Put something nasty in your Christmas stocking

This Christmas, the world turns on its head. What happens when the light gives way to the dark? When mirth turns to murder? When the howls are not from joy? Dead Funny, a selection of horror stories from the pens of Britain's best comedians. Only now, you're not laughing. Ho, Ho, Ho …

Dead Funny

Dead Funny: Horror Stories by Comedians

Edited by Robin Ince and Johnny Mains

9781907773761 | 224pp | A format | Hardback | £8.99 RRP

What happens when mirth turns to murder? When the screams are not from joy, but flesh-ripping pain? Dead Funny is an audacious anthology, featuring tales of terror from some of the brightest lights in UK comedy. Award winners Robin Ince and Johnny Mains team up for this unique exploration of the relationship between comedy and horror to see if they do, as believed, make the most comfortable of bedfellows.


“Throughout, the book revels in the unsettling overlap between laughter and dread.” —Financial Times

“★★★★★ "Dead Funny is an audacious anthology, featuring tales of terror from some of the brightest lights in UK comedy.” —Snakebite Horror

“Some wonderfully dark surprises in its pages … Dead Funny as a collective emphasises the quality, depth and audacity of British comedy.” —Exquisite Terror

“There is pretty much something for everyone here. I always suspected comedians were a pretty sick and twisted fraternity. Dead Funny confirms it and the book is all the better for it.” —Beyond The Joke

“This is not the result of some job-swapping reality TV show, this is the real thing, with veritable authors pulling many of the stops (and viscera) out to show their worth writing horror. And it's just as nasty as it could be – but in all the right ways.” —The Book Bag

“It has to be said that Dead Funny is roaring success there are some genuine classic stories here, two of which really deserve to be on any best of year list.” —Ginger Nuts of Horror

“As I have said before humour and horror are not always the perfect bedfellows, but each of the contributors to Dead Funny clearly show great affection for the genre that comes through in the writing. Don’t expect all the stories to be a laugh a minute, some of them are pretty gruesome, though there are some tasty little gags to be found. I give Dead Funny a 666/666.” —The Horror Hothouse


In the media

The Guardian Podcast

Charlie Higson and Robin Ince to find out more about the surprising affinity between horror and comedy, which has led to a collection of terrifyingly funny tales from some of the UK's best-known stand-ups. Listen now…

Arena, RTÉ Radio

Johnny Mains and Danielle Ward talk about 'Dead Funny', a collection of short horror stories written by UK comedians (published by Salt Publishing). Listen now…

Rufus Hound’s “Fixed” on the Waterstones blog

Comedian Rufus Hound shares a spooky story from a new collection of horrible tales from hilarious people, Dead Funny. Read now…


Launch night at the Bloomsbury Theatre

Launch of Dead Funny, Bloomsbury Theatre, London, 2nd November 2014. Photo © Johnny Mains.


Reece Shearsmith, Johnny Mains and Charlie Higson, backstage at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, 2nd November 2014. Photo © Johnny Mains.


Featuring stories by

Mitch Benn

Mitch Benn

The Patient

Mitch Benn is an award-winning comedian, musician, presenter and author. He has released seven albums and is the author of the acclaimed science fiction novel Terra (his debut book) and its recent follow-up Terra’s World. Mitch has also featured as the voice of Zaphod Beeblebrox in a touring production of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Author photo courtesy of Mitch Benn / Twitter

Katy Brand

Katy Brand

For Roger

Katy Brand is an award-winning writer, comedian, actor and journalist. She has appeared in numerous films, TV shows, radio programmes and live events. In 2008 she won the Best Female Newcomer Award at the British Comedy Awards for Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show, which ran for three series on ITV. Since then she has written extensively across all genres for herself and others, including screenplays, sit-coms, sketch shows and for national newspapers and magazines. Her first novel, Brenda Monk is Funny, was published in 2014.

Author photo courtesy Katy Brand / Twitter

Neil Edmond

Neil Edmond

All Warm Inside

Neil Edmond was part of Perrier Best Newcomers The Consultants, has written sitcoms Home Time and Knocker and made humble contributions to shows like Twenty Twelve, Mid-Morning Matters with Alan Partridge and Parks and Recreation. He often stooges for Robin Ince, dancing to the work of Guy N. Smith.

Author photo © copyright: John Clark

Richard Herring


Richard Herring is a writer, comedian and podcaster and the world’s only semi-professional self-playing snookerist. In the 1990s he appeared alongside Stewart Lee in TV shows like This Morning With Richard Not Judy. More recently he has written stand-up shows such as Christ on a Bike and Hitler Moustache and his current show Lord of the Dance Settee. He is obsessed with Rasputin and has written a knockabout musical Ra-Ra Rasputin and a more serious play I Killed Rasputin about him. He lives in West London with his wife and cats, Liono and Smithers.

