Stop Me If You've Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jul 17, 2008 - Humor - 160 pages
5 Reviews

“Finally I understand what it is I’ve been laughing at all these years.”—Jimmy Kimmel

From the best-selling author of Why Does the World Exist? comes this outrageous, uproarious compendium of absurdity, filth, racy paradox, and gratuitous  offensiveness—just the kind of mature philosophical reflection readers have come to expect from the ever-entertaining Jim Holt. Indeed, Stop Me If You’ve
Heard This is the first book to trace the evolution of the joke all the way from the standup comics of ancient Athens to the comedy-club Seinfelds of today. After exploring humor’s history in Part One, Holt delves into philosophy in Part Two: Wall Street jokes; jokes about rednecks and atheists, bulimics and politicians; jokes you missed if you didn’t go to a Catholic girls’ school; jokes about logic and existence itself . . . all became fodder for the grand theories of Aristotle, Kant, Freud, and Wittgenstein in this heady mix of the high and low, of the ribald and profound, from America’s most beloved philosophical pundit.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Y2Ash - LibraryThing

This is a cute and informative little book about the evolution and history of the joke. I thought it would have been boring and dry but was actually enlightening and interesting. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - irkthepurist - LibraryThing

i really enjoyed this. it's very much only a dabble into the history and theory of the joke, but it's wonderful for all that - holt is an engaging, entertaining writer and does a good job of cutting ... Read full review



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About the author (2008)

Jim Holt, a prominent essayist and critic on philosophy, mathematics, and science, is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review and the New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City.

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