Have a look inside and see them all: James Joyce, Spike Milligan, Flann O'Brien, Maeve Binchy, Samuel Beckett, Patrick Cambell, Hugh Leonard, Pat McCabe, Michael MacLiammoir, Roddy Doyle and many more very fine writers.
By way of introduction to Irish Comedy, Mac Anna tells the story of a visiting British journalist being brought to a Dublin night club, which had a strict, and sometimes baffling, dress code.
The journalist's companion explained to the bouncer that his colleague had come to Dublin to write an article on how the Irish were handling the recession (the previous one). The doorman shook their hands, beamed down at them and assured them that they had definitely come to the right spot. He then refused to let them in.
Baffled they asked him why?
"Sorry, yis are wearing jeans."
The two looked down. They weren't. They were both wearing dark trousers. "But we're not," they protested.
"Ah, yes," said the bouncer, smirking, "but you might as well be."
Comedy, says Mac Anna, like the irrefutable Celtic logic of the nightclub bouncer, is a difficult thing to define. So the best you can hope to do is to recognize it when you see it.
Well, in Irish Comic Writing you will recognize plenty.