- 127 Pages
- Heavily Illustrated with Color Photos
- Released: October 19, 2004
- Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Description by OLDIES.com:
Remember when you zapped your friend with a joy buzzer? Planted fake vomit on the dining room table for your unsuspecting mother to find? Who could resist the hours of entertainment promised by the artificial ink spot? 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.
A lighthearted exploration of pop culture's fascination with gag and practical joke novelty items celebrates the history of the industry, exploring the originality, if tastelessness, of such items as the Whoopee Cushion, the artificial ink spot, and the rubber chicken. 25,000 first printing.