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The Lazlo Letters Paperback – January 7, 1992

4.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Lazlo Toth is my new hero! I don't know of anyone who has tried harder than he has to pull his own weight in the greatest of all democracies! Keep it up!

Lean to your left-Lean to your right-

Stand up, sit down-Fight! Fight! Fight!

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

The Lazlo Letters is a very funny book." -Chevy Chase

"The Novello-Toth combination is pure genius." -Tommy Smothers

About the Author

Don Novello, aka Lazlo Toth, is also known as Fr. Guido Sarducci, gossip columnist for the official Vatican newspaper.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (January 7, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563052857
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563052859
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
During the classic years of Saturday Night Live, I would always check the opening credits to see if Don Novello or Andy Kaufman would be on that night, my two favorite comedians, both writers of completely original, completely crazy bits.
The Lazlo Letters (TLL) shows Novello as a writer who, like Kaufman, totally commits to his comic premise. In this case, the premise took twenty years of letter writing to make happen. This book is truly great American satire, busting the pretensions of corporations and celebrity icons in a truly original way.
The fact that Novello's original concept is hilarious is proven by the reams of pissant imitators who ripped him off
Well, Novello has written a funny sequel CITIZEN LAZLO, which I'd also recommend.
The hell with 'em, Lazlo! Fight! fight! fight!
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Format: Paperback
Don Novello (formerly known as Father Guido Sarducci from the "Saturday Night Live" of the 1970s and 1980s) has compiled a comic gem with this collection of his letters to corporations, mayors, presidents--even Saudi princes.
Lazlo Toth, Novello's hilariously opaque and irony-free alter ego charges forth into the world under the motto, "You send out letters, you get back letters, that's for sure!" He sends out letters on essentially NOTHING to everyone he can think of, and he gets back letters which are sometimes side-splitting in their serious response to his blather. The Mister Bubble correspondence is a classic in which Toth complains to the Mister Bubble company that he doesn't understand how he is supposed to make use of their product when the box clearly states, "KEEP DRY." The ensuing letters back and forth are golden comedy.
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Format: Paperback
This was one of the first prank letter books ever published. Several books have tried to follow the originality of Lazlo Letters but pretty much fail, with two exceptions: Letters From a Nut - by Ted Nancy (possibly Jerry Seinfeld) and Hire Me Dumbass by Joe Mozian. Own all three and you have the best of this hilariously underrated genre. But Lazlo Letters especially is a must have.
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Format: Paperback
Such an amazing & hilarious compilation of letters and responses! My sister-in-law had these books for years, and I always pulled them out to re-read every time I visited. She finally gave them to me for a recent birthday. You can re-read this book (and its companion volume "Citizen Lazlo") over and over and they never lose their edge.
To truly appreciate this book, it needs to be placed into perspective. It was originally published in 1977, and the letters span late 1973 through November 1976. The main (although not sole) thread is Watergate and its various actors. You need to remember the mood of the country at the time, and then understand the methods of Don Novello - liberal comic - posing as Lazlo Toth - uber-patriotic & unreconstructed Nixon man.
In this book (unlike some of the second), the respondents - not in the joke - reply (mostly) with heartfelt thanks to whom they assume is a true believer. One can only imagine their reactions when they see their earnest repsonses in print and placed in this hilarious context.
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Format: Paperback
The very idea of writing crank letters and publishing the responses is funny enough, but Novello's wit takes it to a nearly unimaginable level of humor. It's true, as another reviewer suggests, that some of the humor will fly over the head of those unknowing of 1970's politics and popular culture. But that's only part of the book. Most of the exchanges can be understood by anyone who reads carefully and ponders the subtext of ridiculousness with which the author toys. Most impressive are the series of letters in which Lazlo's fictional voice gets more and more exasperated as the replies fail to comprehend his point. The identity of who is playing the fool becomes blurrier and blurrier as corporate drones try to answer his outlandish queries. This is a milestone of American humor.
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Format: Paperback
I had read Letters from a Nut by Ted Nancy and was made aware of the original Lazlo letters. Having read the book, I was, of course, entertained.

We see the world through the eyes of Lazlo Toth, American Hero. A man who berates the Hershey Corporation upon receiving a deformed M&M. A man who "congradulates" Richard Nixon repeatedly for taking on all those "Commie newsmen." A man who writes new lyrics to The Lady is a Tramp and submits his version, The Lady is a Queen, to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.

Having read Nancy's book first, I must say that I found that book to have more entertainment (the idea of a bus passenger dressed as a giant stick of butter still continues to amuse me) than Toth's "Fight! Fight! Fight!" But you can't knock an original, and all will enjoy Lazlo's letters and his courteous replies from those who can't decide whether or not Lazlo is for real!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So Lazlo wrote letters to various famous, and not so famous, people and got replies. Not particularly interesting to me. Nor illuminating. No great questions were put and no great answers were given--at least, not that I saw. And--this is a seller issue--the book was so musty I couldn't finish it. I had to toss it out.
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