Actuarial Comedy Books

I know what you’re thinking: there’s hardly enough humour in the actuarial world to write one book,
let alone more than one…

But five actuarial (and one statistical cat) comedy books and a sweet children’s book later here we are…

book facts & figures

(up to 30 June 2024)

books written

audio books sold

books sold

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The Ultimate Actuarial Joke Book

What do you call an actuary with a sense of humour?
An outlier.

From the author of Confessions of an Actuarial Tutor comes this collection of more than 670 jokes that only actuaries will find funny (though probably only because they have such low standards for humour).

Containing the very best classic actuarial jokes, such as:

How can you spot an extroverted actuary at a party?
He’s the one staring at someone else’s shoes.

As well as stacks of new jokes created especially for this book, such as:

Why was the actuarial vampire fired?
Because she was afraid of the stakeholders


What do you call a plane full of actuaries?
A Boring 747.

People only call actuaries boring until they learn how much money they make.
Then they call them rich and boring.

What do you call an actuary with a sense of humour?
Part Qualified.

Did you hear about the terrorists who
hijacked a plane full of actuaries?
They threatened to release one each hour
until their demands were met.

I got called pretty today.
Actually, the full sentence was,
“You’re a pretty boring actuary.”
But I’m focussing on the positive.

What do actuaries do to liven up the office party?
Not show up.

When do actuaries laugh out loud?
When somebody asks them to be certain.

Psychologist to actuary: The problem is that you’re boring.
Actuary: I’d like a second opinion, please.
Psychologist: OK, you’re ugly as well. 

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Since the book is an actuarial text, it seems appropriate to do a probabilistic review.

The probability you will laugh, given you are an actuary, is greater than 95%.
The probability you will laugh, given you KNOW an actuary, is greater than 90%.
The probability you will laugh, given you have a pulse, is greater than 50%.

Additionally, I am grateful that John Lee wrote the ULTIMATE Actuarial Joke book, which is likely a lot easier to understand than the SELECT & ULTIMATE joke book.

My mom even laughed.

Please consider buying this book to support humorous actuaries, they are an endangered species.“

Confessions of an Actuarial Tutor

“The man is quite possibly certifiable insane but is undeniably a brilliant tutor”

John has been training the mythical mathematical creatures known as actuaries for more than 20 years.

Join John as he tries to help recalcitrant student actuaries pass their professional exams armed with nothing but a copy of the actuarial tables and a sense of humour.

Experience his Basil Fawlty-like antics as he strives to maximise the likelihood of socially awkward actuaries being able to survive in the “normal” world.


Someone who tutors actuaries.

I’m glad to have cleared that up for you.

What do you mean, you don’t know what an actuary is?

They are a mythical mathematical creature, rarer than a unicorn and twice as shy.

If you stand very still and look like a spreadsheet, you might be lucky enough to see one emerge from their office late at night, foraging for food. But this period is all too brief as they quickly head to their homes lest they have to engage in small talk with strangers.

As an actuarial tutor, I was trained in the mystical art of capturing young lesser spotted actuaries as they leave the safety of their nests. As part of my conservation work, I help prepare them to overcome the many trials, known as actuarial exams, that they will face in the wild.

Once they have demonstrated their prowess in my safe and controlled environment, I release them back into the wild.  Actuarial Tutors hope these fledglings will successfully navigate these trials so they can be welcomed into the adult pack of actuaries. There they can live out the rest of their lives in monochrome.

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“That was definitely not what I was expecting, whatever that was. And I won’t forget it, for better or worse.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. John, through his many years of teaching, has clearly picked up on the traits and personalities common to student actuaries and brings them to life through a series of real life (although GDPR censored) anecdotes in this book.”

“Finally, I’ve found someone more nuts than me!”

“This book fills a glaring hole in the ‘confessions’ genre of career advice books. Can I claim CPD from reading this?”

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That was definitely not what I was expecting, whatever that was. And I won't forget it, for better or worse.


Finally I've found someone more nuts than me!

Amazon Customer

“This book fills a glaring hole in the ‘confessions’ genre of career advice books.

Can I claim CPD from reading this?”

D. Johnson

John, through his many years of teaching, has clearly picked up on the traits and personalities common to student actuaries and brings them to life through a series of real life anecdotes in this book.


A mixture of gallows humour, self-deprecatory banter, nerdy mathematical jokes and a sprinkle of that unique John Lee eccentricity.

Patty Watson

What a laugh.
Great book for a actuary’s birthday or Christmas gift.

Andrew Gower

Actuarial Fairy Tales

The only funniest actuarial fairy tale book in the world!

Actuarial Fairy Tales is the result of fitting a statistical humour distribution to a dataset of well-known fairy tales after making some assumptions and unfounded extrapolations.

Featuring a diversified portfolio of statistically scintillating stories, including:

  • R-punzel
  • The Princess and the p-value
  • Beauty and the Beastly Actuary
  • RumpelSTATSkin
  • Goldilocks and the 3 Bear Market Analysts

…Little Red-Eyed Riding Actuary was at first concerned upon hearing the deep voice of the wolf, but then realised that 95% of ill people’s hoarse voice confidence intervals would still include this sound.

