Bigger than a Breadbox Bigger Than A Breadbox

      Perhaps a brief explanation of the title of this book is warranted, for the benefit of those to young to remember the early days of "What's My Line?"
     On that long-lived program, the panelists, one of whom was Steve Allen (regularly from 1951-53), and intermittently thereafter until the program's demise), tried to determine the occupation of a guest.  This often involved guessing at the nature of a product with which the guests might be identified and, to that end, finding out the size of the product.  Allen's commonest question along this interrogative route, heard so often that it became a running gag, was "Is it bigger than a breadbox?"
     There is, of course, nothing inherently comic about a breadbox.   Yet the questions, after it had been used regularly for a while, came to generate an aura of amusement because it was a predictable verbal gambit, symbolic of the spirit of good humor that characterized the show.
     If only for this reason, the book's title is appropriate:  a breadbox or almost anything else, tangible or intangible, can rise to an atmosphere of risibility under the right conditions, particularly when the speaker or writer has the unique wit of Steve Allen.  In the final analysis, the dimensions of humor are greater than those of comedy -- bigger than a breadbox, larger than laughter, vaster than life.

"Very funny...a big breadbox filled with crumbs of loveable humor." -- Lincoln Nebraska Journal
" .....contains plenty of the real staff of life--laughter."
-- Detroit News
"...true wit and originality..." -- Los Angeles Times Calendar
"Allen is a walking 'creative gag file.'" -- Virginia Kirkus Bulletin
"....a panoramicomedy..." -- Boston Herald Traveler