Veteran comedian George Wallace promises that if you read his new book, Laff It Off!, “you’ll live longer, you’ll live happier, you’ll walk taller. Oh, and you’ll be much less likely to hit people with blunt objects.” That’s because Laff It Off!—which is equal parts wisdom and rib-tickling observations—is Wallace’s attempt to remind us that, as adults, we don’t have to take everything so seriously. “We don’t stop laughing because we grow old—we grow old because we stop laughing,” he says.
In his book, he has a way of injecting important life lessons into his humor. Like his riff on visualizing your dream scenario. “What is it you want?” he writes. “Is it a Learjet? Is it a house that looks like it’s straight out of the Smurf village? You want to live on a tugboat? Hell, I don’t know what all you people want. But I know you need to keep that dream in your mind at all times.”
Wallace also intersperses the pages with tongue-in-cheek charts and graphs, like the one titled “Americans’ Current Expenses,” which claims we spend 13 percent of our income on food, 11 percent on lodging, 16 percent on health care, and 60 percent on Starbucks lattés. (“You’re telling me you can’t afford that trip to Maui because you like paying someone else to grind up beans and run hot water through ’em?” he chides.)
However he presents it, Wallace’s message is clear: “Laughter is still the best medicine.… Exercise that funny bone of yours as often as you can.”