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Posted August 23, 2005
Frank Sullivan is one of my favorite humorists, and this collection is a fair representation of his work. But the title is a bit misleading. Although there are many Sullivan classics in the book, including 'A Garland of Ibids for Van Wyck Brooks,' 'The Night the Old Nostalgia Burned Down,' 'An Innocent in Texas,' 'Pencil-Chewing,' 'How to Change a Typewriter Ribbon,' 'A Bachelor Looks at Breakfast' and some of his famous 'Cliche Expert' pieces, there are other pieces that do not rank among his best. Fortunately, even mediocre Sullivan is better than the best of a lot of other humorists. Unfortunately, few people have even heard of Frank Sullivan, much less read his stuff. He was a contemporary of the great Robert Benchley, and almost as good (nobody was as good as Benchley). Like Benchley, Sullivan did not write cruel or mean-spirited humor. His was of the kinder and gentler variety, much like that of Erma Bombeck and Art Buchwald, but that doesn't mean it wasn't funny. Like Benchley, Bombeck and Buchwald, Sullivan was frequently hilarious. Although he died in 1976 at age 83, and his best and most productive years were in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, Sullivan's stuff, which dealt mostly with small matters of everyday life, still has contemporary appeal. If you can find a copy of 'Frank Sullivan at His Best,' get it. He'll make you laugh, chuckle and smile. And these days, we need all the humor we can get.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.