Allen KleinThe Jollytologist®

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Excerpt from The Courage to Laugh:

"Sometimes a laugh is the only weapon we have."

-Roger Rabbit

While I was writing this book, my dad died. New Year’s Eve 1996, he was taken to the hospital. Nine days later, just hours after my mom called to tell me that he was looking better, my dad was no longer alive. After a frantic phone call to book a flight and only two hours of sleep, I got on a plane that took me from my California home to my mom’s condo in Florida and to the funeral.

I managed to hold back my tears until I was on the plane. There, however, amidst business men using telephones and the click of laptops, I sat sobbing.

So here I was, I thought, writing about humor and death while my dad died. The universe was testing me to see if I could find anything funny in the situation and I was failing. I found nothing to laugh about as the shock of his death washed over me. Nothing funny that is, until the flight attendant shoved a cup of hot liquid under my nose and demanded, Here. Drink this. guarantee it will help.

What is it?, I asked.

Coffee and Bailey’s Irish Creme, he said.

That’s when my tears mingled with laughter. First of all, it was seven o’clock in the morning not exactly cocktail hour. Second, I laughed because I never drink coffee and, since I am lactose intolerant, I avoid dairy products, especially cream.

I refused the attendant’s grief-relief remedy but there was something special about it anyway. The comic irony of it all made me laugh not a laugh big enough to completely stop the tears but an inner laugh that felt comfortable and whispered that everything would be all right.

Then I had another cosmic chuckle. I realized that I was just handed the opening words for this book.

Table of Contents

First Words


 Is Death Too Serious for Humor?
Chapter 1: Humor and Death:  Tasteless or Triumphant ?
Chapter 2: Humor:  Hope and Healing
Chapter 3: Humor:  Uses and Abuses
Chapter 4: Lessons in Laughter


Seeing Demise Thru Humorous Eyes

Chapter 5: What's So Funny About HAspitals?
Chapter 6: Hospice:  Serious? Yes.  Solemn, No Way!
Chapter 7: The C Words:  Cancer and Comedy
Chapter 8: AIDS Ain't Funny or Is It?
Chapter 9: Kids:  Great Wisdom from Small Fry
Chapter 10: Lingering Loss
Chapter 11: Sudden Loss



Leave 'em Laughing

Chapter 12: Last Laughs
Chapter 13: Celebration of Loss
Chapter 14: Mirth & Mourning

Final Words

Rave Reviews

"Anyone that writes about this subject must care, and therefore has to be a noble and vital force watching over the human condition!!!"

Jerry Lewis


"A powerful testament that gives an honorable nod to humor's place in life's final passage."

Jack Canfield
Author of Chicken Soup for the Soul


"This is a book that is not just about humor but life."

Bernie Siegel, M.D.,
Author of Love, Medicine and Miracles


"Allen Klein has created another masterpiece! For anyone facing a profound loss, this book provides wisdom for the spirit and healing for the heart."

Patty Wooten, R.N.
past president 
The American Association for Therapeutic Humor


"This book is filled with inspiring stories of people who were able to laugh in the face of life's toughest challenges."

Judy Tatelbaum, M.S.W.
Author of The Courage to Grieve


"...a survival manual you cannot live without."

Barry Bittman, MD
Neurologist, CEO TouchStar Productions


"I love this book. It speaks from the heart, and shows the power of humor to rekindle hope and joy on the darkest of days."

Paul McGhee, PhD,
Author of Health, Healing and the Amuse System


"Applause, applause, applause!! This outstanding book should be a bedside companion to all individuals whose lives have been touched by death and dying."

Christine Clifford,
CEO/ President of The Cancer Club



2017 by Allen Klein. All Rights Reserved.