Cheap Laffs plunders pop culture’s sub-basement to chronicle the aesthetic and cultural achievements of the novelty item.
Sharply designed, jam-packed with illustrations, and written with a touch of irony, this book celebrates a thriving, if marginal, industry devoted to the creation of a modest product of questionable quality, taste, originality, and necessity. The Whoopee Cushion, The Smoking Monkey, fake worms, chickens, eggs, butter, nails, and pencils-we can only marvel at the outlandish ingenuity of these objects seemingly concocted in a frenzied atmosphere of pop cultural temperature-taking and reckless dementia. How else can we even begin to explain the mouse-shaped eraser, the enormous vibrating eye, or the miniature baby in a celluloid peanut? Unearthing the best, oddest, and most intriguing novelties of the past century, this highly entertaining, nostalgia-filled book is sure to appeal to all consumers of kitsch and visual culture.