You don't have to tell Norman Cousins that what tickles his fancy may evoke nary a grimace from the next fellow. But for those whose funny bones are of the same bent, here are some of the things he prescribes:
A Subtreasury of American Humor by E.B. White and Katharine White, especially the short White-written items.
James Thurber: Just about everything.
Robert Benchley: Just about everything.
Louis Untermeyer's old annual collections.
S.J. Perelman: Just about everything.
Old Marx Brothers movies: Just about all of them.
Ferenc Molnar's one-act plays.
Candid Camera Classics: Remember the one where the gas station attendant keeps filling the "bottomless" tank, 20 gallons, 30 gallons, 40 . . . ? Well, if you don't think that one is so funny anymore, how about the talking mailbox routine?
Cousins also rather likes his own "personal" items which still appear in the pages of the Saturday Review. (He also especially loves the responses from the people who think they're real.) For instance, from SRL, Jan. 20, 1979:
"WE REGRET MISLABELING ERROR that has resulted in our laundry soap flakes being packaged in boxes carrying shredded wheat labels. This warning does not apply to North Dakota and Montana where old supply is still adequate. Refunds cheerfully made. Everight Soap Company, SR Box S.F."
And finally, both the Allens, Woody and Steve ("starkly different" as they are) both in person and in print.