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Notable Books

Books | Four books to tickle the funny bone

Issue: "Into thin air," Aug. 23, 2014

Jokelopedia: The Biggest, Best, Silliest, Dumbest Joke Book Ever! 

By Compiled by Ilana Weitzman, Eva Blank, Alison Benjamin, Rosanne Green, and Lisa Sparks

This kid-friendly collection of humor also includes bonus advice about how to become a stand-up comic, as well as biographies of famous comedians, comic acts, and sitcoms from the past (e.g., Charlie Chaplin, The Marx Brothers, Monty Python’s Flying Circus) and present (e.g., Adam Sandler, Steve Carell, Chris Rock). Varying font size and color with raggedly sketched cartoons make this assortment of jokes a fun, page-hopping read. A little toilet bowl humor notwithstanding—and some practical pranks that may be a little dicey—two jokes most typical of the humor throughout are: “Why do fish swim in salt water? Because pepper makes them sneeze”; and, “What’s large, blue, and transparent on the outside? An elephant stuck in a Ziploc bag.”

Laughter Still Is the Best Medicine

By Published by Reader’s Digest

With short, humorous stories and often hysterical observations sent in by Digest readers, Laughter Still Is the Best Medicine is good for laughing along or sharing with family and friends. Except for a very few (out of more than 1,000) mildly off-color selections, a typical joke goes like this: “My computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kickboxing.” One limitation is that almost all jokes about marriage assume an adversarial role between husband and wife, but many jokes on other subjects tickled my ribs. For example, a totally sheared sheep, looking back at a woolly friend who’s next to be clipped, says, “Every year I say, ‘Just a little off the top,’ but they never listen!” Quotes both playful and insightful abound: “Always buy a good bed and a good pair of shoes. If you’re not in one, you’re in the other.”

Zany & Brainy Good Clean Jokes for Kids 

By Bob Phillips

If you’re looking for “good, clean family fun,” this collection by author and humorist Bob Phillips fits the bill, serving up mostly lightweight laughs. Among them: Animal jokes (Q: What telephone number does a pig call when it gets in trouble? A: Swine-one-one), nutty knock-knocks (Knock, knock. Who’s there? Omar. Omar who? Omar goodness, I must have knocked on the wrong door!), and corny but funny (Look at those two snails fighting. Shouldn’t we break them up? Nah, just let them slug it out.) My favorite in the collection is, Q: What happens when you play a country song backwards? A: You get your dog back, your truck back, and your girlfriend back.

Hilarious Religious Jokes 

By Jimmy Atkinson

Hilarious Religious Jokes: A Huge Collection of the Funniest and Best Christian Jokes features a cute cover cartoon of Noah squeezing an elephant into the ark, but its bawdy and heretical humor demands a more accurate title, “Offensive Irreligious Jokes,” and a more appropriate cover cartoon, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Christians should turn away from this so-called Christian humor book and its tired retreading of old yawners: Nearly one-fourth of the situational humor has to do with meeting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. A final irony: The very last joke in this book takes a stab at Christian hypocrisy. (Please be advised that the author has children’s humor books on the market as well.)

Spotlight

Laughter Still Is the Best Medicine includes this one from Reader’s Digest reader Amit Rastogi:

Three old friends are taking a memory test. The doctor asks the first, “What’s three times three?”

“Two hundred seventy-four,” he answers.

“Hmm.” The doctor turns to the second man. “What’s three times three?”

“Tuesday,” he replies.

“What’s three times three?” the doctor asks the last man.

“Nine,” he answers.

“Great,” the doctor says. “How did you get that?”

“Simple. I subtracted 274 from Tuesday.” —A.S.

—Albin Sadar has a humor feature on WORLD’s radio show/podcast, The World and Everything in It

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