Comedy Performing Arts
Truth in Comedy: The Manual for Improvisation
Truth in Comedy
The Manual for Improvisation
1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 1566080037

Want to learn the improv techniques that helped Mike Myers, Chris Farley, John Belushi, and many others along the road to TV and film stardom? Then let two esteemed founders of long-form improvisational theatre, Del Close and Charna Halpern, teach you the "Harold." This groundbreaking acting exercise emphasizes pattern recognition and subversion of the audience's expectations, which are important factors for making people laugh without ever telling a joke. It involves six to seven players and many kinds of scenes: games, monologues, songs, skits and more, all of which are bound to keep both actors and audience members guessing. The Harold is non-linear entertainment that remembers everything and wastes nothing the key to successful improvising and has become a standard in comedy clubs and improv theatres around the globe.

Understanding Comedy Through College Comedies
Understanding Comedy Through College Comedies
Paperback      ISBN: 0761870628

Understanding Comedy through College Comedies explains the nature of comedy through the study of college comedy films, including classics (College, The Freshman); romantic/screwball comedies (Where the Boys Are, Ball of Fire, Sterile Cuckoo); famous comedian comedies (Horse Feathers, The Nutty Professor, The Klumps); intergenerational college comedies (That's My Boy, Back to School, Old School); social comedies (The Graduate, Breaking Away, Risky Business); political comedies (Getting Straight, Strawberry Statement, Last Supper); ethnic comedies (School Daze, Soul Man, How High); and college farces (Charlie's Aunt, Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, Slackers). In this book, Norman Kagan explains comic terminology, concepts, and theories, including Freud's "displaced sexual content" in Decline of the American Empires, Langer's "vitalism" in Slacker, Bergson's "anesthesia of the heart" in The Squid and the Whale, and Frye's "reversal of literary modes" in Storytelling. The reader will discover the reasons why they are laughing, new reasons to laugh, and new films that will provide new sources of laughter.

Unqualified
Unqualified
Paperback      ISBN: 1101986433
A hilarious, honest memoir--combined with just the right amount of relationship advice--from the popular actress and host of the hit podcast Anna Faris is Unqualified.

Anna Faris has advice for you. And it's great advice, because she's been through it all, and she wants to tell you what she's learned.

After surviving an awkward childhood (when she bribed the fastest boy in the third grade with ice cream), navigating dating and marriage in Hollywood, and building a podcast around romantic advice, Anna has plenty of lessons to share: Advocate for yourself. Know that there are wonderful people out there and that a great relationship is possible. And, finally, don't date magicians.

Her comic memoir, Unqualified, shares Anna's candid, sympathetic, and entertaining stories of love lost and won. Part memoir--including stories about being "the short girl" in elementary school, finding and keeping female friends, and dealing with the pressures of the entertainment industry and parenthood--part humorous, unflinching advice from her hit podcast, Anna Faris Is Unqualified, the book will reveal Anna's unique take on how to master the bizarre, chaotic, and ultimately rewarding world of love.

Hilarious, honest, and useful, Unqualified is the book Anna's fans have been waiting for.

Unsuccessful Thug: One Comedian's Journey from Naptown to Tinseltown
Unsuccessful Thug
One Comedian's Journey from Naptown to Tinseltown
Hardcover      ISBN: 0062684892

From Naptown to Tinseltown--legendary stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps finally tells all in this outrageous, hilarious, no-holds-barred memoir.

Before starring in Def Comedy Jam and Showtime at the Apollo--before the sold-out comedy shows, Uncle Buck, and becoming his hero Richard Pryor in a biopic--there was Indianapolis. And not the good part. Mike Epps is one of America's favorite and funniest people, but the path to fame was paved with opportunities to mess it up. And mess it up he did.

