Our Motto: Life is short. Laugh first.
As Henry VIII said to one of his wives: “I shan’t keep you long. But Christmas is a good time for trying to gain a fresh perspective on life.”
So we’ve put together a gift of laughter called The Little Book of Laughter and Forgetting. Laughter because you will always need laughter and forgetting because as you grow older, you forget. But then, one of the benefits of a poor memory is that you get to laugh at the same jokes again. Norman Cousins believed that laughter is inner jogging, and we hope that you find what follows a good workout.
We always need humor, and I hope you enjoy what follows.
A Gift of Laughter
From that incorrigible wit Anonymous:
- And here is the weather forecast: Tomorrow will be Muggy, followed by Toogy, Weggy, Thurgy and Frigy.
- Bigamy is having one husband too many. Monogamy is the same.
- If the phone doesn’t ring, you’ll know it’s me.
- If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
- I believe we should all pay our tax bill with a smile. I tried, but they wanted cash.
I just made a killing in the stock market — I shot my broker. - Henny Youngman
This is on me. - Dorothy Parker’s epitaph
As the following insights prove, comedian Steven Wright sees things differently than we do:
- I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
- 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.
- 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
- The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
- If you believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.
- Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
- I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.
- How do you tell when you?re out of invisible ink?
- When everything is coming your way, you?re in the wrong lane.
- What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
- My mechanic told me, “I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.”
- The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.
- Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don’t have film.
- Save the whales. Collect the whole set.
- I feel like I’m diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
- Honk if you love peace and quiet.
- I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.
- Support bacteria. They’re the only culture some people have.
- Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.
- Get a new car for your spouse. It’ll be a great trade!
- How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?
- I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.
- Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.
- Just remember – if the world didn’t suck, we would all fall off.
- Light travels faster than sound. Is that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?
- What’s the speed of dark?
I’m at an age when my back goes out more than I do. -Phyllis Diller
It’s good for a writer to think he’s dying: he works harder. -Tennessee Williams
Isaac Asimov, who wrote and edited more than 400 novels and anthologies, once said, “If a doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I’d type a little faster.”
Shakespeare said, “Kill all the lawyers.” There were no agents then. -Robin Williams
A young man named John received a parrot as a gift. The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary. Every word out of the bird’s mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity. John tried and tried to change the bird’s attitude by saying only polite words, playing soft music, and doing anything else he could think of to improve the bird’s vocabulary.
Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. John, in desperation, threw up his hand, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer. For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed. Then suddenly there was total quiet. Not a peep was heard for over a minute. Fearing that he’d hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.
The parrot calmly stepped out onto John’s outstretched arms and said, “I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions. I’m sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior. May I inquire as to what the turkey did?”
From a Happy Housekeeper
- I clean house every other day. Today is the other day!
- You may touch the dust in this house, but please don’t write in it!
- If you do write in the dust, PLEASE don’t date it!
- A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen, and my kitchen is delirious.
- If we are what we eat, then I’m fast, easy and cheap.
- A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
- Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.
From W.C. Fields:
- Horse sense is what a horse has that keeps him from betting on people.
- After two days in the hospital, I took a turn for the nurse.
- The easiest way to change history is to become a historian. -Anonymous
- History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. -Winston Churchill
Little Johnny attended a horse auction with his father. He watched as his father moved from horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horse’s legs, rump & chest.
After a few minutes, Johnny asked, “Dad, why are you doing that?”
His father replied, “Because when I’m buying horses, I have to make sure that they are healthy and in good shape before I buy ‘em.”
Johnny, looking worried, said, “Dad, I think the UPS guy wants to buy Mom.”
Senators William B. Spong of Virginia and Hiram Fong of Hawaii sponsored a bill recommending the mass ringing of church bells to welcome the arrival in Hong Kong of the American table tennis team after its tour of Communist China. The bill failed to pass, cheating the Senate out of passing the Spong-Fong Hong Kong Ping Pong Ding Dong Bell Bill.
