By Ted Cohen
Abe and his pal Sol are out for a stroll jointly in part of city they haven't been in sooner than. Passing a Christian church, they discover a curious check in entrance that says "$1,000 to someone who will convert." "I ask yourself what that's about," says Abe. "I imagine I'll pass in and take a look. I'll be again in a minute; simply stay up for me."
Sol sits at the sidewalk bench and waits patiently for almost part an hour. eventually, Abe reappears.
"Well," asks Sol, "what are they as much as? who're they attempting to convert? Why do they care? Did you get the $1,000?"
Indignantly Abe replies, "Money. That's all you humans care about."
Ted Cohen thinks that's now not a foul shaggy dog story. yet he additionally doesn't imagine it's a simple funny story. For a listener or reader to snort at Abe's conversion, a sophisticated set of stipulations needs to be met. First, a listener has to acknowledge that Abe and Sol are Jewish names. moment, that listener needs to be conversant in the frequent concept that Jews are extra attracted to cash than the rest. and eventually, the listener must comprehend this knowledge just before the comic story, and with out somebody telling her or him. Jokes, in brief, are complex transactions within which groups are solid, intimacy is on the market, and differently offensive stereotypes and cliches lose their sting—at least sometimes.
Jokes is a ebook of jokes and a publication approximately them. Cohen loves an excellent chortle, yet as a thinker, he's additionally attracted to how jokes paintings, why they paintings, and once they don't. The pride on the finish of a comic story is the results of a posh set of stipulations and procedures, and Cohen takes us via those stipulations in a philosophical exploration of humor. He considers questions of viewers, choice of shaggy dog story issues, the ethnic personality of jokes, and their morality, all with lots of examples that would make you both giggle or wince. Jokes: extra funny than different philosophy books, extra philosophical than different humor books.
"Befitting its topic, this learn of jokes is . . . mild, humorous, and thought-provoking. . . . [T]he technique matches the fabric, permitting the writer to pepper the ebook with a variety of jokes with out pulling down their humor as a steamroller concept may. this type of booklet is barely pretty much as good as its jokes, and so much of his are stable. . . . [E]ntertainment and concepts in a single gossamer package."—Kirkus Reviews
"One of the various triumphs of Ted Cohen's Jokes-apart from the no longer incidental undeniable fact that the jokes are so stable that he doesn't hassle to compete with them-is that it by no means attempts to sound extra profound than the jokes it tells. . . . [H]e makes you're feeling he's doing an strange form of philosophy. as if he has controlled to show J. L. Austin into one of many Marx Brothers. . . . interpreting Jokes makes you are feeling that being genial is the main profound factor we ever do-which is anything jokes additionally make us feel-and that doing philosophy is as ordinary as being amused."—Adam Phillips, London overview of Books
"[A] lucid and jargon-free learn of the extraordinary indisputable fact that we divert one another with tales intended to make us giggle. . . . An illuminating learn, replete with killer jokes."—Kevin McCardle, The usher in (Glasgow)
"Cohen is an ardent joke-maker, willing to supply us a glimpse of the way jokes are crafted and to have us stay fairly longer on their effects."—Barry C. Smith, instances Literary Supplement
"Because Ted Cohen loves jokes, we come to understand them extra, and maybe imagine extra in regards to the caliber of excellent humor and the appropriateness of laughter in our lives."—Steve Carlson, Christian technology video display
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Extra info for Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters
MICHAEL There’s gotta be a better way to say that. 45 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:04 PM Page 46 46 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:04 PM Page 47 LUCILLE What’s Spanish for “I know you speak English”? 47 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:04 PM Page 48 MICHAEL It’s as Ann as the nose on plain’s face. 48 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:04 PM Page 49 49 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:04 PM Page 50 50 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:04 PM Page 51 MICHAEL She’s a little bit more like me. It’s like we ﬁnish each other’s— LINDSAY Sandwiches?
They’re gonna kill Grandpa. I gotta get out of here. I’m an innocent man. You gotta help Pop-pop get outta here. Give me your hair. GEORGE MICHAEL: My hair? : Give me your hair. Give Pop-pop your hair. 37 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:03 PM Page 38 (Mis)Communication 38 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:03 PM Page 39 TOBIAS Oh, I can just taste those meaty leading man parts in my mouth. 39 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:03 PM Page 40 40 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:03 PM Page 41 MAEBY: Do you guys know where I could get one of those gold necklaces with the “t” on it?
TOUC 31 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:03 PM Page 32 MICHAEL: You’re either going to jail, or if the judge shows absolutely no mercy at all, you’ll be staying here with my mother. 32 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:03 PM Page 33 33 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:03 PM Page 34 34 Arrested_Int_Layout 1 8/26/13 2:03 PM Page 35 BUSTER You lied to me. You said my father was my father, but my uncle is my father. My father is my uncle! : They’re gonna kill Grandpa. I gotta get out of here. I’m an innocent man.
Jokes: Philosophical Thoughts on Joking Matters by Ted Cohen