The Funniest People in Comedy: 250 Anecdotes

These are the first 10 anecdotes from my book The Funniest People in Comedy: 250 Anecdotes, available for .99 CHEAP at online booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBookstore, Kobo, etc.:

Actors

While studying theater at UCLA, Carol Burnett took a course in acting, where she prepared to recite a speech in front of her class. Unfortunately, she didn’t recite it very well. For one thing, she didn’t bother to read the rest of the play to find out the context of the speech. In addition, she spoke the speech in a low monotone while pantomiming a waitress wiping a table. Her classmates didn’t understand the speech and thought that she was pantomiming ironing a shirt. Carol’s grade? D minus. Fortunately, a short time afterward, she was given some funny words to say. Her classmates laughed, Carol stuck to funny roles, and she earned an A-minus in the course.[1]

On The Dick Van Dyke Show, Dick’s younger brother, Jerry, made a few memorable appearances as Stacie Petrie. One pair of episodes about Stacie’s sleepwalking had their genesis in real life. Dick Van Dyke says about Jerry, “As a kid, he was a somnambulist—the world’s champion sleepwalker. He could get up, walk, and talk to you, and you’d never know he was asleep.” After Jerry was cast for his guest appearance, series producer Carl Reiner asked Dick if his younger brother could act. Dick said yes. When Mr. Reiner asked him how he knew Jerry could act, Dick replied, “Because if he can’t, I’ll kill him.”[2]

Not everyone wants to act. During the 1970s and 1980s, a wild and crazy comedian named Ron Sweed, aka the Ghoul, hosted several mostly bad movies on a television program airing in Cleveland, Ohio. Frequently, in between segments of the movie he was showing, he did short episodes of “Spencer and Mongolia,” a parody of a sitcom. Several women played Mongolia over the years—one woman quit because she regarded filming the episodes as a waste of her lunch hour.[3]

Ad-libs

 Jackie Gleason’s TV series The Honeymooners was shown live, and mistakes did happen. In one episode, Mr. Gleason, famous for the character Ralph Kramden, missed his entrance. Art Carney, who played sewer worker Ed Norton, simply went to the Kramdens’ icebox, took out an orange, and began peeling it until Ralph Kramden arrived. Whenever you see Jackie Gleason patting his stomach on the show, it’s a sign to the cast that they’re in trouble, and somebody better think of something to say or do to get them out of the jam. Audrey Meadows, in her character of Alice, Ralph’s wife, once snarled, “If you get any bigger, Gasbag, you’ll float away.” The line was an ad-lib, rendered necessary by circumstances.[4]

Henry Morgan was hired to do a radio program in Canada consisting of ad-libs. However, very quickly, the producer of the show complained that Mr. Morgan was cheating him because the show had no structure—no beginning, middle, or end. So on the next show, Mr. Morgan paused to point out to the audience the beginning of the show, then later he paused to point out the middle of the show, then finally he told the audience, “This is the end—I quit.”[5]

Much of Jack Benny’s humor came from his writers, but at least once he got off a funny ad-lib. During a radio show with Fred Allen—who was funny with or without writers—Mr. Allen kept peppering Mr. Benny with comic ad-lib insults. Finally, Mr. Benny protested, “You wouldn’t say those things if my writers were here!”[6]

Vaudeville comedian Ted Healy once came on stage just after a bear act left. The smallest bear left a dropping as it exited, and the amused audience members called for the return of the bear act. Mr. Healy looked at the dropping, then he told the audience, “If that’s the kind of crap you want, I’ll do it myself.” The audience laughed.[7]

British stand-up comedian Marti Caine once performed her act in front of a group of drunken rugby players immediately after some strippers had performed. A rugby player saw that Ms. Caine was not taking off her clothes, so he yelled, “We want tits!” Ms. Caine replied, “You’d look bright with tits.”[8]

Having dined well at the Trocadero, Robert Benchley strode to the door and asked the doorman to call him a taxi. However, the “doorman” said, “I’m very sorry. I happen to be a rear admiral in the United States Navy.” Mr. Benchley replied, “All right, then. Get us a battleship.”[9]

Comedian Beatrice Lillie was dining at a restaurant when a busboy dropped several dishes onto the floor. He started to pick up the pieces, but Ms. Lillie yelled, “Wait for the laugh!” The busboy—and Ms. Lillie—got a laugh.[10]

[1] Source: James Howe, Carol Burnett: The Sound of Laughter, pp. 15-16.

