Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"Mandatory Guy Book"

The book's first reader review at calls Jokes Every Man Should Know a "mandatory" guy book" and bestows five stars. So I guess the book's title makes sense.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dear God Letter (page 115)

A worker in the post office is sorting through the mail when she sees a letter addressed to "God, c/o Heaven."

She opens it up, and it's a note from a little old lady. The lady says she has never asked anyone for anything in her life but desperately needs $500 to pay her heating and other bills and has nowhere else. She hoped maybe God could send her the money.

It’s around holiday time, so the postal worker decides to take up a collection from her colleagues. She ends up getting $450 and mails the cash to the lady.

A few weeks later, there's another letter addressed to God from the same old woman. The worker opens it up, and it says:

"Dear God, Thank you so much for the money you sent. I helped me through a difficult time, and I'm glad that I had faith. However, I received only $450. It must have been those bastards in the post office!"

Friday, May 30, 2008

Philly Daily News + Joke Book Podcast

Dan Gross in The Philadelphia Daily News was kind enough to mention Jokes Every Man Should Know in his column on local names and celebs. For now I'll even excuse the way he calls the paper upstairs the Inqwaster.

Then today the Daily News put out a "PhillyFeed" podcast after Jenice Armstrong and Vance Lehmkuhl interviewed me about the book for I'd say about 12 minutes. The full, unexpurgated recording is here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Reader Submission: a couple of Jokes Every Woman Should Know

Athena says her aunt sent her these:

A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position.
As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"
"'Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."


A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day: 30,000 compared to a man's 15,000.
The wife replied, "The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men."
The husband turned to his wife and said, "What?"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Electric Chair Joke + Bonus Alternative Version (page 41)

Three men are sentenced to death and brought to face their fate.
The executioner says to the first one, "You have a choice: you may die either by lethal injection or electric chair."
He chooses lethal injection. The injection is administered and he dies.
The second man is offered the same choice. He selects electric chair. The executioner pulls the switch, but nothing happens. He tries again. Again nothing happens.
"Well," the executioner says, "according to our laws, you made your choice and the punishment was administered, so we are done. You can go free." He goes free.
Then the executioner asks the third man the same question: lethal injection or electric chair.
"I think lethal injection," he says. "The electric chair is obviously broken."

ALTERNATIVE VERSION ALERT: In another version of this joke, it's a priest, a doctor and an engineer who are going under the guillotine. The guillotine malfunctions for priest and then also for the doctor. Because "God has spoken," both are set free. When it's the engineer's turn to place his head on the faulty guillotine, he looks up and says: "Oh, I see the problem!"

Book in Real Simple

Jokes Every Man Should Know is featured in the Father's Day gift guide in Real Simple magazine, the June issue, along with a silver bowl and some other stuff. RS reports its circulation at 1.9 million. And that's 1.9 million people!

They say: "Do the whole family a favor and put an end to Dad’s corny one-liners. This little black book offers more than a hundred alternatives (some G-rated, others requiring earmuffs)."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Snail Joke (page 16)

Every year, Joe takes a week during the summer to relax at his friend’s cabin in the Maine woods. One night after he’s just arrived, he's sitting in the cabin when he hears a knock at the door. He opens the door and doesn't see anything -- until he looks down. On the wooden porch he sees a small snail. Annoyed, he picks up the snail and throws it as far as he can.
Three years later, Joe is back in the cabin for another summer retreat. There’s a knock on the door. He opens it and sees nothing, then remembers. He looks down -- and there’s the same snail!
The snail says: "What the hell was that all about?"

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Jack Handey book review

I have sneaked a mention of Jokes Every Man Should Know into my byline at the bottom of my review of the new Jack Handey book, What I'd Say to the Martians. It ran today in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Handey book is hilarious.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Snubbed by Esquire -- UPDATED

Wow. Ouch. In mid-February, sent Jokes Every Man Should Know to Esquire with a nice letter. I used to know the guy who edits the magazine. Good guy. Great magazine. The May issue of Esquire arrives! There's a feature: "75 Skills Every Man Should Master." Awesome. Here's what they have in there:

38. Tell a joke. Here's one:
Two guys are walking down a dark alley when a mugger approaches them and demands their money. They both grudgingly pull out their wallets and begin taking out their cash. Just then, one guy turns to
the other, hands him a bill, and says, "Hey, here's that $20 I owe you."

That's word-for-word the way it's in the joke book. Actually, it's an old joke, but the above rendering of it is double-familiar. The way it's written in Esquire and in the joke book is exactly the way I edited it for GQ in 1999, when I did a feature, the "Funniest Jokes of All Time." It reads tersely because I had to keep each joke very short.

FOLLOW UP: I figured I had nothing to lose sending an email to Tom Chiarella, who wrote the Esquire "75 skills" package. I said I admire his writing (very true) and laid out the above info. He wrote back -- said he was sorry and understood my frustration. They wanted to do one of the 75 items about telling a joke. An intern got three jokes off the Internet, Chiarella says, and "I chose that one because it was so tightly written -- backdoor kudos I suppose.... In any case, I apologize for the overlap...I hope it seems explainable. " It does.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Vow of Silence Joke (page 22)

A guy joins a monastery and takes a vow of silence: he’s allowed to say two words every seven years.
After the first seven years, the elders bring him in and ask for his two words.
"Cold floors," he says. They nod and send him away.
Seven more years pass. They bring him back in and ask for his two words. He clears his throat.
"Bad food," he says. They nod and send him away.
Seven more years pass. They bring him in for his two words.
"I quit," he says.
"That’s not surprising," the elders say. "You’ve done nothing but complain since you got here."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I said a really bad word on the Jay Thomas Show

I was on the Jay Thomas show on Sirius Radio today. I was the guest after Carolyn Jessop, who escaped from the cultlike polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. It went really well. Uh, I hadn't anticipated having to tell the gorilla joke on the air and actually messed it up. What a giant boner. Also, Jay got me to say a very bad word. Maybe I can get an MP3 on here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lawyer Joke #1 (page 38)

A guy asks a lawyer what his fee is.
"I charge $50 for three questions," the lawyer says.
"That’s awfully steep, isn’t it?" the guy asks.
"Yes," the lawyer replies, "Now what’s your final question?"

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jokes Every Man Should Know gets a nice nod from Ashley Primis in Philly magazine's "Daily Examiner" blog. She writes: "This compilation is no knock-knock, it’s the gentleman’s ultimate wing-man with PG jokes for awkward cocktail parties, to the so-not-PG jokes for bar banter."

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Husband Comes Home Early (page 44)

A guy tells his psychiatrist: “It was terrible. I was away on business, and I sent my wife an e-mail saying I’d be back a day early. I rushed home from the airport. And when I got home I found her in bed with my best friend! I don’t get it. How could she do this to me?"

"Well," reasons the psychiatrist. "Maybe she didn’t get the e-mail."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

What's so funny about golf jokes?

The first press ever for Jokes Every Man Should Know is in the Wall Street Journal. "Golf Journal" columnist John Paul Newport interviewed me for his column about golf jokes. There are four or five golf jokes in the book (which isn't exactly out yet) and two are about religious people swearing. I can't hit the ball into the hole so I told him golf jokes are funny because "frustration is funny." Humor has always risen from oppression, from people who can't control the situations they're in, and when life seems horribly unfair. So, golf jokes make sense.