DR. BURNS' PRESCRIPTION FOR HAPPINESS by George Burns

DR. BURNS' PRESCRIPTION FOR HAPPINESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

At age 88, comic George Burns seems to have decided to knock off another burlyque of a book between afternoon naps--and if that's his decision, why not? The learned author's latest presentation isn't much thicker than his natural pompadour, but it's just as cute. Redolent of expensive cigar smoke and filled with live-action photos of shameless Dr. Burns (who surely went to school with the eminent Dr. Kronkheit), the volume is a medley of prescriptions that couldn't help a hangnail or cure a ham (if the good doctor will forgive the reference). Some fancy writing, this. One photo caption refers to ""Cathy and I in Bangkok."" ""Whom am I kidding?"" inquires Burns elsewhere. For the most part, though, it reads like a transcript of a few good nights onstage. Occasionally borrowing from previous works or, more often, from his contemporary, Joe Miller, the venerable stand-up or sit-down comic sometimes seems to be operating on automatic. Yet that probably beats many a modern jokester's efforts bathed in flop-sweat. All the old devices, the warm-ups, the socko punch lines, the quickies, the knowing nods, the drummers' rim shots, and the master's timing are pressed into service for the mother-in-law jokes, the headwaiter jokes, the tax man jokes, the booze jokes, the gambling jokes, and the artist's speciality, the show biz stories. There are, of course, some old-fashioned girlie gags, as well as a passing reference to parts of Milton Berle. Grinning schtick for those who like an occasional gag that doesn't require a Heimlich maneuver.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1984
Publisher: Putnam