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Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers

by

Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Amy Poehler, Mel Brooks, Adam McKay, George Saunders, Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt, and many more take us deep inside the mysterious world of comedy in this fascinating, laugh-out-loud-funny book. Packed with behind-the-scenes stories—from a day in the writers room at The Onion to why a sketch does or doesnt make it onto Saturday Night Live to how the BBC nearly erased the entire first season of Monty Pythons Flying Circus—Poking a Dead Frog is a must-read for comedy buffs, writers and pop culture junkies alike.

 

“No one generates more interesting, revealing, or entertaining interviews than Mike Sacks. Poking a Dead Frog is a classic.” 

—Bob Odenkirk

“This book is what I really look forward to in a book about humor: rich with words and humor, and funny stories with words. Thank you for your time.”

—Will Ferrell

 

“These interviews go to dark depths and offer useful, applicable insight into how excellent comedy is written. If you read it, you're going to be better at writing comedy and may even wind up in a position where you can take jobs away from the younger interviewees. I specify the younger interview subjects because some of the older ones will die soon.”

—Rob Delaney

 

“I wish I'd had a book like this when I was trying to break in. Also, a book on personal hygiene.”

—Jack Handey

Review:

"In this excellent book, Sacks follows up on his Conversations with 21 Humor Writers and once again displays his ability to get fascinating and honest interviews from comic luminaries such as long-time Saturday Night Live writer James Downey ('Most of the people who have been in the cast of SNL did their best work on SNL'); 'Anchorman' director Adam McKay ('The biggest mistake is that people go into comedy solely for the money. It's just a dead end — always'); and the legendary Mel Brooks ('Everything I've ever done, I've started with characters. I learn what they want, what they need'). But interspersed with 15 full-length interviews are insights from 30 more comedy writers in two shorter categories: 'Pure, Hard-Core Advice' (Patton Oswalt: 'When you're writing something, and it makes you laugh, don't judge that') and 'Ultraspecific Comedic Knowledge' (Conan writer Todd Levin on 'Writing a Submission Packet for Late Night TV'). While Sacks writes that he is no 'humor expert,' his book more than proves his contention that 'we are now living in a comedic Golden Age.' (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR

Amy Poehler, Mel Brooks, Adam McKay, George Saunders, Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt, and many more take us deep inside the mysterious world of comedy in this fascinating, laugh-out-loud-funny book. Packed with behind-the-scenes stories—from a day in the writers room at The Onion to why a sketch does or doesnt make it onto Saturday Night Live to how the BBC nearly erased the entire first season of Monty Pythons Flying Circus—Poking a Dead Frog is a must-read for comedy buffs, writers and pop culture junkies alike.

 

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of The Late Shift delivers andquot;a boisterous, two-timing, high-stakes drama about the business of comedyandquot; (The Associated Press).

No one is more uniquely suited to document television's latest late- night travesty than veteran media reporter and bestselling author, Bill Carter. NBC's CEO, Jeff Zucker, had it all worked out when he moved Jay Leno from behind the desk at The Tonight Show, and handed the reins over to Conan O'Brien. But as everyone knows, his decision was a spectacular failure. Ratings plummeted, affiliates were enraged-and when Zucker tried to put everything back the way it was, that plan backfired as well.

In candid detail, Carter charts the vortex that sucked in-not just Leno and O'Brien-but also Letterman, Stewart, Fallon, Kimmel, and Ferguson as frantic agents and network executives tried to manage a tectonic shift in television's most beloved institution.

About the Author

Mike Sacks is the author of three previous books including And Heres the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft. Currently on the editorial staff of Vanity Fair, he has also written for the New Yorker, the New York Times, Esquire, GQMcSweeneys, Vice, and Salon.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143123781
Author:
Sacks, Mike
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Carter, Bill
Subject:
Television - History & Criticism
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20140631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w photos in FM
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Acting
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Anecdotes
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Comedy Business and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Featured Titles » New Arrivals » Nonfiction
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Reference » Writing » General
Reference » Writing » Genre

Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$18.00 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143123781 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this excellent book, Sacks follows up on his Conversations with 21 Humor Writers and once again displays his ability to get fascinating and honest interviews from comic luminaries such as long-time Saturday Night Live writer James Downey ('Most of the people who have been in the cast of SNL did their best work on SNL'); 'Anchorman' director Adam McKay ('The biggest mistake is that people go into comedy solely for the money. It's just a dead end — always'); and the legendary Mel Brooks ('Everything I've ever done, I've started with characters. I learn what they want, what they need'). But interspersed with 15 full-length interviews are insights from 30 more comedy writers in two shorter categories: 'Pure, Hard-Core Advice' (Patton Oswalt: 'When you're writing something, and it makes you laugh, don't judge that') and 'Ultraspecific Comedic Knowledge' (Conan writer Todd Levin on 'Writing a Submission Packet for Late Night TV'). While Sacks writes that he is no 'humor expert,' his book more than proves his contention that 'we are now living in a comedic Golden Age.' (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR

Amy Poehler, Mel Brooks, Adam McKay, George Saunders, Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt, and many more take us deep inside the mysterious world of comedy in this fascinating, laugh-out-loud-funny book. Packed with behind-the-scenes stories—from a day in the writers room at The Onion to why a sketch does or doesnt make it onto Saturday Night Live to how the BBC nearly erased the entire first season of Monty Pythons Flying Circus—Poking a Dead Frog is a must-read for comedy buffs, writers and pop culture junkies alike.

 

"Synopsis" by ,

The New York Times bestselling author of The Late Shift delivers andquot;a boisterous, two-timing, high-stakes drama about the business of comedyandquot; (The Associated Press).

No one is more uniquely suited to document television's latest late- night travesty than veteran media reporter and bestselling author, Bill Carter. NBC's CEO, Jeff Zucker, had it all worked out when he moved Jay Leno from behind the desk at The Tonight Show, and handed the reins over to Conan O'Brien. But as everyone knows, his decision was a spectacular failure. Ratings plummeted, affiliates were enraged-and when Zucker tried to put everything back the way it was, that plan backfired as well.

In candid detail, Carter charts the vortex that sucked in-not just Leno and O'Brien-but also Letterman, Stewart, Fallon, Kimmel, and Ferguson as frantic agents and network executives tried to manage a tectonic shift in television's most beloved institution.

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