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Friars Private Joke File

FILE UNDER FILTHY

BY ED KAZ!
COMEDY CORRESPONDENT

The cover blurb sums it up: "More Than 2,000 Very Naughty Jokes From the Grand Masters of Comedy."

Personally, I lost count at around 1,532 because, I have to admit, I was laughing too hard.

Just released, "The Friars Club Private Joke File" is lovingly compiled by Barry Dougherty, publisher of the Friars Club magazine, The Epistle. For almost a century, the Friars Club was a members-only-cloaked-in-secrecy sort of enterprise, yet somehow Dougherty gained their trust. He pried open the thick dark mahogany doors and — along with a century's worth of cigar smoke — out flew a maelstrom of jokes. Dirty jokes.

Now, I don't know how you feel about dirty jokes, but you have to agree that in the deft hands of the legendary Friars they can attain levels somewhat resembling genius.

To wit: Here's what Milton Berle said about a famous fellow Friar: "Henny Youngman created that great line, "Take my wife, please.' Little did he know everbody did."

And, uh, I guess that's actually the only joke I can print here.

The nonstop stream of blue humor isn't limited only to old-timers like Berle, Norm Crosby or Redd Foxx. Many contemporary comics are on board, including Susie Essman, Mario Cantone, Judy Gold and the new king-of-the-roasts, Jeffrey Ross. You'll even find a couple of naughty fellows who've guested in this very column: Rich Vos and Colin Quinn.

For students of classic comedy, "The Friars Club Private Joke File" is worth a serious study. After you finish, you'll have to wash your bookmark out with soap.