There were plenty of TV comedies in the Mid Century and just as many comedians headlining their own shows. Here's ...
moreThere were plenty of TV comedies in the Mid Century and just as many comedians headlining their own shows. Here's a collection of six books featuring some of the best TV funny men from the 1950s and '60s. Perhaps the best of the best was Ernie Kovacs - a great innovative influencer of TV comedy for decades. This book is 'how to talk at gin.' This is a first edition, 144-page hardcover from Doubleday & Co., 1962. Gin rummy was one of the most popular games in Mid Century, and here, Kovacs points fun at the players and the playing. He illustrated the book. Bob Hope's book is a Vietnam Story - 'Five Women I Love' - an illustrated memoir of a roadshow that took him to Vietnam, Thailand and way stations to entertain the troops. He brought Janis Paige, Anita Bryant, Kaye Stevens, Joey Heatherton and Carroll Baker ("Baby Doll") with him. Lots of Hope's brand of humor about the military with some black-and-white photos of his entourage. This is a 255-page Doubleday edition from 1966. Art Linkletter was sort of the grandaddy comedian in this group. He rose to TV fame with his programs featuring children saying "the darndest things." 'Oops' is a first edition from Doubleday, 1967, illustrated by Phil Interlandi. 'The Secret World of Kids' includes letters from parents of kids seeking advice. These letters came from fans of his kid-centered shows. They asked, for instance, "What about smooching?" This is a 285-page book published by Bernard Geis Associates in 1959. The last two books, without jackets, include Grouch Marx's 1960 book, 'Memoirs of a Mangy Lover.' This 214-page book is a 2nd printing, published by Bernard Geis Associates in 1963. With charming illustrations by Leo Hershfield. The last book in the pile belongs to Jack Paar, the famous late-night TV host. His book, 'I Kid You Not' was published by Little,Brown and Co., in 1960. It includes black-and-white photos of Paar growing up, and later at work on his Late Night show. All six books are in good vintage condition, with signs of expected wear to dust jackets and boards. The most valuable book by Ernie Kovacs is browned on the last few pages, where someone kept (and removed) a newspaper clipping. Also, page 51 has three light coffee/bourbon tea spots. Despite the sunning, the text is legibly hilarious, The other five books are unmarked inside; clean and bright after 55 + years. Finally, two of the books are book club - Linkletter's 'The Secret World of Kids' and Bob Hope's Vietnam story, 'Five Women I love.' Mid Century funny men paved the way for what was to follow - including "Laugh In," the Late Night shows, and comedians, like Groucho, who host popular network game shows. But some of these funny men are still making us laugh. Even when I think of Kovac's "Nairobi Trio" I start to chuckle. These books are a great set for today's comedians, vintage TV collectors, or those of us who know laughter is still the best medicine. less
5.75ʺW × 5.3ʺD × 8.25ʺH
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