Make 'Em Laugh

The Funny Business of America

by Karen Zarker

16 December 2008

 

Humor is relative. I just wish he were related to somebody else. I just made that up. I think. But I probably heard it somewhere else in the past, oh, 80 years of American humor that is captured in pop culture and ray-gunned at my susceptible brain from the boob tube, from radio waves, from subliminal messages flashing on the silver screen, from my own sick, twisted genetically programmed need to find some things in life to be just so damned funny while my mate sits beside me, arms crossed, eyes rolling. Indeed, most all of the humor captured in this anthology of “The Funny Business of America” is relatively funny. OK, that’s corny. But one can’t help but be inspired to give it a shot when flipping through these pages of funny quotes, funny pictures, and funny bits of historical trivia that, well, really make you laugh, or guffaw, or at least giggle a bit. (Any less than that and if you’re not already dead then you should be, dammit.) You may prefer Phyllis Diller (from the “Nerds, Jerks, Oddballs, and Slackers” section) to Richard Pryor (in “The Groundbreakers” section), but no matter the shade of your quirk (slapstick? dark? sophisticated? crude?), this book has you covered.  Based on the documentary film of the same title by Michael Kantor (aired on PBS), give this coffee-table-sized book to someone whom you want to make, at the very least, smile.

AMAZON

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