CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Only Funny If ...

September 13, 2017 (permalink)

#sentence diagram #laughter #grammar
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August 9, 2017 (permalink)

"Just at the moment when he's due to laugh, he scowls."  From Pearson's, 1909.
#vintage illustration #faces #mustache #laugh #scowl
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July 3, 2017 (permalink)

It's only funny if, in addition to all the wit, humor and eccentricity which the present day affords, there's also a comic frontispiece.  From Fairburn's Complete Pocket Melodist, Or New Multum in Parvo, 1840.
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May 3, 2017 (permalink)

It's only funny if there's elbow room.  By Max Adeler, 1882.
#old book
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April 8, 2017 (permalink)

"The good-tempered man laughs," from The Sketch, 1901.
#vintage illustration #laughter #vintage man #good-tempered
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April 5, 2017 (permalink)

It's only funny if some thought and imagination go into it.  By Gus Edwards for Cartoons Magazine, 1917.
#vintage illustration #humor #faces #cartooning
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March 29, 2017 (permalink)

Laughing at a private joke, from Roemer Visscher's Drawings for the Sinnepoppen (c. 1614).
#vintage illustration #jester #marotte #1600s #Roemer Visscher
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February 26, 2017 (permalink)

This is utter bullshit and the perfect example of my horror (not too strong a word) of the cold, soulless mentality of white-coat scientists (whom Robert Anton Wilson dubbed the New Inquisition).  From Popular Mechanics, 1924.
#humor #laughter #vintage headline #idiots #big science #bullshit
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December 26, 2016 (permalink)

Chicken Road
"The secret to humor is character." —Scott Rogers, Level Up!
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September 24, 2016 (permalink)

Some gallows humor from Die Muskete, 1906.
#vintage illustration #gallows #hanged man #gallows humor #tickle
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June 30, 2016 (permalink)

"Charlie isn't fooling," and it's only funny if Charlie is fooling.  From Journal of Electricity, 1918.
#vintage illustration #capital H #fishing #fishbowl #charlie chaplin
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June 23, 2016 (permalink)

From Arsenal Technical High School's Arsenal Cannon yearbook, 1920.
#vintage illustration #humor #vintage yearbook #clowns
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June 12, 2016 (permalink)

From Christmas Cheer by Angus Reach, James Hannay and Albert Smith, 1856.
#humor #laughter
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May 14, 2016 (permalink)

From Durham High School's Messenger yearbook, 1908.
#vintage illustration #jester
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April 19, 2016 (permalink)

It's only funny if you can back it up with an act of foolishness, as we learn in Valparaiso High School's Vee Aich Ess yearbook, 1916.  The text reads, "Now what foolish thing have you kids done to entitle you to membership [to the All Fool's Club]?"  (For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.)
#clown #vintage yearbook
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March 22, 2016 (permalink)

Here's "a joke without cream" from Roughing It by Mark Twain, 1873.

#vintage illustration #humor #mark twain #coffee #black coffee
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March 17, 2016 (permalink)

From Valparaiso High School's Vee Aich Ess yearbook, 1916.  (For some unbelievably weird yearbook imagery, see our How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook.)
#vintage illustration #jester #vintage yearbook #tickling #stocks #art
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February 16, 2016 (permalink)

Here's the "best part of the joke" from Roughing It by Mark Twain, 1873.

#vintage illustration #mark twain #illness
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January 21, 2016 (permalink)

From The Cub yearbook of New Bern High School, 1921.
#vintage illustration #parrot #clown #vintage yearbook #feather #tickling #art
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January 12, 2016 (permalink)

You've heard of "black comedy," and this is its ruling jester.  From Love Lyrics and Valentine Verses by E. M. Davies, 1875.

#death #skull #jester #vintage #black humor #dark humor #black comedy #gallows humor
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