Author photo courtesy of Richard Herring / Copyright © Steve Brown photos

Charlie Higson

Filthy Night

Charlie Higson is the co-creator of The Fast Show and Bellamy’s People. He has written five entries of the Young Bond series and is king of the zombie novel with his defining The Enemy series. Charlie has also produced, written and directed the return of Randall & Hopkirk to great acclaim.

Author photo courtesy of Charlie Higson / Twitter

Matthew Holness

Matthew Holness


Matthew Holness created the character Garth Marenghi and co-wrote Channel 4’s Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. He has recently written and directed two short films, A Gun For George (Film4) and The Snipist (Sky Arts Playhouse).

Author photo courtesy of Matthew Holness / Twitter

Rufus Hound

Rufus Hound


Rufus Hound is currently an actor. He is not currently a panel show turn, a TV presenter, a stand-up comedian or proud of himself.

Author photo courtesy of Rufus Hound / Twitter

Robin Ince

Robin Ince

Most Out of Character

Robin Ince is a multi-award winning comedian and author. His book Robin Ince’s Bad Book Club was based on his tour Bad Book Club. More recently he has toured Happiness Through Science, The Importance of Being Interested and is currently touring Robin Ince Is In And Out Of His Mind and Blooming Buzzing Confusion.

Author photo countesy of Robin Ince / Twitter

Phill Jupitus

Phill Jupitus


Phill Jupitus is a performance poet, stand-up comedian and actor. He has been the team captain on the infamous Never Mind the Buzzcocks since its inception in 1996. He has also appeared on QI, plays Councillor Cowdrey in CITV’s series Bottom Knocker Street and is notable for his performances on I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and Just a Minute.

Author photo courtesy of Phill Jupitus / Twitter

Tim Key

Tim Key


Tim Key is a comedian, actor and writer. He is known for his character Sidekick Simon starring alongside Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge in Mid Morning Matters and Alpha Papa. He is also the author of three books.

Author photo courtesy of Tim Key / Twitter

Stewart Lee

Stewart Lee

A View From A Hill

Stewart Lee is a comedian, writer and director. In the 90s he worked with Richard Herring and has since gone on to write Jerry Springer: The Opera which found itself in the centre of a media meltdown (although the critics loved it). He has written five novels and a new series of Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle has been commissioned for 2015.

Author photo courtesy of Stweart Lee / Twitter

Michael Legge

Michael Legge

The Dream Of Nightmares

Michael Legge is a stand-up comedian known for being grumpy and shouty. He’s one third of the Do The Right Thing podcast, half of Pointless Anger Righteous Ire with Robin Ince and completely responsible for his own award-winning, furious blog. Michael is a vegan and, if you’re not, he probably hates you.

Author photo courtesy of Michael Legge / Twitter

Al Murray

Al Murray

For Everyone’s Good

Al Murray is a comedian probably best known for his alter ego the Pub Landlord, the self-styled King Cnut of Common Sense. Along the way he’s made TV programmes, done some radio, written some books: maybe you’ve seen, heard or read some of them. If you have he’s grateful – as long as you liked them. If you haven’t you’ve no idea what you’re missing out on.

Author photo courtesy of Al Murray / Twitter

Sarah Pascoe

Sara Pascoe

A Spider Remember

Sara Pascoe is a comedienne, writer and actress who has been performing stand-up since 2007. She co-wrote Channel 4’s Girl Friday, has starred in Twenty Twelve and its spiritual follow-up W1A. Sara is also the winner of the 2014 Chortle Breakthrough Award.

Author photo courtesy of Sara Pascos / Twitter

Reece Shearsmith

Reece Shearsmith


Reece Shearsmith is an actor and writer. He starred in and co-wrote The League of Gentlemen, Psychoville and Inside No 9 all for BBC2. He is equally at home on stage, screen or radio. But he is mostly at home at home.

Author photo courtesy of Reece Shearsmith / Twitter

Danielle Ward

Danielle Ward

In Loving Memory Of Nerys Bag

Danielle Ward is a writer, actor, comic and musician. She has won a handful of awards, performed Shakespeare in New York, is the brains behind hit podcast Do The Right Thing and wrote cult musicals Psister Psycho and Gutted. Her favourite horror film is An American Werewolf in London.

Author photo courtesy of Danielle Ward / Twitter

Where to buy

Available from all good bookstores now, including Blackwell’s, Waterstones, Foyles and all independent bookstores. Shop locally this Christmas.

 Order online from Blackwell’s

 Order online from Foyles

 Order online from Hive

 Order online from Waterstones

 Order online from WHSmith

Books are my bagBOOKS ARE MY BAG is a nationwide campaign to celebrate bookshops. This collaboration between publishers, bookshops and authors is the biggest ever promotion of bookshops. For many people bookshops conjure fond images of book readings, in-store cafes and delight at the discovery of a new author. In fact, 56% of all book buying decisions are made by consumers in a bookshop and high street bookshops (both chains and independents) still account for almost 40% of books bought by consumers. Yet, many high street bookshops are under threat.