And Here's the Kicker

And Here's the Kicker

Conversations With 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft

Book - 2009
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Suitable for aspiring humour writers and fans of comedy, this title discusses the comedy writing process, influences of humour writers from print, TV, and film, their likes and dislikes, and experiences in the industry. It provides interviews that are wide-ranging, funny and informative, and features some of the best names in the business.
Publisher: Cincinnati Ohio : Writer's Digest Books, [2009], ©2009
ISBN: 9781582975054
1582975051
Branch Call Number: 808.7 Sa
Characteristics: ix. 337 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm

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MomoT Feb 17, 2016

A fascinating insight on the somewhat hidden world of comedy writing. Though the jokes may end up being told in front of a huge audience, they start in the minds of comedy writers and what weird and wonderful (but sometimes dark) places those are.

This book is very America-centric so if you're interested in the brains behind such various comedy outputs as The Simpsons, The Marx Brothers movies, National Lampoon, Arrested Development, Mad magazine, The Onion, and The Colbert Report then there'll be something here that interests you. For those with more British sensibilities the interviews with Stephen Merchant (The Office, Extras) and Dan Mazer (Da Ali G Show, Borat, Bruno) may well appeal. I was personally very impressed with the revelation that Sacha Baron Cohen and crew were pulled over by the police 36 times while filming the Borat film... and Cohen didn't break character once.

I also loved the interview with American humorist David Sedaris because I've read and enjoyed a lot of his work and it was interesting to read about how he approaches writing his humorous essays (and what kind of trouble he gets into when he exaggerates for the sake of the story).

What comes across is that there are a lot of different styles of humour and different approaches, and some will strike a chord. My main takeaway from the book is that humour writing is rarely easy for anyone, even the people who are best at it.

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