Why do people tell dirty jokes? And what is it about a joke's dirtiness that makes it funny? G. Legman was perhaps the foremost scholar of the dirty joke, and as legions of humor writers and comedians know, his Rationale of the Dirty Joke remains the most exhaustive and authoritative study of the subject. More than two thousand jokes and folktales are presented, covering such topics as The Female Fool, The Fortunate Fart, Mutual Mismatching, and The Sex Machine. These folk texts are authentically transcribed in their innocent and sometimes violent entirety. Legman studies each for its historical and socioanalytic significance, revealing what these jokes mean to the people who tell them and to the people who listen and laugh. Here -- back in print -- is the definitive text for comedians and humor writers, Freudian scholars and late night television enthusiasts. Rationale of the Dirty Joke will amuse you, offend you, challenge you, and disgust you, all while demonstrating the intelligence and hilarity of the dirty joke.