This book must surely be one of the few writing how-to texts I've purchased that's really worth the money. Though too narrow in focus to work for prose writers, this text actually gets down into the nitty-gritty of creating material that is on-target, marketable, and interesting. Though incomplete in its examination of the potentials of comedy, it gives students a thorough grounding in the creation of humorous content for the stage.
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.