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Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item Hardcover – Oct 19 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (Oct. 19 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810955997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810955998
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 18.3 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #803,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Whoopee cushions, rubber noses, and itching powder Sept. 12 2013
By Eusebius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are of a certain age you'll enjoy the nice pictures of some of the stuff you used buy at the corner variety store or drugstore or smoke shop. It will also have you searching around for that old Johnson & Smith catalog that you used to pore over page by page when you were 12 years old.

Probably the most prolific of the novelty makers mentioned in this book is S.S. Adams and the author visited the Adams company in New Jersey. They have a brief write-up about it but I wish they had taken a couple of pictures of the production lines - weirdly, they only have a few pictures of cardboard boxes

This is not a great book and it is very incomplete. It's fine for a little bit of nostalgia but really nothing more than that.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Buy this book! Nov. 2 2004
By Paul Karasik - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Everything that the editorial material above says is true: this handsomely photographed and crisply designed book is packed with oddball novelties from the preeceeding century. What the above does not convey is that Cheap Laffs is also laugh (or should I say "laff") out loud funny.

Buy it.

More Laffs Than Its Subjects Dec 29 2008
By Karina Montgomery - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
My father got this for Christmas and I immediately stole it - it's got dry humor in the descriptions, cynical humor in the "Target Audience," and matchless unintentional comedy from the original ads and product imagery. It's a must-have for anyone interested in the corny heyday of gag props as well as the post-modern snarkiness and wit of excellent writing. Recommended for fans of: Chris Ware, Jon Stewart, Sockington.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Tour De Force of Novelty History! June 16 2005
By Jordan Bochanis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The "TARGET:" lines on "The Laffs" pages alone are worth the price of the book!

Oh, wait a minute, this book costs $19.95. The "TARGET:" lines and maybe the nice, firm cover together are worth the price.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ok, not great... April 8 2007
By Bandipur - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a little disappointed with this book. I was expecting a scholarly history, biographies of the inventors, inside stories, tales of invention and rivalry, etc... But the book really belongs more on a coffee table. There is an interesting, not-too-in depth essay at the beginning talking about the history and origins of the "Novelty Movement", but the rest of the book is dedicated to a picture dictionary with explanations and blurbs that are sometimes interesting, but not horribly informative. Whats in the Mystery Bag?? They never tell you! Frustrating purchase...