My wife and I are staying home for the holidays, choosing to conduct our festivities virtually with our friends and family. Not everyone has that option, though. Plenty of you will be piling into the car and driving for hours to visit family for your holiday gatherings. My wife and I have a go-to for such long trips: funny audiobooks. Whether you’re in the mood for fiction, nonfiction, or traveling with the kids, here are the 25 best funny audiobooks.
Funny Audiobooks for the Whole Family
Carey Elwes, who played Westley in The Princess Bride, narrates his own book, telling tales funny and dangerous and lovely about the making of this timeless film. I love how hard they worked on the iconic sword fight. His stories of the immeasurable thirst and heart of Andre the Giant, in particular, are just delightful.
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
Getting through high school and trying to get into a good college is tough. Then demons straight out of Chinese folklore invade Genie Lo’s sleepy little town, and Genie’s life seems downright unfair. Fear not—according to Quentin Sun, the new transfer student, she has the power to beat back the demonic invasion. And she still needs to keep her grades up to make this one of the best funny audiobooks.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Earth, our little rock in space, is in the way of an interstellar highway. So it has to go. This spacefaring comedy was originally a BBC radio play, and so it adapts SO well to audiobook. There are multiple versions available narrated by Douglas Adams or Stephen Fry or the original radio recordings. Pick any one of them; they’re all great.
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Chances are, your kids are already hooked on the successful movie franchise, so why not get them hooked on the novels as well? There are 12 of these coming-of-age novels following Hiccup as he learns to become a hero with the help of his dragon. Each of the audiobooks is narrated by David Tennant and clocks in around three hours, so they’ll keep the whole family entertained for a long time.
Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! by Mariko Tamaki
I adore the Lumberjanes comic books: strong young women out in the woods at camp, and then magical, monstrous events unfold. But the girls rise to the occasion, finding power not only in magic, but in friendship. Lumberjanes successfully makes the leap from comic to audiobook through the writing of Mariko Tamaki and voice of Amanda Leigh Cobb.
Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
Imagine Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night mashed up with the TV show Glee. That’s Riley Redgate’s Noteworthy. After Jordan Sun, an Alto 2, doesn’t get a part in her school’s musical, she auditions for the school’s elite octet. The octet is all-male. Jordan isn’t, so she dresses in drag and hilarity ensues.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Dimple Shah is ready to move away from her family and their traditional expectations. Rishi Patel, on the other hand, is all about his parents’ attempt to arrange a marriage for him. With Dimple. Now the two headed for the same post-graduation summer program in this rom-com that explores the push-pulls of love, family, and culture.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
The antichrist walks among us, but both heaven and hell have lost him. This was Gaiman’s first novel, with a big helping hand from the master of comedy writing, Terry Pratchett. Irreverent, wry, and endlessly witty, Good Omens will keep you laughing from start to finish. The original Martin Jarvis audiobook is unabridged, and there’s an abridged BBC 4 radio play adaptation that’s equally funny.
Mr. & Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel
It’s 1969 and Maxine Simmons finds herself recently divorced and banished to the other side of the country. But life can’t keep her down. She leaps into the Mrs. American Pie pageant, awarded to the best wife and mother in the nation. Why is this one of the best funny audiobooks? She has to solve for one problem: she doesn’t have a husband or children.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Oyinkan Braithwaite’s novel is an unusual blend of thriller, deep examination of family, and darkly funny social commentary. Korede and Ayoola are sisters, and Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is found dead by Ayoola’s knife. But Korede is a good sister, knowing the best ways to clean up blood and mourn on social media. It’s a system that works until Korede’s longtime boyfriend asks for Ayoola’s phone number. Buckle up for one of the best funny audiobooks.
Severance by Ling Ma
Candice Chen is getting by. Her Chinese immigrant parents have passed, but she has a good job, a decent boyfriend, and an uneventful life. It’s so uneventful that she barely notices when a plague sweeps over New York City. She does notice eventually in this Sex in the City meets Shawn of the Dead meets Silicon Valley book that brings dark humor along with biting satire.
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
I’ve read this book for two different classes at this point, and I can verify that only about 50% of readers get the dark, satirical humor of The Sellout. It is a brilliant racial satire along the lines of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. A Black man from the agrarian Los Angeles suburb of Dickens decides to reinstitute slavery and segregation, taking his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Whether you get the humor or not, this Man Booker Prize winner is brilliant.
