Lotsa Laughs: Funny Side of Everything
by Ben Sheldon
Diamond Media Press

"In good English, Cinderella is a very small cinder."

A small volume of vintage jokes, puns, and pithy sayings, this not politically correct collection reflects politics, daily life, social and gender roles, ethnic humor, religion, and sex. General warnings such as "Laugh at Your Risk," "All Seriousness Aside," and "Not for the Prude," warn readers that these bite-size nuggets may offend. Indeed, "pushing the envelope" is the author's intention. The collection is not unique, for many offerings are taken from comedy sketches of years ago. Sheldon's purpose is to collect multi-genre humor that has made people laugh for generations. This is because the general American public has related to it for decades. Aside from his parenthetical warnings, Sheldon makes no apologies to people who may not enjoy the humor or are not able or willing to relate to it.

Written without narration, the work could benefit from additional editing. However, the relaxed style reflects the work's intention, which is for the reader to let go and enjoy. Sheldon's basic presentation, which is unadorned either by an introduction or explanation about the categories or the jokes, puts the emphasis squarely on the material. It is a book for readers to put their feet up and hair down. This may explain why the material has lasted through generations of readers, radio listeners, and theatergoers. To quote the late journalist Hugh Sidey, "A sense of humor... is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life."

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