[2] Source: Ginny Weissman and Coyne Steven Sanders, The Dick Van Dyke Show, pp. 48-49.

[3] Source: Ron “The Ghoul” Sweed, and Mike Olszewski, The Ghoul Scrapbook, p. 112.

[4] Source: John Javna, The Best of TV Sitcoms, p. 12.

[5] Source: Henry Morgan, Here’s Morgan!, p. 280.

[6] Source: Larry Wilde, The Great Comedians, p. 36.

[7] Source: Morris “Moe” Feinberg, Larry: The Stooge in the Middle, p. 75.

[8] Source: Morwenna Banks and Amanda Swift, The Joke’s on Us, p. 14.

[9] Source: Nathaniel Benchley, Robert Benchley, p. 245.

[10] Source: Bruce Laffey, Beatrice Lillie, p. 213.

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Recommended Reading: Marc Dion

Marc Dion: Get Out Of The Republican Party! (Creators Syndicate)

As Trump Administration Misspokesperson Sean Spicer just proved, Republicans remain unconvinced about the evil nature of Adolf Hitler. They’re not too sure slavery was that bad a deal, either.

https://www.creators.com/read/marc-dion/04/17/get-out-of-the-republican-party

 

Marc Dion: Bill O’Reilly and Aaron Hernandez (Creators Syndicate)

A lot of people die in the dark, far from by celebrity’s flaring glare. Everyone knows it and no one gives a damn.

https://www.creators.com/read/marc-dion/04/17/bill-oreilly-and-aaron-hernandez

 

Check Him Out:

https://www.creators.com/author/marc-dion

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Haiku

Write five syllables

Write seven syllables, then 

Write five syllables

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New York City Soft on Crime? BS!

Soft1

Soft2

THE BELOW IS A MESSAGE FROM SOMEONE WHO APPARENTLY SMOKES WACKY WEED:

Soft3

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The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3: 250 Anecdotes

These are the first 10 anecdotes from my book The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3: 250 Anecdotes, available for .99 CHEAP at online booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBookstore, Kobo, etc.:

Activism

  • Norman Mailer was an activist, among his many other activities. During the Cold War, he was arrested in New York for civil disobedience when he appeared with 1,000 other citizens to protest a law requiring people to go to fallout shelters whenever an air raid drill was held. When the air raid drill siren sounded, many of the protesters unfurled umbrellas that bore the legend “Portable Fallout Shelter.” Mr. Mailer was also a parent. At the Elliott Bay Bookstore, he once did a reading. Afterward, he signed many books. In line with a parent was a small boy. Mr. Mailer talked to the boy and asked him if he could do something for him. The boy replied, “You could help me with my term paper.” Mr. Mailer laughed, then said, “Oh, no, my son already asked me, and I told him no, too.”[1]
  • Some people really take politics seriously. Jack Huberman, a Canadian, became an American citizen so he could vote against George W. Bush in the year 2000 election. Mr. Huberman is the author of the books The GOP-Hater’s Handbook: 378 Reasons Never to Vote for the Party of Reagan, Nixon and Bush Again (published in 2007) and The Bush-Hater’s Handbook: A Guide to the Most Appalling Presidency of the Past 100 Years (published in 2003).[2]

Advertising

 

  • In 2007, a notable hoax was perpetrated by the publishers of the Lemony Snicket books, which are subtitled “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” In this hoax, a new organization, the “Happy Endings Foundation,” was set up in order to promote happy endings in books for children. According to the foundation, “[S]ad books are bad books.” Therefore, members of the foundation wish to get rid of the Lemony Snicket books, even employing two gerbils to shred such books. The hoax was successful, being written up in some book blogs, and of course it garnered even more publicity for the Lemony Snicket books after journalists began writing that it was a hoax. As hoaxes go, this one was clever, and I encourage more hoaxes such as this, even though it may mean encouraging more shameless publicity for books that are so famous and so often purchased that they don’t need it.[3]
  • A few decades ago, advertising copywriter Edward S. Jordan wrote an automobile advertisement designed to appeal to women (aka “girls” in the first half of the 20th century) who loved the outdoors: “It’s a wonderful companion for a wonderful girl and a wonderful boy. How did we happen to think of it? A girl who loves to swim and paddle and shoot described it to a boy who loves the roar of the cutout.” Lots of letters from women poured in and praised the ad. A woman from West Park, Ohio, wrote this letter: “I don’t want a position with your Company. I just want to meet the man who wrote that advertisement. I am twenty-three, a blonde, weight 130. My wings are spread. Just say the word and I’ll fly to you.”[4]

