Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Best Special Effects in a Top-Ten List of Phobias

If there ever was an Oscar for this topic, then the obvious winner would be Gary Greenberg’s outrageous The Pop-Up Book of Phobias from back in 1999. Mere words fail to describe it. You must see it, or at least watch a video or two of the pages being turned.

The first page has a dental drill leaping out, along with an instrument tray complete with a spittoon. Then, for the fear of flying the view out the window changes from green earth to flames, the tray table dumps into your lap, and the oxygen mask drops down. Next come snakes, claustrophobia (which doesn’t open past a right angle), and a filthy toilet.

For public speaking there is a frowning audience, and then a microphone jumps up at you from the lectern. Then comes a spider, heights, scary clowns, and being buried.

Gary is a comic who did stand-up and also writes for the Jimmy Kimmel Live TV show.

If you looked inside Gary’s brain you probably would see something like this old drawing of a Professional Humorist’s Club, to which I have added color.

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