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

William Novak, Editor, Moshe Waldoks, Editor Harper Perennial $17 (339p) ISBN 978-0-06-096551-8
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. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
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