What’s so funny?


In the pages 145-203 of Motherless Brooklyn, there are many humorous instances. The first comedic scene that stood out to me was at page 178-179, which is during Tony and Lionel’s talk in the car after Lionel had been with Rockaforte and Matricardi. There is definite tension between both Minna men thats leads to some Emotional Heightening as well as some sarcasm, which I, personally find hilarious in the following exhange:

“They lied to me.” [Lionel] said.

“I’m shocked. Of course they lied. What are you. a newborn baby?”

“Barnabum baby, [Lionel] mumbled. (178)

Further on into the car ride, while they are still going at each other, There are a couple of one-liners that are hilarious. This is mostly due to the relationship between Lionel and Tony but also the emotional tension linked to the situation they face.Tony’s character is one that is very quick with his words. He can easily find comebacks to any dialogue, which with witty and humorous. The first shot was taken by Tony when he tells Lionel, “You need to find a new line of work, McGruff Shitlock Holmes.” (179). The second comeback  on the part of Tony that caught my attention was “I’ll beep you twice, all right.” (179) which was a reaction to one of Lionel’s impulsive tics.

In the pages 193-194, when Loomis and Lionel uncover a clue linking Frank to Ullman, the exhange they have is riddled with repetitions and snarky comments that turn a serious scene into a comedic one.

“Ullman was the last guy Frnak was supposed to see? [Lionel] said.”He never got to him.”

“Minna was supposed to kill Ullman?

“I don’t know.”

“Or vice versa?

“I don’t know.”

“Or did the same guy kill them both?”

“I don’t know, Loomis.”

“So you aren’t learning much besides what I’m digging up for you huh?

“Eat me, Loomis.” (193-194)


Melvin Buquerente



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