Advice

 

  • Daniel Handler is often thought to be the real Lemony Snicket, author of the children’s book series called A Series of Unfortunate Events; however, Mr. Handler says that he is merely Mr. Snicket’s representative. For example, he often appears at book events that Mr. Snicket is supposed to appear at but does not. One day, Mr. Handler appeared at an event and said that an exotic bug had stung Mr. Snicket in the armpit, thus keeping him from appearing in person. To prove that this had happened, Mr. Handler bought the exotic bug — trapped in a glass — with him. He also gave the children who had hoped to see Mr. Snicket in person some excellent advice designed to keep them from ever having an exotic bug sting them in the armpit: “Never raise your hand, especially not in class.” By the way, Mr. Handler’s parents understood how to get him to read. They would read to him at night a suspenseful story and stop reading when they reached a cliffhanger. Then they would leave young Daniel with strict instructions not to turn on the light and read after they had left. Of course, young Daniel would turn on the light and start reading as soon as his parents had left — as they knew he would.[5]
  • Barbara Feldon, who played the role of Agent 99 on TV’s Get Smart, is friends with artist Jan Stussy, whom she calls “the most prolific artist” she knows. She once asked him about his creation of art, “How did you develop the courage?” He replied, “When I was in the 10th grade, I realized that if you simply make the first mark, the rest will just happen. Whether it’s that first mark with a brush on a canvas or pencil to paper, boldly make it and then let yourself free-fall. Art creates art.” Hearing this, Ms. Feldon, who is now the author of Living Alone and Loving It, added writing to her other creative endeavors, and she often tells herself, “Make the first mark.”[6]

Agents

  • Humorist Alan Coren thought that he wasn’t selling enough books, so he complained to his agent, who told him that very few subjects would definitely sell books, and those subjects were cats, golf, and Nazis. No fool, Mr. Coren titled his very next book Golfing for Cats — on the cover was a picture of a swastika. Newspaper columnist Stephen Moss believes that another subject that will definitely sell books is God — whether the book is pro or con on that particular subject. And yet another subject guaranteed to sell books is how to lose weight. Therefore, Mr. Moss is planning to write a book titled How I Found God and Lost Weight on Life’s 18th Hole. On the cover will be a picture of a cat — beside a picture of Hitler.[7]
  • Playwright Arthur Miller could be forceful. After writing All My Sons, he mailed the play to his agent, Leland Heyward, who had not read it one week later. This made Mr. Miller angry, so he went to his agency, demanded that the play be returned to him, and announced that he was leaving the agency. Fortunately, the agency secretary was intelligent. Not wanting Mr. Miller to leave the agency, the secretary asked for permission to allow another agent there to read his play. Mr. Miller agreed, agent Kay Brown read and loved the play, and she called Mr. Miller the very next day to tell him that his play was terrific. She was not exaggerating. All My Sons won the Drama Critics Circle Award. For the next 40 years, Ms. Brown was Mr. Miller’s agent.[8]

Alcohol

  • If you want to hear some good stories about writers who drink lots of alcohol, talk to Joseph Tartakovsky, associate editor of the Claremont Review of Books. Among his stories: 1) Cratinus, an Athenian poet of the 5th-century BCE, died of grief after seeing a cask break into pieces. It wasn’t just any cask, of course — it was filled with wine. 2) Tennyson was not sure what to do after receiving a letter asking him to become poet laureate of Britain. Therefore, he wrote two letters — one accepting and one declining — then he drank a bottle of port. He decided to accept. 3) Sergio Leone, director of the spaghetti Westerns starring Clint Eastwood, once asked Norman Mailer to write a script for him. Mr. Mailer locked himself into a room with a typewriter and a case of whiskey. He wrote for three weeks, occasionally stopping to sing, to curse, and to order ice cubes. The script was never filmed.[9]
  • Kingsley Amis had much experience with drinking way too much, and if any man was an expert on hangovers, he was. One of the things his excessive experience with excessive drinking taught him was to “not take an alkalizing agent such as bicarbonate of soda” when he had a hangover. One dreadful morning he took some bicarbonate of soda, which he chased with some hair of the dog: vodka. His companion decided to do an experiment: “Let’s see what’s happening in your stomach.” The companion poured what was left of the vodka into what was left of the bicarbonate of soda. Mr. Amis writes, “The mixture turned black and gave off smoke.”[10]

[1] Source: Paul Krassner, “Remembering Norman Mailer.” Huffington Post. 10 November 2007 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-krassner/remembering-norman-mailer_b_72034.html>.

