Ever hear of a “Jollytologist”? Well meet the world’s one and only—Allen Klein. Through his books and his presentations, Klein shows people worldwide how to deal with everything from traffic jams to tragedies.
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 the 2005-2006 President of The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, an international organization with nearly 600 members whose purpose is to advance the understanding and application of humor and laughter for their positive benefits.
Klein is also an award-winning speaker and best-selling author as well as 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.)
He is also a 2007 inductee into New York City's Hunter College Hall of Fame Only about a dozen people are selected from the thousands of the past graduates for this distinction.
Klein's first book, The Healing Power of Humor, is now in a 31st printing and eighth foreign language translation.
It shows readers how to use humor to deal with everyday trials and tribulations. His second book, The Courage to Laugh: Humor, Hope, and Healing in the Face of Death and Dying, documents how people have used humor to triumph over tragedy.
He has also authored thirteen other books, including Quotations to Cheer You Up, Up Words for Down Days, The Change-Your-Life Quote Book, WorkLaughs, ParentLaughs, and TeacherLaughs. And his writing has appeared in four Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
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 or The Mid-Month Mirth Memo e-zine and founder of International Mirth Month (every March).
Comedian Jerry Lewis has said that Klein is “a noble and vital force watching over the human condition.”