March 28, 1988 12:00 PM

by Lewis Grizzard

People who judge Lewis Grizzard by the titles of his books—his previous works are Elvis Is Dead and I Don’t Feel So Good Myself; My Daddy Was a Pistol and I’m a Son of a Gun; Shoot Low, Boys—They’re Ridin’ Shetland Ponies; They Tore Out My Heart and Stomped That Sucker Flat—could hardly be blamed for thinking that the Atlanta-based syndicated columnist is the funniest man in America. They could hardly be blamed, but they would be wrong. In fact, after finishing When My Love Returns, readers might be inclined to go along with the judgment of the author’s black Labrador retriever, Catfish, who, according to the book jacket, doesn’t think Lewis is all that funny. There is a more-than-twice-told quality to most of the offerings in the collection, to say nothing of a high sexist content. Haven’t we already read the one about a man’s travails in shopping with a woman? (“I’ve bought houses in less time than it takes a woman to shop for a skirt and blouse.”) Then there’s the one about women invading territory previously sacred to men. (“If they don’t stop, men might some day decide to retaliate and start crashing Tupperware parties.”) Grizzard is not much funnier when dealing with 1987’s bimbo brigade—Rice, Hahn and Bakker: “And where does Jim Bakker’s wife, Tammy Faye, fit into all this? Now it can be told. The FBI recently ordered she take off all her makeup and guess who they found underneath all that goo? Jimmy Hoffa.” Uh-huh. One waits eagerly for Lewis Grizzard’s next title. There is not quite the same level of anticipation about his next book. (Villard, $14.95)

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