Marlo Thomas' Memoir Looks at Her Life With a Laugh

Marlo Thomas on November 24, 2008 in New York City. (Scott Gries/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) In her new book, Marlo Thomas pulls off a bit of admirable alchemy.

Within its charming, breezy 379 pages, she blends a personal memoir "Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny"; a loving tribute to her dad, comedian Danny Thomas; a portfolio of interviews she did with more than 20 well-known comics; and her meditation on the nature of comedy.

There are also a lot of jokes, from W.C. Fields to Kathy Griffin.

Jay Leno tells a joke whose punch line has the Pope startling an American supplicant by whispering, "I thought I told you to get the hell out of here."

Conan O'Brien recalls suffering during his formal Catholic wedding. He couldn't goof off. He had to kneel and behave. All around him was a ready audience, wasted!

Pokerfaced Steven Wright speaks of the passing of a friend who was a clown. "When he died, all his friends went to the funeral in one car."

And you ain't heard nothing yet. The title of the book sums up its juicy concoction. The key word throughout: laughter.