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Category: Funny Business

    These scriptural apocrypha were found in a folder archived in Milton Friedman’s papers at the Hoover Institution labelled “University of Chicago, Miscellaneous” in which texts from Chicago (economics) performance art had been filed. The First Epistle Unto the Entering Students and First Epistle Unto New Students are clearly of divine inspiration though we

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  The annual skit party was a huge social event in the economics department at MIT in the 1970s and presumably before and after.  Each of the cohorts was expected to write and perform its own skit in which economics and economics professors were the principal targets. Faculty written skits were often a part of

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10 months ago

In honor of the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017, I have written new lyrics to a famous production number from the musical The Producers. My version has the title “Springtime for Twittler“. 

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Copies of the following bastardized Christmas Carols from the University of Chicago Department of Economics can be found in Milton Friedman’s papers at the Hoover Institution Archives. They are filed with other skit party materials in a folder marked “University of Chicago, Miscellaneous”. These texts are undated, one might say timeless. From the same collection: a HMS

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____________ Today’s post is an excerpt from a script for a department faculty skit performed at the MIT Graduate Economics Association’s “Shawmut Follies” of 1967. The “skitwrights” were Duncan Foley and Peter Temin who adapted the lyrics from tunes taken from the popular musical Camelot (based on the legend of King Arthur and his Knights

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It is not every day that one stumbles upon a history-of-economics arc connecting Thorstein Veblen to Groucho Marx and Jack Benny. The economist that connected the iconoclast economist to those veterans of vaudeville comedy is the Canadian humorist and Chicago student of Thorstein Veblen, Stephen Butler Leacock. First I post here some data (the actual starting point of my background check of Leacock,

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From the conclusion of John Maynard Keynes’ General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money: “Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few

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For his 50th class reunion Paul A. Samuelson filled out the following one page questionnaire. Besides revealing the youthful musical taste of this Chicago educated Wunderkind, Samuelson’s responses sometimes even illustrate his writing style (e.g. 7 8/9 grandchildren). I was most struck by his declared favorite professor during these formative years. Guess, then read. ____________________________________

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In a filed labeled “Miscellaneous” in the Milton Friedman papers at the Hoover Institution Archives, along with such skit party classics as The Cowles Commission Song and a parody from HMS Pinafore about Milton Friedman, we have the following “Ode to an Economist”. I was able to track down the exact issue of Punch from which the

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