This volume represents a first in its analysis of historical trends in the humor of eight Western countries: Australia, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Israel, Italy, the United States, and Yugoslavia. In each country, the authors surveyed and assessed the national humor in a way designed to facilitate comparative study. Each essay details the historical development of national humor with an emphasis on the twentieth century and contemporary trends. The survey includes traditional and popular forms of humor as well as humor in literature, the performing and visual arts, and the mass media. A bibliography suggesting materials for further study completes each chapter. Not only do the contributors present a vivid picture of traditional forms of humor such as carnivals, popular performances, and special festivities, they also examine historical changes in humor. Each author discusses the functions of humor; and as a whole, the contributors demonstrate that sexual, aggressive, social, intellectual, and defensive humor have developed differently and are appreciated differently.