A lady goes to her priest one day and tells him, “Father, I have a problem. I have two female parrots, but they only know how to say one thing.”
What do they say?” the priest inquired.
They say, “Hi, we’re hookers! Do you want to have some fun?”
That’s obscene!” the priest exclaimed, then he thought for a moment. “You know,” he said, “I may have a solution to your problem. I have two male talking parrots, which I have taught to pray and read the Bible. Bring your two parrots over to my house, and we’ll put them in the cage with Francis and Peter. My parrots can teach your parrots to praise and worship, and your parrots are sure to stop saying that phrase in no time.”
“Thank you.” the woman responded, “That may very well be the solution.”
The next day, she brought her female parrots to the priest’s house. As he ushered her in, she saw that his two male parrots were inside their cage holding rosary beads and praying. Impressed, she walked over and placed her parrots in with them.
After a few minutes, the female parrots cried out in unison: “Hi, we’re hookers! Do you want to have some fun?”
There was stunned silence. Shocked, one male parrot looked over at the other male parrot and exclaimed, “Put the beads away, Frank. Our prayers have been answered!”
Nothing is impossible until it is sent to a committee. -Lady Blessington, Irish writer.
Well, if I dialed the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? -James Thurber
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me. -Hunter Thompson
A young Native American woman went to a doctor for her first physical exam. After checking all of her vitals and running the usual tests, the doctor said, “Well, Running Doe, you are in fine health. I could find no problems. I did notice one anomaly, however.”
“Oh, what is that, Doctor?”
“Well, you have no nipples.”
“None of the people in my tribe have nipples,” she replied.
“That is amazing,” said the doctor. “I’d like to write this up for The South Carolina Journal of Medicine if you don’t mind.”
She said, “OK.”
“First of all,” asked the doctor, “how many people are in your tribe?”
She answered, “About 500.”
“And what is the name of your tribe?” asked the doctor.
Running Doe replied, “We’re called the Indianippleless five hundred.”
(M.) Berle’s Pearls:
- We owe a lot to Thomas Edison. Were it not for him, we’d all be watching television by candlelight.
- Sex at eighty-four is terrific, especially the one in the winter.
- This is over my head. (An epitaph for himself)
Instant gratification takes too long. -Carrie Fisher
To make mistakes is human, but to profit from them is divine. -Elbert Hubbard
An old farmer in Florida had owned a large farm for several years. He had a large pond in the bac/k, fixed up nice – picnic tables, horseshoe courts a basketball court. The pond was properly shaped and fixed up for swimming when it was built.
One evening, the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn’t been there for a while, and look it over. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond.
He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end of the pond. One of the women shouted to him, “We’re not coming out until you leave!”
The old man replied, “I didn’t come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked. I’m here to feed the alligators.”
All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street, folks will say, “There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived.” –Ted Williams
There are times when parenthood seems like nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you. –Peter de Vries
My mother used to get up at 5 A.M. no matter what time it was. -Sam Levinson
His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork. -Mae West
I’ve been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet. -Erma Bombeck
15 Ways to keep your sanity in a crazy world:
- At lunchtime, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hairdryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
- Page yourself over the intercom. DON’T disguise your voice.
- Every time someone asks you to do something, ask “Do you want fries with that?”
- Put your garbage can on your desk and label it “In”.
- In the memo field of all your checks write, “For sexual favors.”
- Finish all your sentences with, “In accordance with prophecy.”
- dont use any punctuation or capital letters
- Sing along at the opera.
- Go to a poetry recital, and ask why the poems don’t rhyme.
- Put mosquito netting around your work area and play tropical sounds all day.
- Five days in advance, tell your friends you can’t attend their party because “You’re not in the mood.”
- Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, like, “Rock Hard”.
- When money comes out of the ATM scream, “I WON! I WON!”
- When leaving the zoo, start running for the parking lot yelling, “Run for your lives! They?re loose!”
- Tell your children over dinner, “Because of the economy, we?re going to have to let one of you go.”
Advice to speakers:
- If you don’t strike oil in three minutes, stop boring.
