Net surfing by the book

By Karen Valby
June 22, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

Out There: One Man's Search for the Funniest Person on the Internet

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While researching his book ”Out There: One Man’s Search for the Funniest Person on the Internet” (published June 12 by Random House), Henry Alford subjected himself to countless hours of feverish late-night surfing. ”I thought my eyeballs were going to drop out,” says the author of ”Big Kiss” and ”Municipal Bondage.” ”It was like I had leased my corneas to the comedy gods.” Still, he was determined to sort the comedic gems from the ”crackpots who are madly typ-typ-typing into the night.” For example, there’s the impassioned rabbi who writes an advice column on the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership site (www.jpfo.org/askrabbi.htm). Hot Skating Grandma, a 75-year-old ”with a great pair of legs,” displays her roller-skating charms on hotskatinggrandma.com, where she also acknowledges her ophthalmologist. Rare Person Who Nibbles Glass Cups (www.linyc.com/linyc/lyce.htm) soon plans to put a section of his stomach up for online auction. But the winner, as chosen by an informal focus group (the author’s family), is a garrulous lowland gorilla named Koko. Don’t ask: Just log on to http://www.gorilla.org.

Out There: One Man's Search for the Funniest Person on the Internet

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