From Jasper Fforde's Q & A with Sue Corbett at Publishers Weekly:
Where does your sense of humor come from?--Marshal Zeringue
It’s probably an amalgam of having been brought up in the ’70s when there were some fantastically good sitcoms on TV, having a tremendously funny older brother, and having parents who were academics who insisted on dragging us off to see Shakespeare. So my humor, I’d say, comes from a mixture of lowbrow comedy shows and highbrow theater. It’s an interesting mix.
Have you always been drawn to absurdity? Were you class clown?
I asked this very question of a classmate once – “Was I funny?” – and he told me he didn’t remember me being funny. I think it more likely I was the “class annoying person.” Class clowns become actors. My sense of humor was something I shared amongst my friends: it was quieter, more internal, which is probably more typical of someone who becomes a writer.
How about your mother and father? Funny?
My dad was an economist and definitely not known for his sense of humor. [Fforde’s father, John Standish Fforde, was the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England, the British equivalent of being the person whose signature appears on U.S. currency.] But we had some very strong traditions in our household. There was a lot of required reading – Three Men in a Boat, Diary of a Nobody, the works of Evelyn Waugh – and they were...[read on]