- I do not object to people looking at their watches when I am speaking. But I strongly object when they start shaking them to make certain they are still running. -Lord Birkett, British lawyer
On Publisher’s Row:
- It may be said of me by Harper & Brothers, that although I reject their proposals, I welcome their advances. -Edna St. Vincent Millay
- I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose. -George Carlin
- Everything comes to him who waits but a loaned book. -Kin Hubbard
- Poet: a person born with an instinct for poverty. -Elbert Hubbard
The beloved Mother Superior from Tipperary was dying. The nuns gathered around her bed trying to make her comfortable. They gave her warm milk to drink, but she refused it.
Then one nun took the glass back to the kitchen. Remembering a bottle of Irish whiskey received as a Christmas gift, she opened it and poured a generous amount into the warm milk.
Back at Mother Superior’s bed, she held the glass to her lips. Mother drank a little, then a little more. Before they knew it, she drank the whole glass down to the last drop.
“Mother,” the nuns asked in earnest, “Please give us some wisdom before you die.”
Barely audible but with a serene look on her face she said, “Don’t sell the cow.”
Hooray for Hollywood:
- There were times when my pants were so thin, I could sit on a dime and know if it was heads or tails. -Spencer Tracy
- Raymond Chandler on becoming a screenwriter: “If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood; and if they had been any better, I should not have come.”
- Everyone wants to be Cary Grant; even I want to be Cary Grant. -Cary Grant
- Lean, thin hair, can’t be photographed very well, not much personality. Also dances. -A movie executive on Fred Astaire’s screen test
- “What can you do with a guy with ears like that?” -Jack Warner after seeing Clark Gable’s screen test and turning him down for a part
- Gone with the Wind is going to be the biggest flop in Hollywood history. I’m just glad it’ll be Clark Gable who’s falling flat on his face and not Gary Cooper. -Gary Cooper, who had turned the part of Rhett Butler down
- “G” means the hero gets the girl. “R” means the villain gets the girl. “X” means everybody gets the girl. -Kirk Douglas
Samuel Goldwyn’s follies:
- We have passed a lot of water since then.
- Too caustic? To hell with the cost. If it’s a good picture, we’ll make it.
- If I could drop dead right now, I’d be the happiest man alive.
- They didn’t release that film; it escaped.
At a computer expo, Bill Gates compared the computer industry with the auto industry and said, “If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.” In response to Gates’s comments, General Motors issued this press release:
If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
- For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
- Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
- Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and re-open the windows before you could continue, and you would accept this.
- Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
- Macintosh would make a car that was reliable, powered by the sun, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive, but would run on only five percent of the roads.
- The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation” warning light.
- The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.
- Occasionally, for no reason, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
- Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
- You’d have to press the start button to turn the engine off.
From Fran Liebowitz:
- I figure you have the same chance of winning the lottery whether you play or not.
- Never judge a cover by its book.
- The best fame is a writer’s fame: it’s enough to get a table at a good restaurant, but not enough that you get interrupted when you eat.
- Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, there is no such thing as algebra.
- Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. -Truman Capote
- In order to be a realist you must believe in miracles. -David Ben-Gurion
- From the moment I picked up your book until the moment I put it down, I could not stop laughing. Someday I hope to read it. –From a letter to Leo Rosten
- I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it.
- “Is Groucho your real name?” No, I’m breaking it in for a friend.
- Why don’t you bore a hole in yourself and let the sap run out?
- Whoever called it necking was a poor judge of anatomy.
Anonymous also said, “Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused.”
So we hope that you will never want for something to keep you laughing.
Onward and upward!
Huge thanks to all of the hunter-gatherers who helped made this collection possible including: Carol Kosterka, and Cyndi Meardy; those I’ve neglected to mention and whose pardon I beg; the Queen of Net humor, my cousin Ronni Sherman; and our client Leonard Frank, w whose Random House Webster’s Wit and Humor Dictionary is responsible for most of what you are about to skim; and to Elizabeth my first and last love and editor.