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Men's Taste in Humor Isn't All Stern

June 26, 1996

Although your article about the differences between men's and women's humor ("The Sexes and Two Sides of the Laugh Gap," June 10) contained some interesting points, the "What We Laugh At" box featured invalid cliches and stereotypical observations.

Not all men think Howard Stern, flatulence and photocopies of bare butts are funny.

ERIC F. COOK

Burbank

*

I enjoyed Kathleen Kelleher's article on the differences between what men and women laugh at, but I was dismayed by her reference to "playing the straight dumb pal a la Gracie Allen to George Burns and Mary Livingston to Jack Benny."

First of all, Gracie Allen never played "straight" to George Burns. She may have played dumb, but not straight. George was the straight man, delivering the set-ups, but Gracie got all the laughs.

Second, Mary Livingston never played the dumb pal to Jack Benny. Her character was always smarter than Jack's, and she usually got her laughs by putting him down for his stupidity.

RICHARD NATHAN

Studio City

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