By Ted Cohen
Abe and his good friend Sol are out for a stroll jointly in part of city they haven't been in ahead of. Passing a Christian church, they realize a curious sign up entrance that claims "$1,000 to an individual 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 look ahead to me."
Sol sits at the sidewalk bench and waits patiently for almost part an hour. ultimately, 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 snigger at Abe's conversion, a classy set of stipulations needs to be met. First, a listener has to acknowledge that Abe and Sol are Jewish names. moment, that listener should be accustomed to the common concept that Jews are extra attracted to funds than anything. and eventually, the listener must understand this knowledge just before the comic story, and with no an individual telling her or him. Jokes, briefly, are advanced transactions within which groups are solid, intimacy is accessible, and another way offensive stereotypes and cliches lose their sting—at least sometimes.
Jokes is a publication of jokes and a e-book approximately them. Cohen loves an outstanding chortle, yet as a thinker, he's additionally attracted to how jokes paintings, why they paintings, and once they don't. The satisfaction on the finish of a shaggy dog story is the results of a fancy set of stipulations and techniques, and Cohen takes us via those stipulations in a philosophical exploration of humor. He considers questions of viewers, collection of comic story themes, the ethnic personality of jokes, and their morality, all with lots of examples that would make you both snort or wince. Jokes: extra funny than different philosophy books, extra philosophical than different humor books.
"Befitting its topic, this examine of jokes is . . . gentle, humorous, and thought-provoking. . . . [T]he procedure suits the fabric, permitting the writer to pepper the ebook with a range of jokes with out knocking down their humor as a steamroller idea may well. the sort of publication is barely pretty much as good as its jokes, and so much of his are solid. . . . [E]ntertainment and ideas in a single gossamer package."—Kirkus Reviews
"One of the numerous triumphs of Ted Cohen's Jokes-apart from the now not incidental indisputable fact that the jokes are so strong 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're 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 typical as being amused."—Adam Phillips, London overview of Books
"[A] lucid and jargon-free research of the awesome undeniable fact that we divert one another with tales intended to make us snicker. . . . An illuminating examine, replete with killer jokes."—Kevin McCardle, The bring in (Glasgow)
"Cohen is an ardent joke-maker, prepared to provide us a glimpse of the way jokes are crafted and to have us reside quite longer on their effects."—Barry C. Smith, occasions Literary Supplement
"Because Ted Cohen loves jokes, we come to understand them extra, and maybe imagine extra concerning the caliber of excellent humor and the appropriateness of laughter in our lives."—Steve Carlson, Christian technology video display