AM on July 25, 2011

Since you mentioned Bill Bryson, I just wanted to make sure you know of the audiobook for A Short History of Nearly Everything. It is really, really damn good.
posted by corn_bread at 8:32 AM on July 25, 2011

I'm also going to recommend downloading a handful of NPR podcasts (WWDTM being at the top of my list).

Radiolab and This American Life can be great for long trips too.
posted by schmod at 8:42 AM on July 25, 2011

What about Tony Hillerman? A mystery writer, rather than spy thriller, but the guy who does the readings is pretty good.
posted by annsunny at 8:46 AM on July 25, 2011

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