Excerpt from Laughing Stock: Over Six-Hundred Jokes and Anecdotes of Uncertain Vintage
I've had a weakness for funny Stories ever since I was a kid in the Pulitzer School of Journalism, so this is my lucky day. I fell into the editorship of the Columbia Jester in my Sophomore year because the previous pilot had been kicked out for editorial in discretions. (he won a Pulitzer Prize some years later.) I ran afoul of the authorities in my very first issue. A fullpage frontis piece showed an English lord at a ringside table of a night club. A couple on the ﬂoor was doing the Shimmy - a sexy dance craze of the moment. The caption had somebody asking the lord what he thought of the exhibition. All I can sye, replied the lord, is that I 'opes 'e marries the gal. President Nicholas Mur ray Butler took time Out from busy life to explain to me (1) that English lords rarely spoke with cockney accents, and (2) that if succeeding issues of Jester contained any more questionable sto ries, I'd be out on my ear even faster than my predecessor.
This was a pretty sobering experience, and I drifted into the more serious side of the publishing business for many years - nu til 1942, to be precise, when the obvious need for material to make people laugh induced me to make a collection that ulti mately appeared as the Pocket book OF war humor. That was followed by the Pocket book OF cartoons, try and stop me, and now laughing stock. AS Wolcott Gibbs once wrote about Harry Luce, Where it all will end, knows God.
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