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And Other American Comedies

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From the pages of The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Slate stagger Frank Cammuso and Hart Seely, restoring a cheerful sanity to our deranged lives and times.

Every now and then, funny writing somehow manages to retain full possession of literary quality. Please see Twain, Heller, Benchley, Parker, Frazier, Geng. And now please see Cammuso and Seely. If you're not some famous person in our hyped, commodified, three-screen (movie, TV, computer), celeb-ridden society, count your blessings. Because if you are, Cammuso and Seely will probably get you sooner or later. They got Martha Stewart--they have her planning gracious plans for her version of the Son of God's final repast: "Jesus has indicated--against my better wishes--that He intends to gird Himself with a towel and wash everybody's feet. So be it. But beforehand, I'll run his terry cloth for five minutes in the dryer, making it toasty and soft." They (fondly) postu-late how Phil Rizzuto might have written a characteristically fractionated version of "Casey at the Bat": "'Fraud!' cried the maddened thousands, and the echo murmured 'Fraud.' / Hey, Murcer! Look! Bea Arthur! Didn't she play Maude?" The Flintstones become the Clintstones, Quentin Tarantino directs The Three Little Pigs, and Dr. Seuss collaborates poetically with Rod Serling.

Even when the targets of these pieces are of the moment, Cammuso and Seely's humor will endure. What's more evanescent than pop-music stardom? Sex, maybe, but not much else. But who won't laugh, even years from now, as Cammuso and Seely--in "Six Degrees of Chuck Berry"--introduce some of the record industry's often interchangeable personages to each other: "Tanya, Enya. Enya, Shania. Shania, Mariah. Mariah, Wynonna. Wynonna, Fiona . . . " Nobody.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

01 May 2000 – Reporter Seely and editorial cartoonist Cammuso (both of whom work for the Syracuse Post-Standard) regularly team up to bring their unusual brand of literary humor to the airwaves of NPR and the pages of the New York Times. This slim volume collects 29 of their lampoons, most of which involve a far-fetched premise--radio therapist Dr. Laura Dolittle talking to animals, James Bond confronting a sexual harassment suit, a clothing catalogue penned by David Mamet. In one hilarious essay, the pair imagines Martha Stewart planning the Last Supper: "Whether it's a plague of locusts or a hollandaise that has curdled, you can always expect some last-minute crisis." In another, they cleverly invent a collaboration between The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling and Dr. Seuss, a poem called "And to Think That They Landed on Mulberry Street." (Try reading it aloud.) Their parody of The X-Files (the "Xmas Files")--in which Mulder and Scully investigate the existence of Santa Claus--has already become a cult classic. (X-Files fans have pirated, e-mailed and posted it online, often without giving proper credit to Cammuso and Seely). Perhaps, then, the only flaw in this entertaining collection is in its title: whereas these same X-Files fans would have waited in line for a book titled The Xmas Files, nobody's likely to know what to do with the idea of a 2007-Eleven.
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  • 11,99 €
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Humour
  • Published: 16 May 2000
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Print Length: 176 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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