[2] Source: A BUZZFLASH REVIEW: The GOP-Hater’s Handbook: 378 Reasons Never to Vote for the Party of Reagan, Nixon and Bush Again. Accessed 29 November 2007 <http://www.buzzflash.com/store/reviews/800>.

[3] Source: Ceri Radford, “The Happy Endings Foundation hoax.” The Telegraph. 8 October 2007 <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/arts/ceriradford/oct07/happyendingshoax.htm>.

[4] Source: Edward S. Jordan, The Inside Story of Adam and Eve, pp. 15-16.

[5] Source: Hayley Mitchell Haugen, Daniel Handler: The Real Lemony Snicket, pp. 12, 21.

[6] Source: Barbara Feldon, Living Alone and Loving It, p. 155.

[7] Source: Stephen Moss, “Christopher Hitchens — God’s gift to the world of books.” The Guardian. 26 June 2007 <http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,2111370,00.html>.

[8] Source: Bruce Glassman, Arthur Miller, p. 34.

[9] Source: Joseph Tartakovsky, “The spirits behind the writers.” Los Angeles Times. 27 February 2008 <http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-tartakovsky27feb27,0,6447088.story&gt;.

[10] Source: Kingsley Amis, On Drink, pp. 92-93.

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The Funniest People in Books, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes

These are the first 10 anecdotes from my book The Funniest People in Books, Volume 2: 250 Anecdotes, available for .99 CHEAP at online booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBookstore, Kobo, etc.:

Activism

  • Gay and lesbian activists sometimes have to fight scary battles. In the 1960s, some members of the American Nazi Party wanted to cause trouble at a conference of ECHO (East Coast Homophile Organizations). The gays and lesbians banded together to keep the American Nazis out of the auditorium where the conference was being held by locking arms and forming a human barricade that refused to let the American Nazis through. Among the activists barricading the door was Nancy Garden, lesbian author of Annie on My Mind.[1]
  • Many people read and enjoy J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the good guys’ fight against the evil of Mordor. Some of those who read it in college are activists. One campus cut down a pleasant grove of trees to make room for an ugly “Cultural Center” made of concrete blocks. Students detested the cutting down of trees, and on the ugly building someone wrote, “Another bit of Mordor.”[2]

Advertising

  • Advertising copywriters can be very good writers. In 1919, 18-year-old Lillian Eichler was assigned the task of writing advertisements for Eleanor Holt’s book Encyclopedia of Etiquette. Ms. Eichler came through in a big way. Her ad showed a guest spilling a cup of coffee on a tablecloth — the copy read, “Has this ever happened to you?” The ad was very successful, and 1,000 copies of the book were sold quickly. Unfortunately, most of those copies were returned just as quickly, as the book was old fashioned and hopelessly out of date. No problem. The publisher, Doubleday, figured that if Ms. Eichler could write advertising copy as well as she did, then she could rewrite the book well. She did rewrite the book, which was given the new title Book of Etiquette, and the book sold at least 3 million copies over the next 30 years.[3]
  • To get a job in advertising, it helps to be creative. Chris, the brother of author Beth Lisick, created a resume that included a photograph of him seated at a baby grand. It also included a photograph of celebrity John Tesh seated at a baby grand. The resume compared the careers and lives of Chris and John Tesh. For example, Mr. Tesh courted celebrity Connie Selleca at the exact same time that Chris was being dumped by a girlfriend. And when John Tesh released his album Sax by the Fire, Chris was being heavily criticized for failing to meet the dress code of a restaurant. Chris was hired, and he became a success — he wrote these words that were spoken by a Chihuahua in a series of Taco Bell commercials: “Drop the chalupa.”[4]
  • An effective advertisement need not be long or even have an illustration. When Sir Ernest Shackleton needed men to go with him on a trip to the South Pole, he placed this ad in London newspapers in 1900: “MEN WANTED for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success — Sir Ernest Shackleton.” The copy of the ad was frank, and the response to the ad showed that it was effective. Sir Ernest said, “It seemed as though all the men in Great Britain were determined to accompany me, the response was so overwhelming.”[5]

