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"Only Joking" begins with the mechanism of laughter?how it happens and why even infants do it?then delves into the power of the punch line, exploring the basics of all jokes, from the use of shock and surprise to advanced stand-up techniques such as the ?pull-back/reveal.? Carr and Greeves go on to explore taboo humor, jokes that bomb, and the psychology of finding something funny. They look into the long-standing connection between politics and humor, and discuss the survival prospects for contentious jokes in the current political climate. Throughout the book they conjure up a supporting cast of colorful joke enthusiasts, from Sigmund Freud to Lenny Bruce, and discuss their influence on the jokes we tell today. Surveying across national, ethnic, and gender divides, this rollicking analysis of why joking will always be close to the human heart is an irresistible exploration of humor that makes clear why we need a good laugh nowmore than ever.
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