Big Little Book of Playboy Limericks by Playboy, LeRoy Neiman
The limerick—a heady and humorous creation made up of equal parts blue content and poetic convention, ribald fancy and razor-sharp wordplay—is a particularly elusive literary creature. Not only is a good limerick surprisingly difficult to compose, the origins of the form remain a mystery despite the determined probing of curious scholars. The one thing upon which the pundits seem to be able to agree is that limericks are hugely popular, and have been for hundreds of years (even if the word limerick wasn’t actually applied to these bawdy little verses until the nineteenth century).
In the spirit of this universally appealing quality, hundreds of traditional as well as modern versions of the limerick are presented here for the reader’s pleasure. Some of these examples are classics that have been passed along for generations and some are collected from the Party Jokes page of Playboy, one of the few publications that continue to provide a showcase for these playful little poems. Regardless of their vintage, the beloved qualities these verses share are amply on display: a wicked sense of humor, a rollicking meter, and the supple use of the English language. Enjoy!