Stand-Up Comedy: The Book Paperback – Aug 5 1989
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Top Customer Reviews
Humor is something we could all use more of in our lives. I'm guessing most people who get this book aren't really going to quit their day job and try to make it in stand-up; this book is worth it anyway. Anybody who deals with other people, in your work or otherwise, will find humor a useful skill to develop. I teach and do radio work, both of which require trying to keep my audience awake, and humor, even if it isn't quite ready for "Seinfeld", is one of the best ways to achieve that.
In this book you'll learn about the structure of humor, and how to use any experience from your own life, good or bad, to be funny - or to develop other kinds of material, like short stories or radio drama, though you will have to make these kinds of connections yourself.
I find Carter's approach much more useful than just trying to memorize and retell jokes from a book - which very likely don't apply to yourself and your potential audience anyway. If you live in another country and culture, for example, jokes assuming you grew up in the United States are likely to be puzzling to your listeners at best - in any case not funny. Shared experience is an essential for any kind of writing and humor, and identifying and drawing on that shared experience requires the kind of specific skills you can learn about in this book.
To be honest, I didn't laugh at all the jokes in the book, but my admiration for Carter as an effective *teacher* grew as I read on. Her approach is strictly hands-on - she includes practical exercises in each section - and she makes each step perfectly clear along the way. Not everybody who can do something can teach it (and the reverse applies as well!), but Carter's pedagogy is solid.Read more ›
Carter shies away from telling you too much on how to do topical material, instead coaching the novice comic to focus on the one thing you know more about than anyone else--your own fool self. By simply starting with having you talk about what's on your mind, she presents you with an inexhaustable source of content. This is mother's milk comedy, of course, but if you want something punchy like Foxworthy's "Redneck" routine or Margaret Cho's ethnic commentary, that will come with experience.
The stand-up comedy Carter coaches you on in this book has little to do with the joke-telling of Jack Benny or Henny Youngman. Instead, you're presented with what seems a modern form of Native American storytelling, with the focus on the self. This will not appeal to all up-and-coming comics, and some might find this book rather trying. Starting out, however, most new comics will find good grounding in the stylistic tactics of this book.
Most recent customer reviews
I found this book helpful to organize my thoughts to begin writing my stand-up comedy script. Suggestion of topics was most helpful.Published on May 11 2013 by M. Russell
The book reads ok, but really doesn't portray current comedy styles. May have been good in the 80's, but not now. Her classes are not current either.Published on Oct. 21 2003
I started doing stand-up after taking a class. I must say this book was better than the class! Everything you need to develop your own funny monologue. Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2002 by dasn0wman
A truly incredible book, Carter breaks down comedy performance into very tiny pieces so we ought to be able to produce outstanding material. It leaves me awestruck. Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2002
Judy Carter is an LA legend! Known coast to coast as an excelent teacher and standup comic. The industry respects her and so do the comics. This is an excelent book. Read morePublished on June 4 2001
Probably the most useful book on stand up comedy I've read so far and i've been looking around. What amkes this book so great is the fact that it is so detailed. Read morePublished on March 29 2000
After my first time on stage, a professional comic told me I was good but I had to read Judy Carter's book "Standup Comedy - The Book". Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2000 by Mike Peterson, comedycop.com
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