Marvin Maupin is the author of It's Better To Die Laughing Than To Be Dead Serious.
This book, Jokes Illustrated, had its beginning as a monthly publication called “Cup O’ Cheer,” a 12 page, full color booklet of clean humor. It was delivered to about 50 locations throughout the city. Distributed to nursing homes; assisted living centers; doctor’s offices and other places where people needed a lift, “Cup O’ Cheer” was free to the readers, as advertisers covered printing costs.
With so much negativity in the news, we believed that people were starving for something to smile about. Our hunch was correct. The publication was an instant success. Readers young and old called to let us know how much they loved their “Cup O’ Cheer” each month.
It was especially rewarding to hear from activity directors at various assisted living facilities. Some of the patients, we were told, very rarely even talked, but now, they’re reading the full color jokes, laughing and retelling them to others. The directors had not seen anything like this. The ones who had so little to smile about eagerly awaited each month’s copy.
Unfortunately, because of the expenses involved, we had to stop publishing “Cup O’ Cheer” and decided to condense all the best cartoons and jokes that were so popular with our readers into a single book.
Wise King Solomon wrote: “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” Almost 700 years ago, French surgeon, Henri de Mondeville (1260-1320), wrote, "Let the surgeon take care to regulate the whole regimen of the patient's life for joy and happiness, allowing his relatives and special friends to cheer him, and by having someone tell him jokes."
Modern research proves what Solomon, Dr. Mondeville and many of us have known all along – A lighthearted attitude and generous amounts of humor can help us to live longer and better. Humor is proven to strengthen the immune system, boost our mood and it protects us from the damaging effects of stress.
Laughter is a special gift from God. It helps to improve relationships, make life fun and will keep the machinery of life well oiled. A sense of humor is one of our most powerful resources for responding to life's challenges and getting us through difficult times.
The only medicine in the world that heals the one giving it and the one receiving it equally is laughter. So… get a copy of Jokes Illustrated, prop your feet up and enjoy. Then share them with others.
When I decided to produce "Cup O'Cheer, the idea was to use my joke collection and illustrate the jokes with cartoons. There was only one problem. I cannot draw cartoons.
Fortunately, I found Ron Leishman, (toonaday.com) one of the best cartoonists in the world. He has a subscription service with thousands of cartoons. So, I would take his cartoons to my drawing program and do surgery, so to speak.
For example, a man sitting might need a different head. No problem. Just find a cartoon with the head I'm looking for and in an instant, a head transplant. If I needed a woman crying or with a happy face, there were plenty from which to choose.
Ron has an amazing collection of cartoons and it made my job easier in creating the monthly Cup O' Cheer booklet. From almost 1,000 jokes and cartoons used during that period of time, we created this book.
One of our goals is to get Jokes Illustrated to those who are shut-in and isolated. A little humor can work miracles for the ones who live alone.