Alcohol

  • In his sketch “‘Party Cries’ in Ireland,” Mark Twain tells of the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. Commonly, according to Mr. Twain, Irishmen would cry out either “To hell with the Pope” or “To hell with the Protestants,” depending on the religion of the crier. This became so common that a law was passed attempting to stop the custom by imposing a fine and court costs on anyone found guilty of giving a party cry. One day, a drunk was found lying in an alley, shouting, “To hell with! To hell with!” A police officer found the drunk and asked him, “To hell with what?” But the drunk replied, “Ah, bedad ye can finish it yourself — it’s too expinsive for me!”[6]
  • When John Holmstrom wanted to start a new magazine, his friend and co-conspirator Legs McNeil didn’t see the point. Mr. Holmstrom explained, “If we have a magazine, people will think we’re cool and stuff and want to hang out with us.” Mr. McNeil still didn’t see the point, so Mr. Holmstrom explained further, “If we have a magazine, people will give us drinks for free.” Mr. McNeil saw the point and even named the new magazine: Punk.[7]
  • Mark Twain and Bill Nye journeyed to Nevada, where the frontiersmen tried to drink them under the table. However, after a night of hard drinking, the only people still conscious were Mr. Twain and Mr. Nye. Finally, Mark Twain told his friend, “Well, Bill, what do you say we get out of here and go somewhere for a drink?”[8]

Animals

  • Children’s book author Marion Dane Bauer once used her son’s dog, which was named Nimue, as a character, also named Nimue, in her novel Face to Face. The dog was due to have a litter, and so she had read about what to do when a dog had a litter. One of the things she read was that when a puppy is born with a cleft palate the best thing to do is to kill it because it can’t nurse and will starve to death. In her novel, Ms. Bauer used a situation in which a puppy had to be killed — and Peter, her son, was furious and forbid her to use his dog in the novel. Eventually, he relented and let her use his dog in the novel after she explained to him the need for conflict in a work of fiction.[9]
  • Following World War II, when Gary Paulsen, author of Hatchet, was a child, he lived with his parents in the Philippines. There, he and his dog, Snowball, wandered everywhere and saw many things. Together, they discovered a very poor Philippine family living under an overturned Jeep. Despite the family’s poverty, they offered young Gary and even Snowball a bit of food. Thereafter, Gary took food from home and brought it to them, and they shared meals of sardines and rice. Snowball once saved Gary’s life. Walking barefoot along a trail, Gary came across a pretty — but deadly — snake that was about to bite him. Snowball grabbed the snake, shook it, and broke its neck.[10]

[1] Source: Nancy Garden, Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress, and Hope, 1950 to the Present, p. 50.

[2] Source: Edward Willett, J.R.R. Tolkien: Master of Imaginary Worlds, p. 102.

[3] Source: Julian Lewis Watkins, The 100 Greatest Advertisements, pp. 66-67.

[4] Source: Beth Lisick, Everybody into the Pool, pp. 159-161.

[5] Source: Julian Lewis Watkins, The 100 Greatest Advertisements, p. 1.

[6] Source: Mark Twain, Sketches, New and Old, Oxford Mark Twain, p. 263.

[7] Source: Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Please Kill Me, p. 203.

[8] Source: Lewis C. Henry, Humorous Anecdotes About Famous People, p. 84.

[9] Source: Marion Dane Bauer, A Writer’s Story: From Life to Fiction, pp. 37-38.

[10] Source: Gary Paulsen, My Life in Dog Years, pp. 13-17.

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The Funniest People in Books: 250 Anecdotes

These are the first 10 anecdotes from my book The Funniest People in Books: 250 Anecdotes, available for .99 CHEAP at online booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBookstore, Kobo, etc.:

Advertising

 While working as an advertising writer for Macy’s, Margaret Fishback discovered that the famous department store had a two-foot cake tester on sale. She thought that the idea of a two-foot cake tester was ridiculous, so she wrote, “This cake tester will come in handy the next time you bake a cake two feet high.” However, this advertisement brought in more orders than Macy’s had two-foot cake testers. From this experience, Ms. Fishback and Macy’s learned that humor sells.[1]

Simon and Schuster once published a children’s book titled Dr. Dan the Bandage Man. As a publicity gimmick, they decided to include a half-dozen band-aids in each book, so publisher Richard Simon sent this telegram to a friend at Johnson and Johnson: “PLEASE SHIP TWO MILLION BAND-AIDS IMMEDIATELY.” The following day Mr. Simon received this telegram in reply: “BAND-AIDS ON THEIR WAY. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU?”[2]

