'The Art of the Novelty Item' One of the last novelty-item factories in the country, the S.S. Adams Company in Neptune, New Jersey, manufactures joy buzzers, whoopee cushions, and cans of jumping snakes. Mark Newgarden, author of Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item, and NPR's Petra Mayer take a tour.
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'The Art of the Novelty Item'

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'The Art of the Novelty Item'

'The Art of the Novelty Item'

'The Art of the Novelty Item'

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4234383/4235778" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

As shoppers face the last grim stretch before Christmas, the rush to buy gifts for friends and relatives becomes desperate. But the S.S. Adams Company in Neptune, New Jersey has a few suggestions for presents that can lighten the mood.

One of the last novelty-item factories in the country, S.S. Adams manufactures joy buzzers, whoopee cushions, fake vomit and cans of jumping snakes — all on the same machines that made these vintage items in the 1930s.

Mark Newgarden is the author of the new book Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item. He joins NPR's Petra Mayer for a tour of S.S. Adams.

Original product displays of novelty items at the S.S. Adams company dating back to the 1930s. Petra Mayer, NPR News hide caption

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Petra Mayer, NPR News

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