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Blog Posts by Subject: Humor

Misfit Memoirs: A Book List

I love a great memoir, and I noticed recently that I tend towards a certain sub-genre of memoirs, those of the mistfit variety. These memoirs are usually brutally honest, self-deprecating, and describe life at the fringes of society, or at least behavior that most of us would be embarrassed, horrified or shocked by. Most are funny and tend to be insightful, and whether it’s a well-known celebrity or someone I’ve never heard of, I find them relatable and refreshing. Read More ›

Make 'Em Laugh: Gut-Busting Picture Books That'll Have 'Em Rolling in the Aisles

Funny is as funny does. What you find hilarious I might find only mildly mirthful. And what a four-year-old thinks is hilarious is incredibly different from what their parent might find droll. That said, there's nothing quite as great as reading a book to a kid and watching them get some real enjoyment out of the text. Read More ›

Joe Miller's Groaners: Historical Joke Books in the Research Collections

In anticipation of April Fools’ Day, I’ve been digging around the research collection’s historical joke books, in search of a good joke. Pity the poor sod who goes searching for funny jokes inside a joke book, right? Well, historically speaking, I’m not alone in this endeavor, and people have long sought to collect jokes and to find them, which is why NYPL owns hundreds of joke books that span basically the history of civilization.Read More ›

No Joke: Strange but Real Books We Love

We love these quirky gems—and not just for April Fools' Day.Read More ›

Absurd Vintage Skating Photos Even Non-Sports Fans Will Love

So you think you can figure skate? Are you photogenic? Can you tolerate the cold? Let these vintage figure skating photos be your guide.Read More ›

July Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Dangers of the 'foodopoly'... secrets of the original West Village... how Manhattan became capital of the world... a survey of time in love, war, crime, art, money and media... the spectrum of

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Who is Harpo Marx?

Who is Harpo? How does one describe him? What is his role in the Marx Brothers' films? What is his role in the universe? Sometimes he is a hero; sometimes an anti-hero. He is always unique, on par with the greats: Chaplin, Red Skelton, Emmet Kelly. He is spontaneous, in continuous action, even when he freezes or stares (which are actions in themselves). He's a part of a group, but sometimes stands alone. Is he everyman, or the product of a long line of clowns?

Harpo can't read, so he takes pleasure in burning books. Perhaps he can read and it's all a pretense. He 

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When They Trod the Boards: Christopher Walken, Song and Dance Man

How do we love Christopher Walken? On his 70th birthday, let us count the ways. Star of film, TV, and NYPL's own iBook Point, somehow everyone has a favorite film that stars him, be it The Deer Hunter, True Romance, or Pulp Fiction. The consummate villain, he faced off

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Vegetable Drolleries

Revolt at the Salad BarHave you seen the Library's long-running exhibition "Lunch Hour" yet? If not, this is your last chance, for it closes on Sunday, February 17. To whet your appetite, I'd like to present a delightful volume that was recently added to the Spencer Collection.

The work is Drôleries végétales (Vegetable Drolleries), also known as L'Empire des 

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Old Meets New (and Hilarity Ensues) in Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Talullah Casey is off to change her life in a very different environment. She’s going to be taking classes at a performing arts college. She will be living on the dramatic, damp, and windswept Yorkshire Dales where she can pretend to be Cathy looking for her Heathcliff. And yes, there will be snogging involved.

Talullah is the younger cousin of Georgia Nicolson, who readers may remember as the heroine of a whole series 

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Judging a Book by Its Cover: The Sylvia Game

We have started offering internships for aspiring judges here at the Institution of Judging Books by their Covers, and our first intern is a jubilant Young Adult patron of the New Dorp Library, Stacey.

Today we will attempt to judge the book The Sylvia Game by Vivien Alcock.

Let's pass judgment... shall we?

Rob says:

Johnny always sat on the park bench behind the tall hedges... but only on Tuesdays. Billy always sat on the park bench behind the tall hedges... 

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Free and Cheap Concerts and Comedy Shows in NYC!

If you're a fan of live music and comedy, there is no better city to live in than New York City. Every day there is something exciting going on, somewhere in the city. More importantly, a lot of these events are free or very cheap. In the past year, I have seen Foster the People,

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April Laughs

Spring is my favorite season, as we (in this hemisphere, anyway) emerge from the winter doldrums (albeit this winter really presented us with little to complain about). April, however, has been labeled "the cruelest month" because of the looming possibility of a (short-lived) regression into colder temperatures. I enjoy April because of it's status as "National Humor Month."

Yes, I am well cognizant of the fact that April is also "

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Support Your Local #LaughLibrary

Do you like to laugh? Of course you do. That's why we at the @AwesomeLibrary have put together a #LaughLibrary. What better place to find a good, inexpensive laugh than at your local library?

The mission statement of the #LaughLibrary is "to assemble for the public a collection of the Library's funniest DVDs, CDs, and books, by the world's greatest comedians." The

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#LaughLibrary Presents: Top 12 New York Comedians to Check Out in 2012

The year 2012 has arrived. Cope with the increasing number of failed New Years resolutions throughout the year with laughter. As a New Yorker, this is pretty easy, as we have a great comedy scene. Below is the #LaughLibrary's list of must-see comics. Most of these comics have work that you can sample at The New York Public Library. Let's begin!

12) Judah Friedlander (@JudahWorldChamp)

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Notes From a Life-Long Learner: Comedy Writing

"It's the jokes. I need the jokes."

This is something a young library patron said to me the other day. He wanted me to find him a DVD of Abbott and Costello’s greatest movies and routines.  I felt an instant kinship with the boy, whom I’ll call Hal. “Yes,” I thought as I took to the catalog. “It’s the 

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Comedy! (insert witty subtitle phrase here)

It is my day off and I have some errands to do! However, that shouldn't keep me from what I really love: WRITING BLOG POSTS.

8:08am Queens: I start thinking about doing a piece on comedy while on the subway. I am wedged neatly between the door, a large Polish construction worker and what I think are three old Chinese women, possibly triplets, but I'm not sure because I can't see them. Someone knocked off my Todd Ford* glasses at the last stop and I dislocate one of my upper vertebrae to make room for a gaggle of rowdy junior high students. I then 

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