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liked best in my lifetime, not jokes. It's a damned good
anthology and so is the Encyclopedia of American Humor.
Cass Canfield at Harper's also did my Out on a Limerick,
which fared well. I'm under contract now to both of them
for books, but I'm getting so lazy that I don't know when
I'll do them. The one for Harper's was due this year and
I haven't done a word on it yet. It's going to be called
Bennet Cerf's Treasury of Atrocious Puns. Imagine a whole
book of puns. I think that we'll have to give it with a
vomiting cup. Heaven help you if you read more than a few
at a time! I've got hundreds of them saved up in my files,
but haven't gotten round to assorting them.
I believe that joke books have a certain rhythm. I
can't explain it, but I know how to do it. It's like
Gershwin was born knowing how to write songs, and other
people are born knowing how to write books. I have a certain
skill at assembling these books that makes them easy to read.
I don't understand what it is myself, but I do know how to
do it. My joke books are quite different from other joke
books, and there's a very good reason why they sell ten
times as many I think. I've always said that I've learned
how to exploit a very small talent to the absolute ultimate
It's a great virtue though, and a lot of people who
have many talents don't even begin to use them.
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