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68 Books about being a stand-up comedian.




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This article is from the Stand-up Comedy FAQ, by Steven Rosenthal and Steve Silberberg (stevebo@onramp.net) with numerous contributions by others.

68 Books about being a stand-up comedian.

Be a Stand-Up Comic, or Just Look Like One. A Comedy Career Guide.
Bob Stobener, R. Scott Edwards.
Laughs Unlimited. 1989 ISBN 0-9624792-0-9
Decent how-to book. Small book 120 p.

Comedy Writing Step By Step
How to Write and Sell Your Sense of Humor
Gene Perret
Distributed by Samuel French Trade
This book is full of useful tips from a veteran comic writer. Makes a good
addition to the comic's reference bookshelf.

Comic Lives - Inside the World of American Stand-Up Comedy.
By Betsy Borns, Simon & Schuster, 1987.
Great inside look at what it was like in the clubs and on the road for over
50 headline comics like Jerry Seinfeld, Steven Wright and Paul Reiser.

The Comic Toolbox
John Vorhaus

Ha Bloody Ha
By William Cook. Fourth Estate, 1994 ISBN 1-85702-180-0
Interviews with successful stand-up comedians, mostly British. The bulk of
the book is thirty comics talking about their life, experiences and art.

Hell Gig
By Andrew Llessat (Brad Tassell) (llessat@aol.com)
527 N Greenriver Rd.
Box 176
Evansville, IN 47715
Send $10 to get a signed copy.
Hell Gig is one mans journey through the business of stand up comedy.
Working on the road fifty weeks a year. It's funny, poignent and has been
called required reading for anyone interested in how much it takes for a
comedian to get his act to the stage, and more.

How to be a Stand-up Comic
Richard Belzer, Larry Charles, and Rick Newman.
Carol Publishing Citadel Book. 1988 ISBN 0-8065-1319-5.
Not a bad book. More entertaining then enlightening.

How To Be Funny. Discovering the Comic in You
Steve Allen with Jane Wollman
Prometheus Books. 1992 ISBN 0-87975-792-2
Good book about the stand-up as an art form. How it works, what not to do,
etc. Good to tap into his experience (which is vast). The Laugh-Makers.

How to Make 'Em Laugh 'Til it Hurts
Gerald Wolfe (wolfe@wavenet.com)
Wolfe Publishing
2514 34th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
This book details the secrets of 20 great comedians.

Make 'Em Laugh
Steve Allen
Prometheus Books. 1993 ISBN 0-87975-837-6
Good book written in a conversational style. As if you visited with Steve
and he talked about comedy. Lots of history and anecdotes.

The Penguin Book of Women's Humor
Talks about the differnce between male and female humor.

Slapstick: An Illustrated History
By Tony Staveacre

Stand-Up Comedy as Art, Business, and Life Style.
McGill-Queen's University Press. 1990
High-brow analysis by interview of many comics about the comedy business in
Canada. Kind of stuffy reading, but some good content and statistical
information about the business.

Stand-Up Comedy, The Book
(http://www.pacificnet.net/~pablotwa/jcarter.html)
Judy Carter.
Dell Trade Paperback. 1989 ISBN 0-440-50243-8
Excellent book derived from her experience teaching a comedy workshop.
Highly recommended by some.

Successful Stand-Up Comedy Advice from a Comic Writer.
Gene Perret.
Samuel French Trade. 1993 ISBN 0-573-69916-X
Great book from one of Bob Hope's writers. Great insight into the inner
workings of stand-up.

Wake Me When It's Funny
Garry Marshall.
A good book worth reading, half of which deals with sitcoms.


 

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