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And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craftby Mike Sacks
Synopses & Reviews
"Did you hear the one about..."
Every great joke has a punch line, and every great humor writer has an arsenal of experiences, anecdotes, and obsessions that were the inspiration for that humor. In fact, those who make a career out of entertaining strangers with words are a notoriously intelligent and quirky lot. And boy, do they have some stories.
In this entertaining and inspirational book, you'll hear from 21 top humor writers as they discuss the comedy-writing process, their influences, their likes and dislikes, and their experiences in the industry. You'll also learn some less useful but equally amusing things, such as:
How screenwriter Buck Henry came up with the famous "plastics" line for "The Graduate".
Funny and informative, And Here's the Kicker is a must-have resource — whether you're an aspiring humor writer, a fan of the genre, or someone who just likes to laugh.
"Veteran journalist Sacks conducted dozens of interviews with the top humor writers of the last century, and the result is a whiz-bang collection of Q&As that will school readers just as often as it provokes laughter. The assortment boasts elder statesmen including Dick Cavett, 93-year-old Irving Brecher (who wrote shtick for the Marx Brothers and Milton Berle) and Mad magazine's Al Jaffee, who reminisces about reading American comic strips during his 1930s boyhood in Lithuania. High notes include David Sedaris, with the bestselling humorist confessing to cringing when he reads earlier writing, including breakthrough Me Talk Pretty One Day: 'I used to exaggerate a lot more than I needed to. So when I needed readers to believe me, they didn't.' Other contemporary writers offer up equally revelatory tidbits, especially Marshall Brickman (Annie Hall) and Allison Silverman (The Daily Show), but would-be humorists will appreciate most the nuts-and-bolts knowhow regarding the industry. Though it's decidedly testosterone-heavy, Sack has compiled a lively compendium sure to captivate anyone who loves a good comedy." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Sacks, currently on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair, interviews 21 top print, TV, and film humor writers as they discuss the comedy-writing process, their influences, and their experiences in the industry. Those interviewed include veterans like Buck Henry (Get Smart, The Graduate) and Dick Cavett (The Tonight Show, The Dick Cavett Show), as well as mavericks including Dan Mazer, co-writer of Borat, George Meyer (The Simpsons), and Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks). In this male-dominated industry, a few women stand out: Merrill Markoe (Late Night with David Letterman), and Allison Silverman (Late Night with Conan O'Brien). Each interview begins with background and a b&w illustration. In between the interviews, two-page spreads offer "quick and painless," yet serious, advice for humor writers, on getting hired as a sitcom writer, getting humor published in magazines, finding a literary agent for a humor book idea, acquiring an agent for a script, and getting a job as a writer for late-night television. The book is ideal for aspiring humor writers, and will be enjoyed by anyone who likes to laugh. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Writers who specialize in humor, who make a career out of entertaining strangers with words, are a notoriously intelligent and quirky lot. In this entertaining and inspirational book you'll hear from 18 top humor writers as they discuss the comedy writing process, their influences, their likes and dislikes, and experiences in the industry. Funny and informative, And Here's the Kicker is a must have guide for aspiring humor writers and simply a great read for fans.
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