Kilroy Was Here: The Best American Humor from World War II

Kilroy Was Here: The Best American Humor from World War II

by Charles Osgood
     
 

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War is hell, but it can also be hilarious. And in no war was this more true than in World War II. While there is nothing remotely funny about the war itself, it's clear that some of the hardship endured in that conflict was made more bearable by generous doses of humor. Now, Emmy Award -- winning television journalist Charles Osgood has collected an assortment of…  See more details below

Overview

War is hell, but it can also be hilarious. And in no war was this more true than in World War II. While there is nothing remotely funny about the war itself, it's clear that some of the hardship endured in that conflict was made more bearable by generous doses of humor. Now, Emmy Award -- winning television journalist Charles Osgood has collected an assortment of classic stories and comic tales that buoyed the spirits of Americans who served on land, at sea, and in the air. The title of the collection, Kilroy Was Here, refers to the ubiquitous piece of graffiti that U.S. servicemen scrawled in bizarre and unlikely places. The majority of the pieces were created during the war itself: a dictionary of military slang, poignant cartoons by Bill Mauldin, Marion Hargrove's riotously funny descriptions of army life. The topics range from the wretched food to rivalry between the service branches, from boot camp bullies to R 'n' R. The book also includes comic anecdotes from celebrities such as Bob Hope, Buddy Hackett, and the Andrews Sisters, and an insightful and moving introductory essay by Charles Osgood. A wonderful compilation of significant writing, this treasury of wit and humor is also a tribute to all who served and an inspiring celebration of America's indomitable spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
TV and radio icon Charles Osgood presents a hilarious and uplifting anthology of World War II military humor -- the kind of material that kept the members of "the Greatest Generation" laughing and (somewhat) relaxed in the face of the enormous struggles they faced. How do you make a war funny? You start with a little cartoon character named Kilroy. He's the little round-headed guy who seemed to pop up everywhere during the war, his long nose stuck over the fence. In his introduction, Osgood tells us that there was an actual person behind the Kilroy cartoon, a shipyard welding inspector in Quincy, Massachusetts. Rather than the usual little chalk mark on an approved piece of steelwork, Kilroy would draw his little cartoon, accompanied by the phrase, "Kilroy Was Here." It was just his way of letting the troops know that the boys back home were looking after them. The Kilroy cartoon soon started appearing everywhere from the Arc de Triomphe to a bridge in China, becoming a constant source of humor and reassurance to those far from home. The book features many humorous cartoons, including some of the classic works of the legendary Bill Maudlin; a hysterical "Dictionary of American Military Slang, 1941-1944"; comic verse on the frustrations of wartime service; and many humorous essays from such esteemed publications as Yank, The Army Weekly, and Reader's Digest. (Nicholas Sinisi)

Nicholas Sinisi is the Barnes & Noble.com History Editor.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786866618
Publisher:
Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
05/23/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
212
Sales rank:
1,246,888
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)
Age Range:
18 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Charles Osgood writes and anchors The Osgood File four times daily over the CBS radio network and anchors CBS television's Sunday Morning every week. He is the winner of two Emmys and three Peabody Awards; Washington Journalism Review named him "Best in the Business" five years running; and in 1990 he was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters' Broadcasting Hall of Fame. He lives in New Jersey.

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