There is nothing funny about what the mafia does. It kills people. It steals money from small businessmen. It corrupts government officials. But there is something funny about the mafia, and much of that humor comes from the fact that an organization that breaks the rules for profit relies heavily on rules to remain profitable. Also, there are the names. How can any adult go through life with the name “Tommy Sneakers” or “Jackie the Nose”? It starts to explain the rage.
Author Malcolm Kushner reached out to The Humor Columnist to review The Official Book of Mob Humor. Normally this site reviews books about humor writing or by well-known humor writers, but Kushner is the first author who has ever contacted me on his own, and for this he must be rewarded.
The “Official Book of Mob Humor” is the funniest book of mob humor I have ever read. I plead the fifth as to if I have ever read any others. Kushner delivers a comprehensive catalog of mafia jokes, mafia stories and mafia movie quotes–truly an offer you can’t refuse. He also pays homage to the real bosses of mob humor in America–newspaper editors. The book is filled with clever and funny mafia newspaper headlines that are perfect for wrapping a dead fish and sending to your enemies.
For fun, and because I wanted to reward him for boldly going where no other author has gone with The Humor Columnist, I asked Kushner to share his 10 favorite mafia newspaper headlines. He obliged. Well, he obliged eventually. “I gotta take care of a thing first,” he told me.
In no particular order…