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When E. B. White said "analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog; few people are interested and the frog dies," he hadn't seen Al Gini's hilarious, incisive, and informative take on jokes, joke-telling, and the jokers who tell jokes. For Gini, humor is more than just foolish fun: it serves as a safety valve for dealing with reality that gives us the courage to endure that which we cannot understand or avoid. Not everyone tells jokes. Not everyone gets a joke, even a good one. But, Gini argues, joke-telling can act as both a sword and a shield to defend us from reality. As the late, great stand-up comic Joan Rivers put it: 'If you can laugh at it, you can live with it ' This book is for anyone who enjoys a good laugh, but also wants to know why.
About the Author
Al Gini is a well-known Chicago radio personality, professor, and the author of a number of books that examine contemporary topics in American culture and other themes including: My Job My Self: Work and the Creation of the Modern Individual (Routledge, 2000); The Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure, and Vacations (Routledge, 2003) Why It's Hard to Be Good (Routledge, 2006); and Seeking The Truth of Things (ACTA, 2010). Gini has been interviewed on several national and international media outlets including: "The Bob Edwards Show," NPR's "Morning Edition," NBC's "Nightly News," CBS News, ABC News, CBC Canada, WTTW Chicago, WGN Chicago, Stanford University's "Philosophy Talk," South African National Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, Massachusetts Public Radio, CBS Radio, and San Francisco Public Radio. For over twenty-eight years he has been the "Resident Philosopher" on National Public Radio's Chicago affiliate, WBEZ-FM, and he regularly lectures to community and professional organizations on issues in popular culture, business and ethics.