Thursday, November 28, 2013

American Cornball; A Laffopedic Guide to the Formerly Funny

CHEERED ON by an anvil chorus of quotable comic writers like H.L. Mencken, Mort Walker, and James Joyce, writer Christopher Miller digs up the bones of America’s humoristic past with an autopsy of the obscure, forgotten, and unimportant clichés, tropes, memes, and comic stereotypes of American popular culture. With a cast of thousands, real and imaginary, reading this illustrated volume in one gulp can have a discombobulating effect on the brain. 

THERE ARE ninety-five entries in his new book American Cornball; A Laffopedic Guide to the Formerly Funny, covering the first two thirds of the 20th century with examples taken from comic strips, animated cartoons, radio, films, comedy shorts, postcards, Tijuana Bibles and cocktail napkin ephemera. The jokes, as the “formerly funny” in the title suggests, may not be all that funny to the modern reader, but with humorist Christopher Miller investigating we get an obsessively detailed and amusing examination of the nuts, bolts and brickbats of vintage stereotypical humor.

BROOKLYN based Miller’s previous novel Sudden Noises from Inanimate Objects was the Seattle Times Book of the Year; and his novel The Cardboard Universe was Huffington Post’s Best Book of the Year. American Cornball; A Laffopedic Guide to the Formerly Funny (Harper-Collins) will be available March 2014 from good booksellers everywhere.

FOR A PREVIEW of the type of humor found in American Cornball check out Christopher Miller’s illustrated Facebook page HERE.

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