Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s special guest is a New York Times Best Selling Author – with over 1,000,000 books sold. He’s right handed, left footed and left parted. His favourite number is 19. His favourite toe is his left big one. And, he’s with us here today. So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s slap some skin up high for Mr Adam Wallace!!!! Woo-hooooooo!!!!
Hi Adam, thanks for joining us today.
Hi Ken, great to be here.
Adam, you’ve written lots of funny books, what tip would you give someone looking to write/create a funny book?
Hmmmmm, well first make it funny! That seems like a silly answer, but it’s true. YOU have to think it’s funny when you’ve written it, otherwise what’s the point? So first thing is, write about things that make you laugh! Second thing is, laugh at them!
That doesn’t sound like a silly answer at all, it sounds like some of the best advice we’ve ever had!
What’s the funniest book you’ve read?
Oh boy, that is a tricky one. I love the 13 Story Treehouse (I think it’s the best of the series). So Wrong also makes me laugh a lot, and then I have read some books by comedians that were great (Will Anderson, Celeste Barber, Dave O’Neill). And of course mine, because they have to be funny to me (See Question 1!).
Do you have any thoughts on humour and its role in children’s literature?
I think it is the most important thing! Even when teaching a lesson or getting across a message, if it can be done with humour (and sensitivity, I hate mean humour), to me that is the best way to get a message across. The things I remember most are the things I enjoy. Get them laughing and you can take kids places they would never otherwise go, including maths!
Oh, the places you’ll go
What books would you like to see more of?
I would like to see horror stories for kids. Obviously it would have to be done well so we don’t end up with a whole generation of children lying in the fetal position, but I would have loved it as a kid.
I also think, with diversity being such a huge thing at the moment, that we have gotten lost in diversity meaning race, gender, disability, etc. Diversity also includes personality! We need to be able to relate to characters who act and feel and respond to things like us, not just who look like us!
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot or spirit animal?
Well I always got told my spirit animal would be a Whippet, just because I have the Whippet body shape! And Whippets are so awesome, so I am not unhappy with that. But I would love it to be a monkey, I think. a) they are super cool. b) they are funny. c) they like bananas. And d) they can be super tough and scary when they need to be!
Who’s your funniest/favourite fictional character?
These are not easy questions!!!!!! I love Liar, Liar, that movie cracks me up, as does Talladega Nights. So the two main characters in those (Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell).
Oh, also Happy Gilmore!
And Steve Carrell is the best, I love him in Over the Hedge and also in Get Smart.
Harpo Marx is my hero, the Marx Brothers movies are awesome and he is so talented.
I have also always been inspired by The Simpsons, and out of that show Ralph Wiggum is the funniest for me!
Ralph Wiggum has shot to the top of the leader board, that’s a few for Ralph now. And, some absolute legends there as well. I love Harpo too! Do kids watch the Marx Brothers today? Maybe they should. Bring ‘em back I say!
Speaking of awesome things, should pineapple ever be on a pizza?
Of course it should!!!!! Hot pineapple is amazing (and yes, this is from someone who is allergic to cheese, but I still love pizza!).
Funniest sounding word and why?
Caca. I don’t know how to spell it, but if you say poo poo caca to me, I will laugh without a doubt.
Poo poo caca
Whoa, that’s loud!
Now Adam, you seem very silly, and I mean that as a huge compliment. Because I love silliness, kids love silliness, and you do silly extremely well, both by the content in some of your sillier books and the way you promote yourself. Adam, is this why you’re a Collingwood supporter?
Haha yes it is! Well that and the fact they are the BEST TEAM EVER TO EXIST IN ANY SPORTING CODE EVER!!!
We’ll just edit that answer out. No seriously, do you see silly is an art form? If so, who are some silly people that have inspired you?
Silly is definitely an art form! Fo sho! I have mentioned a few people above, such as Harpo Marx, but also Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton and that’s about it until I think of more. But it is an art form for sure.
Michael Wagner, Adam Sandler.
Often beneath what seems like chaos and craziness is crazy technique and skill.
The other Marx Brothers, Steve Carrell …
Okay, that’s enough now.
The Simpsons (the writers and the actors)
I love that you’re so passionate about silly.
Can silly be taught or maintained in adulthood, or is it something we learn as kids, but sadly grow out of?
I think silly can definitely be taught, although yes, I also agree we grow out of it. I do improvised comedy classes, and they are designed to break down the barriers we put up, to allow ourselves to be silly and, more importantly, to fail.
When you’re being silly not everyone will like it, and that is sometimes hard to deal with, but what we have to realise is that everyone has different tastes. I don’t like spicy food, for example, and my best friend hates bananas, but that also applies to silliness. A lot of people who look down their snooty noses at people being silly often do it because they wish they could be silly as well, but they are too scared so pretend it is just dumb!
Who hates bananas? Seriously? But wow, well said!
And finally Adam, we have to wrap this up now, you’re being a bit silly. Are you working on anything at the moment?
I am currently writing some Christmas songs!!!
Oh Man. I can’t wait to hear them!! I so hope you’ll come caroling around my street.
Oh one last question, quickly. Do you have a favourite joke or riddle?
Yes. Yes I do.
He-he-he-he. You crack me up. It’s good to have a favourite joke. And, thanks so much for giving up your time and your awesome advice today.
Thanks Ken. Have a brilliant day.
Stay classy Adam Wallace!
Look out for Adam’s latest book, Cowboy and Birdbrain: Poop of Doom!
From Scholastic Book Club in July and all good book stores from August.
To find more info on this awesome Aussie talent and his books, click on his website here: