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"Fascinating, forthright, and funny . . . Mankoff also writes with first-hand knowledge about the topic of laughter itself. He dares to ask the question, 'What makes something funny?', and answers it with intelligence, originality, and, of course, humor."-Roz Chast, cartoonist for The New Yorker
Hi, this is me, Bob Mankoff. And this is my memoir. In it I'll usher you into the hallowed halls of The New Yorker (Shhh! Quiet, you'll upset the fact checkers) to show you the soup-to-nuts process of cartoon creation, giving you a detailed look not only at my own work, but that of the artists who keep you laughing every week, except, of course, when they don't, puzzling you with a cartoon that you "don't get" and then you shoot me an email asking me to explain it. Well, you can stop the shooting. You're holding the solution to those cartoon puzzlers in your hands (it's in chapter nine). What else? Oh goodness, self-effacing, humble me has left out the personal part, the essential me-ness part, forged in 1950s Queens New York where I became a wisecracking Jewish kid who mimicked Jerry Lewis, did funny drawings, and turned my mother's Yiddishisms into American humor, leading straight to a career as a successful cartoonist. Nah, that's not the way it happened. You'll need to read the book to find out how it really went down.