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

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Cartoons, short stories, movie strips, oneliners--humor from all genres fill this overstuffed book. Organized by subject, these hilarious entries feature a veritable who's who of American humor with selections from people such as Woody Allen, Garrison Keillor, Nora Ephron and more. Illustrated.
Paperback, 339 pages
Published October 1st 1990 by Harper Perennial (first published 1990)
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Cale
May 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
This has been my 'bathroom reader' for the past couple of months - I picked it up at Goodwill because I figured it couldn't go wrong. It's got lots of famous names (Dave Barry, Bette Midler, Billy Crystal, George Carlin)! It's got scripts from prominent TV sitcoms! It's got long form works, cartoons, and short jokes. It's also got a laugh density of about 1 laugh per 15 pages. A lot of the text in here just doesn't work on paper - for example the Mary Tyler Moore Episode 'Chuckles Bites the ...more
Bob
May 30, 2015 rated it liked it
The stories and jokes compiled in this volume are, of course, mostly outrageously hilarious (even if at times quite salacious), having been written by some of the greatest American humorists and comedians of the last half of the last century. As a compilation, however, it isn't quite up to the task. It should either have been more comprehensive or pared down to essentials.
TrumanCoyote
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Too much New Yorker-type crap (and odd that they said being "amusing" was the kiss of death in the introduction--since that's what that stuff is). Still, they had a couple TV scripts--and Stephen Wright and Mad magazine. A lot of the marginal jokes were unfunny. But a good variety of stuff--and I liked the Fran Lebowitz thing. And P J O'Rourke was good too.
Keith Davis
Nov 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A very smart and funny collection of humorous essays and cartoons.
Tova
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Tim Ganotis
Apr 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
The worst thing a collection of humor can be is boring. This extremely dated collection is a struggle to get through as a whole. There are a few bits here and there worth reading, but the majority is just a rehash of tired jokes and premises that were a yawn even back in 1980 when this was published. There are even a few television sitcom transcripts, which, without the benefit of seeing the actors' performance, loses most of its appeal.

This one is a pass, even for a thrift store or yard sale
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7 followers
William Novak (born 1948) is an author who has co-written or ghostwritten numerous celebrity memoirs for people including Lee Iacocca, Nancy Reagan, and Magic Johnson. He is also the editor, with Moshe Waldoks, of The Big Book of Jewish Humor. He has also written several "private" books, which he described in a 2015 essay for The New York Times.

He is the father of actor and writer B. J. Novak.

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