The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher
As someone finishing their MFA in a woefully underfunded English department, The Shakespeare Requirement hits close and accurately in its satire of higher education. Jason Fitger is a newly appointing English Department chair. His wife is having an affair with the dean, his secretary is the one really running the department, and the Econ Department keeps taking English’s meager funds. The book is hilarious and really sad if you’re an English major like me.
Knee-Slappingly Funny Nonfiction Audiobooks
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
I have to admit, most of my favorite audiobooks are by performers. Trevor Noah is the hilarious and insightful host of The Daily Show, and he tells the tale of his life coming from Apartheid South Africa to the heir to Jon Stewart’s throne in this wonderful book. Witty, sad, hopeful, and perpetually funny, definitely load this one up for your road trip.
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Tina Fey is known for many things. She was an improv star on Saturday Night Live, leading lady for numerous comedic films, and the creator, executive producer, and star of 30 Rock. Her book details her journey from little girl to boss-lady of a hit sitcom, and every success and failure along the way.
Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
Jim Gaffigan is a famous comedian, to put it lightly. He’s also a devout Irish Catholic, but one who thought he would wind up a weird uncle living alone. Then he married his wife Jeannie. Five children later, Gaffigan wrote Dad is Fat, his hilarious cry for help upon realizing he and his wife are woefully outnumbered by their own offspring.
Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay by Phoebe Robinson
Phoebe Robinson is a New York Times bestselling author and star of 2 Dope Queens. This essay collection tackles a variety of tough subjects: intersectional feminism, racism in America, dating in the 21st century, the American obsession with work, and so many others. Each is infused with her trademark wit, humor, and candid delivery.
The Greatest Love Story Ever Told: An Oral History by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman
Megan Mullally is the award winning actress best known from Will and Grace. Nick Offerman is a humorist, cohost of Making It, and best-known as Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation. They’re married and arguably the cutest couple in Hollywood, as their hordes of Instagram followers will attest. This is the book of their love story, written and read by them. Behold the hilarious cuteness.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Star of The Mindy Project and writer/producer/star of The Office, among other things, Mindy Kaling is one of the best comedy writers on the planet. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is Kaling’s story of family expectations, friendships, and success in Hollywood as a woman of color. It’s written and read with her trademark wit, of course, deserving a spot among the best funny audiobooks.
The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish
Tiffany Haddish has been an actress and stand-up comedian since the early 2000s, but only recently has her star been on the rise. The Last Black Unicorn is Haddish’s story of surviving childhood by being funny, always falling back on her sense of humor, and her perseverance for over a decade before making it as a bonafide star.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
David Sedaris is probably the foremost humorist of his generation. Author of over a dozen books and numerous articles, Sedaris shows up on every humorous nonfiction list for good reason. Me Talk Pretty One Day is split between Sedaris’s time in America, growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and working New York, and first moving to Normandy, France. Sedaris’s trademark self-depreciation is on full display as he navigates childhood, first jobs, and trying to learn French.
Napalm & Silly Putty by George Carlin
Always brash and unapologetic, George Carlin’s humor always shot straight to the heart of any issue, blending sharp observation with a venomous tongue and unmistakeable voice. Any of his audiobooks are worth a listen (without the kids, seriously), but this one is my favorite of his. Napalm & Silly Putty also feels like a bit of time travel to the early 2000s, which is a welcome bit of escapism right now.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Star of the Pitch Perfect films (acca-fantastic), Into the Woods, and numerous other movies and shows at this point, the 5’2″ Anna Kendrick published her first memoir in 2016. Kendrick recounts moving to Hollywood, the horror of auditioning, the ups and downs of relationships, and her early successes. Come for the acca-memoir, stay for the wonderful woman behind the voice.
Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgman
John Hodgman first hit the public radar in the “Get a Mac” advertising campaign from Apple, in which he portrayed the buttoned-up anthropomorphization of a PC. He’s since graduated to full-blown author and humorist. Vacationland tells the story of Hodgman’s family moving to Maine and hanging onto a house inherited from his family. Hodgman addresses family life, Maine, and privilege with self-effacing wit.
Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
As a cohost of Making It, former Saturday Night Live improver, and star of Parks and Recreation, nobody would deny Amy Poehler is one of the funniest women on the planet. Yes, Please isn’t just the memoir of Poehler’s rise to fame, but a story of the power of saying “yes, please.” Written and read by Poehler, she also brings along some friends and sound bites from her fantastic career for one of the best funny audiobooks. Find even more funny audiobooks by women here.
With so much of the world so frightening right now, road trips with your personal bubble are proving to be one of the few safe options remaining to us. So pack your bags, grabs your masks, and load up a handful of these best funny audiobooks to help the miles fly by.