Pop Culture

'Funny, but No': Shoebox Cards' Hits and Misses

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/5487935/5488227" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
'Shoebox: Greatest Hits and Misses' collects 20 years of the company's work. i

Shoebox: Greatest Hits and Misses collects 20 years of quirky and irreverent work from the greeting-card company. Courtesy Shoebox and Hallmark Gift Books hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy Shoebox and Hallmark Gift Books
'Shoebox: Greatest Hits and Misses' collects 20 years of the company's work.

Shoebox: Greatest Hits and Misses collects 20 years of quirky and irreverent work from the greeting-card company.

Courtesy Shoebox and Hallmark Gift Books

For 20 years, Shoebox has brought brutal honesty and quirky irreverence to the once-sentimental realm of greeting cards.

  

"You should call your mom on your birthday and have a nice long conversation about your life," reads one card. "Hurry up now, your birthday's not going to ruin itself."

Shoebox editor Sarah Tobabin and writer Dan Taylor talk to Robert Siegel about the tricky business of mirth, the humor value of raccoons and Canadians, and the rejected idea that a writer loves so much and can't quite let go of: the "funny, but no."

"The writers don't have trouble being funny or writing jokes," says Tobabin. "The trick is then actually turning it into something that you would essentially pay money to send to somebody else."

Cards and ideas from Shoebox's 20 years are collected in the book Shoebox: Greatest Hits and Misses. Below is a sampling of "funny, but no" ideas.

Afghan
Courtesy Shoebox and Hallmark Gift Books
Seek
Courtesy Shoebox and Hallmark Gift Books
Lives with Mom
Courtesy Shoebox and Hallmark Gift Books
Small Town
Courtesy Shoebox and Hallmark Gift Books
Eew
Courtesy Shoebox and Hallmark Gift Books
Europe
Courtesy Shoebox and Hallmark Gift Books

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from