Growing up in "Naptown"--what people who live there really call rough-around-the-edges Indianapolis--Epps found himself forced to hustle from an early age. Despite his mother's best efforts, and the love of his well-behaved brother, "Chaney," and his beloved sister, Julie, Epps was drawn to a life of crime, but as he quickly discovered, stealing and dealing didn't really fit his sweet sensibilities. Not to mention he wasn't very good at it--take, for example, the day he had to call the cops on himself when a dog wouldn't let him leave a house he was burgling. After several arrests and more than a few months in jail, Epps finally realized that he was an unsuccessful thug, and instead turned to the next most obvious career path: stand-up comedy.

Heading first to New York, then all over the country, and finally to Hollywood, Mike Epps carved out a unique place in American comedy, combining hysterical tales of his family and friends with a mordant take on life in the Naptowns of America. Comedy saved Mike Epps, and here he reveals exactly how he finally grew up and got out, barely. And when describing how he survived when so many of his friends didn't, Epps makes clear what he's thankful for and sorry about. Unsuccessful Thug is about growing up black in America, facing down racism in Hollywood, and ultimately how it feels to fail at thugdom, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and end up selling out arenas and starring in movies across the country.

Unsuccessful Thug: One Comedian's Journey from Naptown to Tinseltown
Unsuccessful Thug
One Comedian's Journey from Naptown to Tinseltown
Paperback      ISBN: 0062684906

Now in paperback---the legendary stand-up comedian and actor Mike Epps finally tells all in this outrageous, hilarious, no-holds-barred memoir.

Before starring in Def Comedy Jam and Showtime at the Apollo--before the sold-out comedy shows, Uncle Buck, and becoming his hero Richard Pryor in a biopic--there was Indianapolis. And not the good part. Mike Epps is one of America's favorite and funniest people, but the path to fame was paved with opportunities to mess it up. And mess it up he did.

Growing up in "Naptown"--what people who live there really call rough-around-the-edges Indianapolis--Epps found himself forced to hustle from an early age. Despite his mother's best efforts, and the love of his well-behaved brother, "Chaney," and his beloved sister, Julie, Epps was drawn to a life of crime, but as he quickly discovered, stealing and dealing didn't really fit his sweet sensibilities. Not to mention he wasn't very good at it--take, for example, the day he had to call the cops on himself when a dog wouldn't let him leave a house he was burgling. After several arrests and more than a few months in jail, Epps finally realized that he was an unsuccessful thug, and instead turned to the next most obvious career path: stand-up comedy.

Heading first to New York, then all over the country, and finally to Hollywood, Mike Epps carved out a unique place in American comedy, combining hysterical tales of his family and friends with a mordant take on life in the Naptowns of America. Comedy saved Mike Epps, and here he reveals exactly how he finally grew up and got out, barely. And when describing how he survived when so many of his friends didn't, Epps makes clear what he's thankful for and sorry about. Unsuccessful Thug is about growing up black in America, facing down racism in Hollywood, and ultimately how it feels to fail at thugdom, pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and end up selling out arenas and starring in movies across the country.

A Vulgar Art: A New Approach to Stand-Up Comedy
A Vulgar Art
A New Approach to Stand-Up Comedy
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 1628461829

THE FIRST EXAMINATION OF STAND-UP COMEDY THROUGH THE LENS OF FOLKLORE In A Vulgar Art Ian Brodie uses a folkloristic approach to stand-up comedy, leveraging the discipline's central method of studying interpersonal, artistic communication and performance. Because stand-up comedy is a rather broad category, people who study it often begin by relating it to something they recognize such as literature or theatre, and analyze it accordingly. A Vulgar Art begins with a more fundamental observation: someone is standing in front of a group of people, talking to them directly, and trying to make them laugh. So this book takes the moment of performance as its focus and shows that stand-up comedy is a collaborative act between the comedian and the audience. Although the form of talk on the stage resembles talk among friends and intimates in social settings, stand-up comedy remains a profession. As such, it requires performance outside of the comedian's own community to gain larger and larger audiences. How do comedians re-create that atmosphere of intimacy in a roomful of strangers? This book regards everything from microphones to clothing and LPs to twitter as strategies for bridging the spatial, temporal, and sociocultural distances between the performer and the audience. Ian Brodie, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, is associate professor of folklore at Cape Breton University. He has served as president of the Folklore Studies Association of Canada and is currently the editor for Contemporary Legend: The Journal of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research.

