Maybe it’s a bit crazy? I feel like Ortberg and Beaton have a very similar comedic tone and range of references (particularly in terms of historical knowledge) and so there’d not be much gained by a team-up. Good collaborators (in my opinion) are just similar enough to work together, but different enough that they each bring something to the table that can influence or contrast with the other.
Which is not to impugn the excellence of either woman’s work–I adore (as we all do) Hark! A Vagrant, and I felt honored to be published on The Toast recently. I hope it’s not pejorative to say that they work with a similar comedic perspective.
I’ve been super interested, lately, in that tone, the one I see in both their work. It’s something new, something native to the Internet, no? The casual, naturalistic dialogue in contrast to situations where it doesn’t perhaps fit. A king peppering his speech with ums and ahs, or a upper-class suffragette telling a male opponent to go fuck himself.
It’ a style previously seen in work like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which obviously predates the Internet, but I think what’s new about its use by writers like Beaton and Ortberg is that it’s part of the basis of their comedy–it’s in the very DNA of their senses of humor, and part of their personality. We’re seeing this dialogue style last entire bodies of work, which is also, I think, new.
(It’s a style I use, too, of course, although not to the same success as Beaton or Ortberg.)
Hm, this got a little away from me. I’d only wanted to call Ryan silly, as part of my larger campaign of doing sick burns on all my Internet friends.