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Dad Jokes Go Pro

14 Kids’ Books By Comedians Because You Can’t Take Them To Open Mic Night Yet

Bad idea: Showing your kid old episodes of Def Comedy Jam. Good idea: Reading books by comedians written specifically for children. There are no inappropriate f-bombs, no drunk bachelorette parties heckling you, and no 2 drink minimum (unless that’s your usual minimum before bedtime stories).

Here is a list of almost every stand-up and comedic actor, from Seinfeld to Weird Al, who has tried their hand at writing stories for the toughest crowd.

A Pig Parade Is A Terrible Idea
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As most people already know, pigs are for eating or keeping as hipster pets, not for parading. For fans of The State, Stella, or Wet Hot American Summer. Michael Ian Black’s sophomore effort is pretty much what you would expect from MIB — sarcastic, irreverent, and full of non-conforming barnyard animals. Understand going in this book is more for laughs than lessons, unless your kid is really into animal husbandry.
Ages: 4 – 8
A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black and Kevin Hawkes ($18)

Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada
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When a bunch of barnyard animal dads stand around in a field repeating “Dada” to their nonplussed offspring, the baby animals reply with the kind of sound they’re supposed to make. Haven’t these kids (and literal goat offspring) ever heard of Old MacDonald? Getting these animals to say “dada” is ultimately more successful than Fallon’s own first efforts. His daughter Winnie’s first word was “Mama.” And Franny’s — Fallon can always lip sync that.
Ages: 1 – 3
Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada by Jimmy Fallon and Miguel Ordóñez ($11)

The Book With No Pictures
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Novak’s first, The Book With No Pictures is a new take on the read-aloud book that introduces kids to the power of the written word, challenges their notions about how books work and cracks them up. In the same way that Pee-Wee Herman and Mr. Rogers bypassed adults by speaking directly to kids, Novak lets kids in on the joke by turning the reader (that would be you) into a hapless servant to the increasingly ridiculous things written on the page.
Ages: 5 – 8
The Book With No Pictures by B,J, Novak ($18)

When I Grow Up
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Weirdly written under the unassuming nom de plume of some guy named “Al Yankovic,” Weird Al’s first foray into children’s literature is about a little boy who starts imagining cool things to be when he grows up, and then finds he can’t shut up about it — sort of like the author and pop music.
Ages: 4 – 8
When I Grow Up by Weird Al and Wes Hargis ($18)

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If Roast Beef Could Fly
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Essentially an illustrated Tonight Show monologue about a backyard barbecue gone wrong, Jay Leno introduces readers to his overly ambitious father, his perpetually wary mother, the family dog Bruce, and his childhood chin. Even as a boy, the thing was majestic.
Ages: 4 – 8
If Roast Beef Could Fly by Jay Leno and S. B. Whitehead ($4)

Halloween
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Seinfeld’s entry to the canon is a kid’s book-length riff on his popular bit about Halloween, and how it upends a child’s frequently candy-less world. That is to say, it’s a greater creative effort than all the musicians whose “kid’s books” are just illustrated song lyrics … but not by much.
Ages: 3 – 6
Halloween by Jerry Seinfeld and James Bennett (Available Used)

The Alphabet From A To Y With Bonus Letter Z!
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A book with the Sesame Street-like premise, Steve Martin can’t resist a slide toward his decidedly idiosyncratic sense of humor. The couplets don’t always make sense, Latin diphthongs complain about their exclusion from the alphabet, and there’s a drunk wandering the pages.
Ages: 4 – 8
The Alphabet From A To Y With Bonus Letter Z! by Steve Martin and Roz Chast (Available Used)

Dirt On My Shirt
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You might be Jeff Foxworthy if you can take a book of goofball poems and turn it into a New York Times Bestseller. Now this Blue Collar comedian is not only the biggest comedy-recording artist in history, but also a best selling author. Still, Dirt On My Shirt (as well as his follow up Hide!!!) is a solid way for you and the kid to work on those pesky non-monosyllabic words. Like redneck.
Ages: 4 – 8
Dirt On My Shirt by Jeff Foxworthy and Steve Bjorkman ($4)

The Big Book of Manners
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Is your kid picking their nose right now? If the answer is yes, you might need this book. See, Whoopi didn’t conquer Hollywood on her way to EGOT glory by being a complete jerk — she did it with class. It’s why she’s qualified to write a manners book. And don’t worry, it also includes some astute lessons for adults. Because everyone knows you’re not “pinching” your nose.
Ages: 4 – 8
Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners by Whoopi Goldberg and Olo ($4)

The 2000 Year Old Man Goes To School
The Best Kids' Books By Comedians In 2016
Modern comedy basically starts with Reiner and Brooks, and you get the chance to pass along their genius to your kid. This classic sketch created nearly half a century ago on Sid Caesar’s Your Show Of Shows is illustrated so that even a 4-year-old can get it. And if you think they you have a comedy prodigy on your hands, try showing them Blazing Saddles. (That R rating is just for “ridiculously funny.”)
Ages: 4+
The 2000 Year Old Man Goes To School by Carl Reiner & Mel Brooks, James Bennett ($19)

Raymie, Dickie and the Bean: Why I Love and Hate My Brothers
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Once you get past Ray Romano’s freakishly caricatured face, settle in for everybody’s favorite sitcom star relating what it’s like to be a middle child. “Raymie,” as nobody outside his family calls him, chronicles a day spent at an amusement park enduring brotherly tortures until he can finally ride the Vomitizer. If your daily life is a perpetual motion machine of noogies, farts, and vomit jokes, your kid will be well pleased.
Ages: 4 – 8
Raymie, Dickie and the Bean: Why I Love and Hate My Brothers by Ray Romano and Gary Locke ($15)

I Already Know I Love You
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This isn’t hilarious, Running Scared Billy Crystal — this is earnest Father’s Day Billy Crystal. And now that he’s Grandpa Crystal, Billy waxes sweetly as he anticipates the birth of his first grandchild and all the things they’ll eventually do together in the years to come. It’s a great gift to get your father, who now shoves you out of the way to hang with your son.
Ages: 4 – 8
I Already Know I Love You by Billy Crystal and Elizabeth Sayles ($7)

The Pied Piper Of Hamelin
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As it turns out, Russell Brand isn’t just all hair and accent. In his turn as a children’s author, Brand peppers this retelling of the Pied Piper with characters like Fat Dave, Gammy-Legged Sam, and Sexist Bob. The basic story works, but don’t be surprised if Chris Riddell’s illustrations of the polygamous, narco-egalitarian rat collective flies over your kid’s head.
Ages: 8 – 13
The Pied Piper of Hamelin: Russell Brand’s Trickster Tales by Russell Brand and Chris Riddle ($20)

How Roland Rolls
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Self help guru Deepak Chopra seriously reviewed this book about a wave afraid it will die once he reaches shore saying, “Philosophers and scientists struggle to understand cosmic consciousness, but Jim Carrey explains it with elegant simplicity to the child in all of us.” All righty then.
Ages: 4 – 8
How Roland Rolls by Jim Carrey and Rob Nasow ($15)