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“An engaging and informative ...Zoglin has conducted extensive interviews with comics, club owners, managers, producers, and hangers-on. And his subjects rarely bore. They are, for the most part, carousing, drug addicted, and emotionally unstable (there's no business like show business!), and Zoglin captures their plentiful highs and lows. Zoglin does a good job telling the story of the rise of the comedy club, from its humble beginnings in a seedy New York dive called the Improv, to its growing influence in supplying talent for TV and film and the boom that filled American towns and cities with Seinfeld wannabes.” —Weekly Standard
“A knowledgeable, fascinating account of the whole of modern stand-up...a must-read. a definitive history of the entire comedy revolution. The well-researched book has a cracking pace, readable tone and an intelligent understanding of this fascinating subject.” —Chortle.com
“Zoglin's understanding of how comics think gives his portrait of the era absolute authority. He nails [it].”—Portland Oregonian
"Zoglin is a clear and informative writer. Comedy at the Edge is genial and good fun."—New York Times
"Evocative…first-rate" —Wall Street Journal
"Zoglin provide(s) an entertaining account of the era's emerging comedy scene, interviewing most of the principals and supporting players to connect the dots from Lenny Bruce to Jerry Seinfeld. The result is an intimate glimpse through the keyhole of a rebel subculture birthed on the smoke-filled stages of New York's Improv and Catch a Rising Star that found its way into the heart of mainstream America -- on television and film and in suburban stand-up factories." —Los Angeles Times
"Sharp, perceptive history...Especially fascinating are tales about the inner politics of comedy clubs and the struggles of female comedians." —Christian Science Monitor
"Wise, concise, effortlessly erudite." —Boston Globe
"Mesmerizing. Incisive and often thrilling. Zoglin conducted meticulous and thorough research [and] manages to uncover new insights. A fun read."—New York Post (Larry Getlen)
"Somebody finally gets it. Zoglin, at long last, [has] written a book about a subject that has been hiding in plain sight for almost 40 years. Comedy at the Edge is a detailed examination of how our current political, religious and cultural sensibility emerged from small comedy clubs. There have certainly been other books about it but Zoglin has a handle on it that no one else has had. Even deeply immersed students of comedy in the past 40 years are probably going to be learning decidedly new and often unfunny things on every other page of "Comedy at the Edge." An irresistible read and a key book for understanding our era.—Buffalo News (Jeff Simon)
"Lovingly detailed...Good times, as the NPR anchor played by Molly Shannon in the infamous "SNL" "Schweddy Balls" skit, would say."—New York Daily News (Sherryl Connelly)
"A very desirable addition for the pop-culture shelves"—Booklist
"Mirthful material worthy of applause…Zoglin on standup is standout."—Publishers Weekly
"The stand-ups are the warriors of show business, and Richard Zoglin has brilliantly captured their funny and often desperate world."--Charles Grodin
"Required reading for anybody who has laughed or cried at the zingers tossed out by Richard Pryor or any of the other brilliant performers--from Lenny Bruce to Jerry Seinfeld--who populate Richard Zoglin's riveting, politically savvy, and fluently written account of the Golden Age of stand-up comedy."--Peter Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls
"It’s no small matter to revise an entire nation’s sense of humor, but that’s the unannounced revolution the stand-up comics of the 1970s accomplished. Richard Zoglin has told their story, from Lenny Bruce to Jerry Seinfeld, in this engagingly written, thoroughly reported book. Thoughtful, witty and totally original in concept and execution, Comedy at the Edge is delicious reading—both as social history and as an edgy exploration of what makes us laugh in post-modern America."--Richard Schickel, author of Elia Kazan: A Biography
This book is a good history of stand up comedy from Lenny Bruce to some of the comics of today.
He shows us how comedy has evolved to the point of the modern intellectual stand-up routines we have now come to expect.
I managed to pick up an advanced reading copy of this book and I'm glad that I did - it's fascinating.
Breaks down stand up comedy from Lenny Bruce forward. I found it interesting and entertaining. I enjoyed reading about the evolution of stand up, and about individuals who made up... Read morePublished 4 months ago by mwright
both a very interesting history of the continuum of comedians and a sequences of interesting individual stories.Published 6 months ago by Paul Giannandrea
excellente interesting,book,I read this book two times, you have a good service,I hope very soon ,buy another interesting book with youPublished 9 months ago by enrique nunes
Zoglin's book does a great job of tracing the history and evolution of this elusive American art form. Stand up done right looks like the most natural thing in the world. Read morePublished 18 months ago by A. Gordon-schlosberg
Richard Zoglin, who interviewed over 100 people in the business, has over-delivered with his well written synopsis of the state of stand-up comedy from the 40-year period beginning... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Nathan A. Gordon
This book is a good history of stand up comedy from Lenny Bruce to some of the comics of today.Published 23 months ago by Dr. Bill
Mixing insider tales with insightful critical analysis and generous quotes from top comics including Richard Pryor and the under-chronicled Albert Brooks, this is a must-read for... Read morePublished on November 21, 2012 by A. Levine