Klein got into this unusual line of work after his wife died of a rare liver disease at the age of 34. He saw how humor helped her, and those around her, cope. He also saw how humor helped him get through that loss. He now teaches others how to find some in trying times. Those audiences include people in 48 states as well as Israel and Australia, and clients from IBM to the IRS.
Klein is an award-winning speaker and best-selling author. He is the recipient of a Toastmasters Communication and Leadership Award and a Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association. (Less than 800 of its 4,000 members have this honor.) Klein has authored, among other books, The Healing Power of Humor, Quotations to Cheer You Up, Up Words for Down Days, and The Courage to Laugh. The first book, The Healing Power of Humor, shows people how to use humor to deal with everyday trials and tribulations; the latter book, The Courage to Laugh, documents how people have used humor to triumph over tragedy.
Klein has a master's degree in humor from St. Mary's College in Minnesota (and that's no joke!) And he is well suited to his subject. Years before becoming a "Jollytologist®", Klein was nicknamed the "King of Whimsy" because he designed all the children shows at CBS television in New York City. Among those productions was one you probably remember the Captain Kangaroo show.
Although no longer working in the light-hearted world of children, Klein still believes that adults need to take a lesson from them and lighten up. To help adults do this, Klein is both the editor of The Mid-Month Mirth Memo e-zine, founder of International Mirth Month (every March), and President-elect of the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor (www.aath.org).
Comedian Jerry Lewis has said that Klein is "a noble and vital force watching over the human condition." And who would have thought that it would be a "Jollytologist®"?
Allen is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor. Previous recipients of a similar award from this organization have included Jerry Lewis, Patch Adams, and Steve Allen
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