She answered, “It is your grandchild, Little Red-Eyed Riding Actuary.”

The wolf softened his voice as much as he could and said, “Lift the latch and come in.”

When Little Red-Eyed Riding Actuary came in, she saw her grandmother lying in bed with her cap pulled far over her face, and looking like a definite outlier to the Grandmother’s appearance distribution.

Nevertheless, she started with a null hypothesis that it was indeed her grandmother and carried out a test based on a sample of her grandmother’s appearance.

“Oh grandmother,” she said, “What big ears you have!”

“All the better to hear you say that I’m still within three standard deviations of the mean, my child.”…

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“Oh my, this book was fantastic. It was so funny. I loved it. The incorporation of statistical jokes in fairy tales was brilliant. Definitely a good read for anyone even remotely into math.”

“The book is structured as if every fairy tale was a model and John states assumptions in the beginning. They are so hilarious, for example: ‘Princes have a penchant for wandering in woods and coming upon damsels in distress.’
John uses absurd exaggeration and hyperbolae to poke fun at the lack of social life of actuaries or of their preferences to be in a smaller group. This is an oversimplification, as is the case for many models.”

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The ULtimate Actuarial Colouring Book

A contingent colouring compendium

From the author of The Ultimate Actuarial Joke Book comes this collection of more than 180 delightful drawings inspired by the geekiest actuarial jokes.

Actuarial Colouring Book images

With silly statistical sketches covering the actuarial world from mortality to modelling, reserving to recruiters, and data to distributions, there’s bound to be something to let loose your actuarial artistry.Actuarial Colouring Book images

“This was a big hit in the office! The actuaries loved it, and even the ones who weren’t actuaries were also laughing… filled with awful actuarial puns, insurance-related and risk-related jokes, and plenty of cute office-related pictures to color in – it will make for a fun gift for the office worker in your life, especially if they work in pensions or insurance.”

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Actuary Abby and the Future-Telling Zoo

What do actuaries do?
Find out in Abby’s Future-Telling Zoo!

From the author of the Actuarial Joke Book
Comes this children’s story that deserves a look.
Join Abby on a tour of a fantastical zoo
Showing all the wonderful things that actuaries do.

From insurance to pensions, she covers them all
With a host of creatures, both big and so small.
Animals like the risk roaring lion and a modelling mole
Where explaining the actuarial world is their goal.

Learn how actuaries plan for tomorrow in a math-magical way
To make things better every day.
So what are you waiting for? Come on inside!
And let Abby take you on a fun actuarial ride.

The Best Tweets From Actuary Problem Dog

Actuary Problem Dog* is a parody Twitter account that has been a reliable source of geeky, self-deprecating actuarial humor for over 10 years.

Actuary Rules: 1) Pass exams 2) Keep a low profile 3) Make a nerdy comment every once in a while 4) Don’t recite digits from pi on first date

This book gathers nearly 500 of his best tweets navigating his hilarious journey through the actuarial exams, while working in an office and trying to avoid small talk.

“My Parents didn’t talk to me about the dangers of having unprotected VLOOKUPS until I was like 20”

With a donation made from every purchase, this book will not only raise a smile but also raise money for two mental health charities.

* Not an actual dog.

We need an actuarial-themed restaurant “Ito’s Lemma -nade” “Taylor Series Infinite Breadsticks” “Meat Your Deductible – Meat lover’s Pizza”.

Reminder to consulting actuaries working from home with a child… keep track of their billable hours and send them an invoice once they’re 18 years old.

When the heck is Excel going to come out with a smart watch? I’m just lookin’ for a quick 10×3 workbook I can wear on my wrist.

I know three other languages” was a great bar pickup line until he said “… SQL, SAS, and VBA.”

Actuary intern walks into a doctor’s office
“What’s wrong?”
I have a big presentation tomorrow & I just feel awful. I’m nauseous & have a sharp pain in my abdomen.
“I’m afraid we’re going to have to remove your appendix.”
We can maybe take out Appendix C, but what about the pain?

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“I bought this for my own actuarial dog, as he is unable to use Twitter. While it is good for jokes it is no substitute for the official exam materials.”

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Pawsome pictures with catitude

Do you love cats?

Do you love diagrams?

Then you’ll love this hilarious collection of 75 nerdy statistical diagrams that perfectly encapsulate the joy and pain of being a cat owner, including:

  • the most inconvenient place for cats to sit
  • the perfect bum licking time
  • the real reason cats delay coming when being called
  • the distribution of annoying cat personalities

A pawsitively purrfect gift for cat lovers and math geeks everywhere.

Sure to be a hit with fans of other classic cat humour books such as “How to talk to your cat about gun safety”, “I could pee on this”, “Is your cat trying to kill you”, “Sorry I barfed on your bed” and “You need more sleep.”

“Featuring pie charts, bar charts, Venn diagrams and speed-time graphs, to name but a few, it’s a winningly nerdy dissection of the behaviour of cats. The graphics in the book convey the haughty attitude of cats, and how they stubbornly refuse to do what their owners want them to do, choosing instead to make their owners work hard for their affections. But then, isn’t that the appeal of owning them?

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