In Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it's falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you're constantly reminded that no one looks like you. In "How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet's Confessions," Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, ("Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn't the land of appropriate-this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman's traditional hair color is honey blonde.") "Player" tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. ("I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.") In "Unlikely Leading Lady," she muses on America's fixation with the weight of actresses, ("Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they're walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.") And in "Soup Snakes," Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak ("I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.") Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who's ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who've never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.
From the outrageously filthy and oddly innocent comedienne and star of the powerful 2015 film I Smile Back Sarah Silverman comes a memoir--her first book--that is at once shockingly personal, surprisingly poignant, and still pee-in-your-pants funny.
In this collection of humorous essays, Sarah Silverman tells tales of growing up Jewish in New Hampshire, losing her virginity, learning to curse at 3 years old, and being a bedwetter until she was old enough to drive, and in a surprisingly poignant piece, she recounts the accidental death of her infant brother. Of course, in her loopy, taboo-breaking way, she always manages somehow to leave you laughing. But then you'd expect nothing less from a woman who sang to her boyfriend on national television that she was "F***ing Matt Damon."
If you like Sarah's television show The Sarah Silverman Program, or memoirs such as Chelsea Handler's Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea and Artie Lange's Too Fat to Fish, you'll love The Bedwetter.--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
In a major work of scholarship that explores the funny side of some very serious business (and vice versa), Jeremy Dauber examines the origins of Jewish comedy and its development from biblical times to the age of Twitter. Organizing Jewish comedy into "seven strands"--including the satirical, the witty, and the vulgar--he traces the ways Jewish comedy has mirrored, and sometimes even shaped, the course of Jewish history. Dauber also explores the classic works of such masters of Jewish comedy as Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, Philip Roth, Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, and Larry David, among many others.
In 1958, former circus aerialist Dudley Riggs opened a Minneapolis coffeehouse with a stage for performers and created an American comedic institution. What started as a way to draw customers on slow nights became the Brave New Workshop, a comedy theater sinking its satirical talons deep into the culture of Minneapolis-St. Paul for over half a century. This theater helped launch the careers of many talented performers, including satirist-turned-senator Al Franken and his Saturday Night Live partner in comedy, Tom Davis, as well as comedian Louie Anderson, Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead, screenwriter Pat Proft of the Naked Gun films and many others. Author Rob Hubbard tells the story of the hilarity, irreverence and imagination of the Brave New Workshop--a funhouse mirror to the world around it."If you've lived in Chicago, you know what Second City is. If you've lived in the Twin Cities, you know what the Brave New Workshop is. Founder Dudley Riggs and the Brave New Workshop played a big part in my comedy career. Read the real history of this company and the actors and writers from it who have influenced comedy on television and the big screen for over 50 years."
- Louie Anderson
In the mid-1970s, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, Richard Lewis, Robin Williams, Elayne Boosler, Tom Dreesen, and several hundred other shameless showoffs and incorrigible cutups from all across the country migrated en masse to Los Angeles, the new home of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. There, in a late-night world of sex, drugs, dreams and laughter, they created an artistic community unlike any before or since. It was Comedy Camelot--but it couldn't last.
William Knoedelseder, then a cub reporter covering the scene for the Los Angeles Times, was there when the comedians--who were not paid for performing--tried to change the system and incidentally tore apart their own close-knit community. In I'm Dying Up Here he tells the whole story of that golden age, of the strike that ended it, and of how those days still resonate in the lives of those who were there.
This book isn't a critical examination of high comedy. Rather, it's a collection of suggestions for the middlemen: the actors who have to catch the comic spark from the playwright and pass it on to the audience. The effort involved must be imperceptible: one has to acquire the cleverness, the articulacy, the febrility of the characters - and then make the whole laborious exercise seem like swimming through silk...The characters in high comedies don't find verbal sophistication difficult or unfamiliar; they enjoy it as you might enjoy slang.
On both sides of the stage improv-comedy's popularity has increased exponentially throughout the 1980s and '90s and into the new millennium. Presto An original song is created out of thin air. With nothing but a suggestion from the audience, daring young improvisers working without a net or a script create hilarious characters, sketches, and songs. Thrilled by the danger, the immediacy, and the virtuosity of improv-comedy, spectators laugh and cheer. American improv-comedy burst onto the scene in the 1950s with Chicago's the Compass Players (best known for the brilliant comedy duo Mike Nichols and Elaine May) and the Second City, which launched the careers of many popular comedians, including Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and Mike Myers. Chicago continues to be a mecca for young performers who travel from faraway places to study improv. At the same time, the techniques of Chicago improv have infiltrated classrooms, workshops, rehearsals, and comedy clubs across North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Japan. Improv's influence is increasingly evident in contemporary films and in interactive entertainment on the internet. Drawing on the experiences of working improvisers, Whose Improv Is It Anyway? provides a never-before-published account of developments beyond Second City's mainstream approach to the genre. This fascinating history chronicles the origins of "the Harold," a sophisticated new "long-form" style of improv developed in the '80s at ImprovOlympic, and details the importance and pitfalls of ComedySports. Here also is a backstage glimpse at the Annoyance Theatre, best known on the national scene for its production of The Real Live Brady Bunch. Readers will get the scoop on the recent work of players who, feeling excluded by early improv's "white guys in ties," created such independent groups as the Free Associates and the African American troupe Oui Be Negroes. There is far more to the art of improv than may be suggested by the sketches on Saturday Night Live or the games on Whose Line Is It Anyway? This history, an insider's look at the evolution of improv-comedy in Chicago, reveals the struggles, the laughter, and the ideals of mutual support, freedom, and openness that have inspired many performers. It explores the power games, the gender inequities, and the racial tensions that can emerge in improvised performance, and it shares the techniques and strategies veteran players use to combat these problems. Improv art is revealed to be an art of compromise, a fragile negotiation between the poles of process and product. The result, as shown here, can be exciting, shimmering, magical, and not exclusively the property of any troupe or actor. Amy E. Seham is an assistant professor of theater and dance at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. In Connecticut she has served as artistic director of Performance Studio in New Haven and of Free Shakespeare on the Green in New Haven and Stamford. Second City stars-(front) Holly Wortell and Joel Murray; (back) Chris Farley, Tim Meadows, Judith Scott, David Pasquesi, and Joe Liss-courtesy of Jennifer Girard Studio
In this work, Mindy Kaling shares her observations, fears, and opinions about a wide-ranging list of the topics she thinks about the most - from her favourite types of guys to life in the Office writers' room to her leisure pursuit of dieting and how much she loves romantic comedies.