The Big Book of New American Humor: The Best of the Past 25 Years

More than 300 pages of outrageous parodies, cartoons, stand-up jokes and excerpts from books, movies and television scripts attest to the variety and vitality of American wit. Woody Allen explores psychic phenomena; Dave Barry assesses major nonhumorous events in American history; and George Carlin examines the complexities of owning "stuff." Here too is David Lloyd's Mary Tyler Moore Show episode, "Chuckles Bites the Dust," wherein a clown's death is a scream, as well as "Marred Bliss," the Dink and Jane story in which Mark O'Donnell raises the malapropism to an art form. Martin Mull and Allen Rucker offer a questionnaire for readers who wonder "Am I White?" Sprinkled among the longer pieces are the work of cartoonists, including Gary Larson, George Booth and Gahan Wilson; material from comedians such as Jonathan Katz and "love goddess" Judy Tenuta; and anonymous, everyday humor such as light bulb jokes and licentious limericks. Michael O'Donoghue's "How to Write Good" offers hot tips anyone can begin using immediately; we'd explain further, but suddenly we are "run over by a truck." The editors collaborated on The Big Book of Jewish Humor. $55,000 ad/promo; author tour.

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