Zombies have built their cultural cachet on the inherent dread of moldering, hungry death that stands up and comes after you. Still, the grisly cannibal corpses have always had a lighter side as well, and some of the very best zombie films, from Return of the Living Dead to Shaun of the Dead, are built on that morbid humor. For local writer Dave Flomberg, author of Management for Zombies, the humor is kind of the point.
"Zombies are a reflective surface that humanity looks at, and nothing is more hilarious in nature than mankind," Flomberg explains. "The epic foibles and follies that we have, because of what we are and who we are, lend themselves really well to comedy. And zombies are just a reflection of who we are, and what we are, in our most raw state. If you can't find the hilarity in zombies, then you're probably looking at life through a prism that's a little too serious yourself."
That premise is at the core of a book like Management for Zombies, which skewers America's corporate culture through satire, with literal zombies taking the place of the metaphorical zombies all too many of us become the moment we sit down in our cubicles. Tonight Flomberg is taking to the radio waves -- or the radio Internet, in any case -- to delve deeper into the humor of the undead, as well as its pop cultural influences and the processes of writing and comedy on Kiera Giordan's show That Funny Gal.
"Kiera is a comedian herself, and the show itself is about comedy first. The book and the satire, the humor, was the hook for her and her audience," Flomberg says. "We weaved into comedy in general, a little bit of pop culture, a little bit of magic and science. The book was definitely the focal prism of the interview."
It's a great chance for comedy fans to dip their toes into the fetid waters of the zombie phenomenon, or for zombie fans -- especially those that have already read the book, or want to -- to embrace the lighter side of their favorite horror trope. After all, laughs might be pretty hard to come by when the real zombie apocalypse hits, so it's probably best to enjoy life while you can.
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Listen to Dave Flomberg on That Funny Gal when the show goes live tonight at 6 p.m., or at your leisure in podcast form. You can buy Management for Zombies online, or ask for it at your favorite undead literature emporium.