Vulgar Art: A New Approach to Stand-Up Comedy
Vulgar Art
A New Approach to Stand-Up Comedy
Paperback      ISBN: 1496807944

THE FIRST EXAMINATION OF STAND-UP COMEDY THROUGH THE LENS OF FOLKLORE In A Vulgar Art Ian Brodie uses a folkloristic approach to stand-up comedy, leveraging the discipline's central method of studying interpersonal, artistic communication and performance. Because stand-up comedy is a rather broad category, people who study it often begin by relating it to something they recognize such as literature or theatre, and analyze it accordingly. A Vulgar Art begins with a more fundamental observation: someone is standing in front of a group of people, talking to them directly, and trying to make them laugh. So this book takes the moment of performance as its focus and shows that stand-up comedy is a collaborative act between the comedian and the audience. Although the form of talk on the stage resembles talk among friends and intimates in social settings, stand-up comedy remains a profession. As such, it requires performance outside of the comedian's own community to gain larger and larger audiences. How do comedians re-create that atmosphere of intimacy in a roomful of strangers? This book regards everything from microphones to clothing and LPs to twitter as strategies for bridging the spatial, temporal, and sociocultural distances between the performer and the audience. Ian Brodie, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada, is associate professor of folklore at Cape Breton University. He has served as president of the Folklore Studies Association of Canada and is currently the editor for Contemporary Legend: The Journal of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research.

W. C. Fields: A Bio-Bibliography
W. C. Fields
A Bio-Bibliography
Hardcover      ISBN: 0313238758

All students of the Great Man's'career will have to rely on this work. . . . Perhaps Gehring's greatest contributio here is his discussion of 23 sketches that Fields copyrighted that are now in the Library of Congress. Choice

We Killed
We Killed
Paperback      ISBN: 1250037786

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
A Very Oral History
With a New Introduction by the Author

We Killed shines in its details and its anecdotes....Well crafted and entertaining.--The Boston Globe

From live comedy to television and bestseller lists, women rule the comedy industry--and, as this fascinating oral history shows, they have fought long and hard to make their way to the top. In We Killed, Yael Kohen assembles America's most prominent comediennes--along with the writers, producers, and nightclub owners in their orbit--to piece together the rise of women in American comedy. Beginning with the emergence of Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers in the fifties, and moving forward to the edgy intelligence of Elaine May and Lily Tomlin on to the tough-ass stand-ups who would take SNL by storm, Kohen chronicles the false starts, backslides, and triumphs of female comedians. With a chorus of more than one hundred creative voices, We Killed takes us backstage to tell the story of the revolution that brought us Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman, and Chelsea Handler--and a world where women can be smart, attractive, sexually confident, and flat-out funny.
Wet Hot American Summer: The Annotated Screenplay
Wet Hot American Summer
The Annotated Screenplay
Hardcover      ISBN: 1419733435

At long last, this is the definitive Wet Hot American Summer book fans have been clamoring for Screenwriters David Wain and Michael Showalter take pen to page and create a hilarious, behind-the-scenes annotated version of the original screenplay that launched a thousand Halloween costumes. They provide commentary on and insight into how and why they made the artistic decisions they did while writing and filming the movie that went on to become a true cult classic, as well as an ongoing Netflix series. The book will also feature reproduced ephemera from filming--photos, original (and scathing) reviews, AIM chat conversations, marked up script pages, and so much more. Written and curated by Wain and Showalter, this will be the must-have guide to all things Wet Hot.