The biggest influences on my sense of humor are PG Wodehouse and Douglas Adams. But there were a few other things growing up that taught me new ways of being funny, one of which is the the Mad Tea Party from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The wordplay, logical deadlocks, literary nonsense and the frustration of always being just on the verge of understanding what they’re talking about.
In the Tim Burton movie that comes out today, Johnny Depp plays the Mad Hatter. My earliest memory of the story was this big golden book by Disney.
And of course, there was the strange Hindi version that used to come on Doordarshan in India. “Tap tap topi topi top mei jo dube, far far farmaaishi leke hai ajoobe…”, went its title song. I discover, courtesy Wikipedia, that it was a 1983 Japanese cartoon called Fushigi no Kuni no Alice (Mad Tea Party from that version).
Here’s the book, open at the right chapter, from Google Books: