Cal Samra is the founding editor and publisher of The Joyful Noiseletter, a national humor newsletter that for thirty years has provided jokes that pastors can tell and reproducible cartoons for church editors of all faith traditions. The Joyful Noiseletterhas received awards of excellence from The Associated Church Press, The Catholic Press Association, and the Evangelical Press Association. Lutheran author and Pastor Paul L. Maier called The Joyful Noiseletterthe best humor publication in Christendom.
Prior to his debut as a humorist, Samra had extensive experience as a newspaper journalist. He was editorial directors of The Michigan Daily at the University of Michigan, a reporter and columnist for The Ann Arbor News, a reporter for the Associated press’ Detroit Bureau, a reporter for The Flint Journal, a reporter and columnist for The Battle Creek Enquirer, a copyreader for The New York Herald Tribune, and a reporter for The Newark Evening News in New Jersey.
In the 1960s, Samra served as the lay executive director and newsletter editor of what became the Huxley Institute for Biosocial Research, named in honor of Sir Julian Huxley and his brother, Aldous Huxley. The institute had a distinguished board of psychiatric researchers exploring the physiology, biochemistry, and nutritional factors in severe mental illnesses.
Samra is the author of a dozen humor books. His book, The Joyful Christ: The Healing Power of Humor, published by HarperCollins in 1985, launched The Joyful Noiseletter after many pastors and church editors requested a newsletter that would provide them with clean humor and cartoons on a regular basis.
His books, Holy Humor, More Holy Humor, Holy Hilarity, and More Holy Hilarity, published by Guideposts, Thomas Nelson, and Waterbrook Press have sold a million copies.
Not only has Samra’s professional life led him to writing this book full of wisdom, but also his personal life. After a serious illness, the author himself recovered his health when he returned to the natural Mediterranean diet he had been raised on – very similar to the food that Jesus ate.
Samra’s keen interest has always been physical fitness and nutrition. Next to his Christian faith and family, tennis is his great love. One of the favorite books he wrote is The Funny Side of Tennis, full of tennis humor and cartoons published by The Joyful Noiseletter. At age 85, this court jester still plays tennis with his aging but young-at-heart friends four times a week.