Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar

humor is power laughter Nov 05, 2008

They met as freshmen at Harvard 51 years ago! Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein have been longtime friends and colleagues. Not too long ago, they checked into a hotel with a pile of joke books and a pile of philosophy books and the result: Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar… Understanding Philosophy through Jokes. (Well, actually the original title was An Existentialist and A Horse Walk into a Bar—no joke, but I digress…)

Forty publishers rejected their book. Fortunately, the forty-first, Abrams Image, was savvy enough to spot a winner. A New York Times Best seller, as a matter of fact.

For those of you, like me, who managed to escape taking Philosophy in college (nurses aren’t encouraged to philosophize, especially while performing CPR), you would be pleasantly surprised at how the great insights of philosophers such as Kant, Aristotle, Descartes, Nietzsche, and Marx (Karl and Groucho) can be explained in such an understandable and hysterical way. The wit and charm of this book make it a must have for your library (even if your library is in your bathroom).

But as great as the book is, it cannot compare to seeing these two guys live and in person. I had the pleasure of laughing with them as they did a reading and signing at Warwick’s in San Diego. Fortunately for me, these guys are not aspiring to be full time speakers and entertainers (whew!). Fortunately for you, they are aspiring authors and have one sequel completed (Aristotle and an Aardvark Go to Washington… Understanding Political Doublespeak through Philosophy and Jokes) and another on the way.

Check out their humor and their website where you can buy their book and tell them I send laughs from San Diego!


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