Comedy Performing Arts
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate
Hardcover ISBN: 1455540412
From the #1 bestselling author - the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that. AL FRANKEN, GIANT OF THE SENATE is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it. It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Hardcover ISBN: 1984822586
Published to commemorate the troupe's 50th anniversary, the Monty Python founding member and creator of the Tony Award-winning Spamalot shares riotous celebrity and family anecdotes from his boarding-school childhood and landmark career in comedy.
Are You Anybody?
Hardcover ISBN: 0451496353
An anthology of riotous autobiographical essays by the beloved Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor and star of Transparent and Arrested Development discusses such topics as his formative childhood years, his relationship with his depressive father and his enduring creative process.
Away With Words
An Irreverent Tour Through the World of Pun Competitions
Paperback ISBN: 0062495607
Fast Company reporter Joe Berkowitz investigates the bizarre and hilarious world of pun competitions from the Punderdome 3000 in Brooklyn to the World competition in Austin. When Joe Berkowitz witnessed his first Punderdome competition, it felt wrong in the best way. Something impossible seemed to be happening. The kinds of jokes we learn to repress through social conditioning were not only being aired out in public—they were being applauded. As it turned out, this monthly show was part of a subculture that’s been around in one form or another since at least the late ‘70s. Its pinnacle is the O. Henry Pun Off World Championship, an annual tournament in Austin, Texas. As someone who is terminally self-conscious, Joe was both awed and jealous of these people who confidently killed with the most maligned form of humor. In this immersive ride into the subversive world of pun competitions, we meet punsters weird and wonderful and Berkowitz is our tour guide. Puns may show up in life in subtle ways sometimes, but once you start thinking in puns you discover they’re everywhere. Berkowitz’s search to discover who makes them the most, and why, leads him to the professional comedian competitors on @Midnight, a TV show with a pun competition built into it, the writing staff of Bob’s Burgers, the punniest show on TV, and even a humor research conference. With his new unlikely band of punster brothers, he finally heads to Austin to compete in the World Championship. Of course, in befriending these comic misfits he also ended up learning that when you embrace puns you become a more authentic version of yourself.
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell
Tales of a 6' 4", African-American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian
Paperback ISBN: 1101985887
A memoir and manifesto from the comedian, hit podcast host, and star of United Shades of America You may know W. Kamau Bell from his critically acclaimed hit show on CNN United Shades of America. Or maybe you've read about him in the New York Times, which called him "the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years." Or maybe in the New Yorker, fawning over his brand of humor, writing, "Bell's gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women's issues as inseparable." The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell is a humorous, well-informed take on the world today, tackling a wide range of current and evergreen issues such as the 2016 election, race relations, fatherhood, the state of law enforcement today, comedians and superheroes, right-wing politics, failure, his interracial marriage, his upbringing by divorced and very strong-willed, race-conscious parents, his early days struggling to find his comedic voice, why he never felt at home in Black comedy circles, what it means to be a Black nerd, the balance between racism and feminism, and much, much more.
Becoming Richard Pryor
Paperback ISBN: 0062123327
A major biography—intimate, gripping, revelatory—of an artist who revolutionized American comedy. Richard Pryor may have been the most unlikely star in Hollywood history. Raised in his family’s brothels, he grew up an outsider to privilege. He took to the stage, originally, to escape the hard-bitten realities of his childhood, but later came to a reverberating discovery: that by plunging into the depths of his experience, he could make stand-up comedy as exhilarating and harrowing as the life he’d known. He brought that trembling vitality to Hollywood, where his movie career—Blazing Saddles, the buddy comedies with Gene Wilder, Blue Collar—flowed directly out of his spirit of creative improvisation. The major studios considered him dangerous. Audiences felt plugged directly into the socket of life. Becoming Richard Pryor brings the man and his comic genius into focus as never before. Drawing upon a mountain of original research—interviews with family and friends, court transcripts, unpublished journals, screenplay drafts—Scott Saul traces Pryor’s rough journey to the heights of fame: from his heartbreaking childhood, his trials in the Army, and his apprentice days in Greenwich Village to his soul-searching interlude in Berkeley and his ascent in the “New Hollywood
Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee
Paperback ISBN: 0061856452
From the outrageously filthy and oddly innocent comedienne who has her own show on Comedy Central comes a memoir that includes humorous essays, embarrassing photos, mortifying childhood diary entries and truly humiliating e-mails to and from her comedian friends. Reprint. A best-selling book. 75,000 first printing.
Born a Crime
Stories from a South African Childhood
Hardcover ISBN: 0399588175
The host of The Daily Show With Trevor Noah traces his wild coming of age during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed, offering insight into the farcical aspects of the political and social systems of today's world.
Born a Crime
Stories from a South African Childhood
Paperback ISBN: 0399588191
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • USA Today • San Francisco Chronicle • NPR • Esquire • Newsday • Booklist Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love. Praise for Born a Crime “[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “[An] unforgettable memoir.”—Parade “What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today “[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People
Born Standing Up
A Comic's Life
Paperback ISBN: 1416553657
The Emmy Award-winning comedian shares the stories of his years in stand-up comedy in a humorous memoir that recalls a first job selling guidebooks at Disneyland, his early magic and comedy act, his years of honing his craft, and the sacrifice, discipline, and originality it took to take him to the top, set against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s. Reprint. 500,000 first printing.