When horror writer Stephen King decided to live in England for a year, he knew exactly the kind of house he wanted to live in, so he put this advertisement in an English newspaper: “Wanted, a draughty Victorian house in the country with dark attic and creaking floorboards, preferably haunted.”[3]

G.K. Chesterton visited Broadway and Times Square at night when the scene was brightly lit by advertising signs. He gazed at the sight for a while, then said to a friend, “How beautiful it would be for someone who could not read.”[4]

Alcohol

 In their book, The Perfect London Walk, writers Roger Ebert (the movie critic) and Daniel Curley (a short-story writer) describe what they consider to be the best walk in London — one that lasts for hours and takes the walker through the Hampstead Heath, the Spaniards Inn, Highgate Cemetery, etc. However, Mr. Curley warns the reader that the walk will take you past several pubs, and so you may be tempted away from your walk. In one memorable case, a man named John McHugh stopped at a pub and abandoned the walk after covering scarcely 150 yards.[5]

While traveling abroad, Mark Twain heard of an American student who had struggled to learn German for three whole months, but who had learned to say only “zwei glas,” which means “two glasses” (of beer). Still, the student reflected, he had learned those words very thoroughly.[6]

Percy Hammond, the drama critic, grew up in Cadiz, Ohio, in the late 19th century. One of his favorite memories was marching in a temperance parade as a small child and carrying a banner inscribed with this slogan: “Tremble, King Alcohol, for I shall grow up.”[7]

Animals

 As a teenager, Gary Paulsen, author of the young adult novel Hatchet, was the favorite victim of a bullying street gang. Late one night, as he left his job at a bowling alley, he tried to find a new route home by leaving from the roof. As he climbed from the roof into an alley, he stepped on a ferocious dog. Frightened, he threw the dog half of a hamburger he was carrying, then he ran from the alley — right into the hands of members of the bullying street gang, who immediately started to beat him. Suddenly, the ferocious dog jumped out of the alley and began biting gang members. Gary gave the dog the rest of his hamburger, and after the dog bit the gang leader in another encounter, the gang left Gary strictly alone. (Eventually, Gary found the dog, now friendly to everyone except Gary’s enemies, a new life on a farm.)[8]

E.B. White may be most famous for his children’s book Charlotte’s Web, in which a spider named Charlotte befriends a pig named Wilbur and saves his life by writing words in her web. The idea for the book came partly from Mr. White’s discomfort at raising a pig each year at his farm in Maine, only to butcher it when it was fully grown. In addition, one day he noticed a spider building a web in an outhouse, so he brought out a lamp and a long extension cord and watched the spider. From these experiences, and more, came Charlotte’s Web. By the way, sometimes people try to find hidden meanings in Charlotte’s Web, but Mr. White says, “Any attempt to find allegorical meanings is bound to end disastrously, for no meanings are in there. I ought to know.”[9]

Pioneer life could be difficult. In 1875, Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House on the Prairie, was outside when she thought she saw a storm spring up on the horizon, then move closer. It wasn’t a storm — it was a cloud of grasshoppers. While Laura and her family hid in their house, the grasshoppers ate everything green, including the crops, the garden, the grass, and even the leaves in the trees. After eating everything, the grasshoppers moved west. Because the grasshoppers had destroyed his crops, Laura’s Pa walked 200 miles to eastern Minnesota to find work to support his family.[10]

[1] Source: Everett S. Allen, Famous American Humorous Poets, p. 27.

[2] Source: André Bernard, Now All We Need is a Title, p. 126.

[3] Source: Suzan Wilson, Stephen King: King of Thrillers and Horror, p. 63.

[4] Source: Lewis C. Henry, Humorous Anecdotes About Famous People, pp. 62-63.

[5] Source: Roger Ebert and Daniel Curley, The Perfect London Walk, p. xii.

[6] Source: Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad, Oxford Mark Twain, p. 614.

[7] Source: Franklin P. Adams, et. al., Percy Hammond: A Symposium in Tribute, p. viii.

[8] Source: Edith Hope Fine, Gary Paulsen: Author and Wilderness Adventurer, pp. 38-39.

[9] Source: Janice Tingum, E.B. White: The Elements of a Writer, pp. 93-94, 103.

[10] Source: Ginger Wadsworth, Laura Ingalls Wilder: Storyteller of the Prairie, p. 26.

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