Wednesday, March 09, 2016


This is one of those joke books for kids, full of of puns and stodgy jokes. The plastic library cover and the book's binding show it was abused and/or well loved by 57 years' of kids.

The saving grace of THE REAL BOOK OF JOKES (by Margaret Gossett, edited by Helen Hoke, published by Garden City Books in Garden City, New York in 1954) is the spot art by Leon Winik.

Some of the gags, like the "little morons" series, making fun of people who are not so full up in the brains department, would be unlikely to be published in this enlightened age.

And some (like the one above) are rather risque for a kiddy joke book!

Is the idea, above, that Mr. Revere "cut and run," offensive? Ah well, this was a different time, eh? It was back when a monkey smoking a cigarette was funny, or just the mention of "Brooklyn" in a movie would elicit some giggles. My favorite old joke of the post-war movies: NASA worker Costello mistaking the "Launch" button in the rocketship for "Lunch;" propelling him and the ship and Mr. Abbott into space.

Leon Winik was a veteran comic book illustrator, working for, among others, Archie and Timely in the 1940s and 50s. He replaced Gill Fox on the strip JEANIE from 1952 to 1953. Ger Apeldoorn posts samples at his blog.

He also was the man behind Winik Art and Film in New York City.

Related: Helen Hoke selected the jokes and Richard Erdoes drew them in JOKES, JOKES, JOKES

-- Edited from a 3/9/11 blog entry.

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