Planet Funny

How Comedy Took Over Our Culture
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (9.18 hours)
Product Number: Z100138514
Released: May 29, 2018
Business Term: 2 Year
ISBN: #9781508258582
Narrator/s: Ken Jennings
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Description

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year From the brilliantly witty and exuberant New York Times bestselling author Ken Jennings, a history of humor-from fart jokes on clay Sumerian tablets all the way up to the latest Twitter gags and Facebook memes-that tells the story of how comedy came to rule the modern world. For millennia of human history, the future belonged to the strong. To the parent who could kill the most animals with sticks and to the child who could survive the winter or the epidemic. When the Industrial Revolution came, masters of business efficiency prospered instead, and after that we placed our hope in scientific visionaries. Today, in a clear sign of evolution totally sliding off the rails, our most coveted trait is not strength or productivity or even innovation, but being funny. Yes, funniness. Consider: presidential candidates now have to prepare funny "zingers" for debates. Newspaper headlines and church marquees, once fairly staid affairs, must now be "clever," stuffed with puns and winks. Airline safety tutorials-those terrifying laminated cards about the possibilities of fire, explosion, depressurization, and drowning-have been replaced by joke-filled videos with multimillion-dollar budgets and dance routines. In Planet Funny, Ken Jennings explores this brave new comedic world and what it means-or doesn't-to be funny in it now. Tracing the evolution of humor from the caveman days to the bawdy middle-class antics of Chaucer to Monty Python's game-changing silliness to the fast-paced meta-humor of The Simpsons, Jennings explains how we built our humor-saturated modern age, where lots of us get our news from comedy shows and a comic figure can even be elected President of the United States purely on showmanship. Entertaining, astounding, and completely head-scratching, Planet Funny is a full taxonomy of what spawned and defines the modern sense of humor.

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Author(s): Ken Jennings
Original Publish Date: May 29, 2018

All formats/editions

CD
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Author(s): Ken Jennings
Narrator(s): Ken Jennings
Product Number DD39801
Released: May 29, 2018
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781508264552
eBook
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Author(s): Ken Jennings
Product Number EB00717452
Released: May 29, 2018
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Scribner
ISBN: #9781501100611

Professional reviews

"According to this audiobook, funny is the coin of the realm, the price of admission to our culture, the hip way to make yourself known, heard, famous, and rich. After all, news shows now include funny stories, advertisements rely on comedy to sell goods, and politicians need to be seen as funny by their audiences in order to get elected. Ken Jennings narrates his own audiobook, and he clearly has a sense of how he wants to interpret his words. However, he reads too quickly, drops words at the ends of sentences, and is too concerned with teaching what he's learned, rather than letting the audiobook unfold. Still, he has good timing, and his accessible voice allows listeners to follow his argument. R.I.G. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine"

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