GREAT READS: The King of Comedy, Toilet Humour and Cheap Wine

Today’s Best Reads are big on yuks, poems and getting plastered on cheap wine.

* Freelance writer Andy Battaglia introduces us to the forgotten King of Comedy in The Absurdist genius of Ernie Kovacs, including some neat video clips of the father of the modern style, who pioneered psychedelia, green screens and visual schtick that would’ve made Andy Kaufmann blush.

* Slate’s Sharon Olds offers this nifty take on a toilet, a piece of poetry that builds to a climactically fecal finish. Even in this beauty there is more to be found, however: one commentator points ou that a better title would’ve been “Ode to a Commode.” Neat bonus: audio link lets you listen to the author read her work.

* Stuck writing the next great Canadian novel? Psychologist Dr. Art Markman explains why you should get your mind off your own problems, focus on someone else’s, then crank out the good stuff.

* Toronto’s Charlotte Ashley laments all the books she’s loved before — or loved unsuccessfully trying to sell, that is.Turns out Soviet repression just engaged us WAY more than post soviet repression.

* Eek! Look out foodies: A new study suggests that, just maybe, “fine wine” is irrelevant. The BBC has reported that a science festival taste testing shows people were statistically unable to tell expensive wine from cheap. Let that sink in the next time you doll out $38 for a bottle of plonk. Think this is an isolated case? David McRaney, a blogger who deals in the impact of self-delusion and confirmation bias, explains what happened in an even more blunt French study. Prepared to be somewhat horrified if you’re REALLY convinced the vintage is what counts most when people pick wine.