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Funny: The Book - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Comedy Paperback – April 1, 2012


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Funny: The Book - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Comedy + What Are You Laughing At?: A Comprehensive Guide to the Comedic Event + The Hidden Tools of Comedy: The Serious Business of Being Funny
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Applause (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557838291
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557838292
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David began his career in the 70's as a comic folksinger and stand-up comedian; his song "Somerville" was released nationally by Fretless Records and he was named "Best Comedian In Boston" by Boston Magazine.

His first screenwriting job was "Mork and Mindy", which was nominated for two Emmy awards. He also co-wrote "Leave It To Dave", the pilot for David Letterman's first talk-show.

He has since written, created and/or produced programs for NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, UPN, HBO, Showtime, PBS, ABC Family, Disney, Universal and Lifetime. Among his credits: he co-wrote and directed an episode of the syndicated series "Monsters" which was chosen for competition at the Banff International Television Festival; Executive Producer of "Duckman" (USA), nominated for multiple Emmys, winner of the CableACE and Banff awards for "Best Animated Series"; Executive Story Editor on the legendary Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker series "Police Squad!"; co-writer and producer of "Callahan", a pilot later screened at the Los Angeles Museum of Art Television Festival; guest writer on "Saturday Night Live".

David was Executive Consultant on "She Spies" (chosen as one of "5 TV Spies To Love" by Time Magazine) and wrote the TV movie "Behind The Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Mork and Mindy'" for NBC. He has sold six screenplays and was Special Consultant on THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN (Tri-Star). His prose has been published on the net at NationalLampoon.com, collected in "May Contain Nuts" (Harper-perennial) and he blogs for The Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com/david-misch).

David wrote "Funny: The Book / Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Comedy" (Applause/Hal Leonard; funnythebook.com). His play "Occupied" is scheduled to be produced later this year at the Skylight Theater in Los Angeles. He has taught musical satire at UCLA, comedy at USC, and lectured at Columbia University, 92YTribeca, the American Film Institute, the California Women's Conference, and the Chicago Public Library. More at davidmisch.com and funnythebook.com

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Customer Reviews

I found the book very interesting.
Carla Hinton
It's a terrific read, you'll laugh and you'll learn, the book totally lives up to its subject.
doree
I just read David Misch's "Funny: The Book" from cover to cover.
Hayley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Loum on April 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There was once a Golden Age of Comedy in this country. No, we are not in it presently. For anyone interested in great comedy, you should read a great book on comedy, and that's David Misch's Funny: The Book--Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Comedy (not to be confused with Funny: The Movie or Funny: the Algebra Equation, neither of which exist).

Misch's writing is fall-off-your-chair funny, and I'm surprised it doesn't come with a warning to read it only on a futon. But it's more: any book that can reference flatulence and Kierkegaard in almost the same breath while providing real scholarly background and a cogent analysis of why humans laugh--along with an Andrew Sarris-like pantheon of comedy greats--is an invaluable contribution to the field. Honestly, I don't know a more literate and hysterically funny resource on the topic.

Misch begins his comic sojourn with an overview of the mythic Trickster throughout history, expertly demonstrating how humor has developed in time through the varied cultural connections with that figure and its expressions. It's a kind of Campbellian Hero Journey from the perspective of "Ha," which is appropriately included in the chapter title. Misch returns to the history of Ha repeatedly in his book, chronicling its mirthful twists and turns in culture and philosophy. But for those who anticipate reading such chapters while drooling in a classroom as Ben Stein intones mind-numbing history, fear not. "Ha" is both a subject and a response while reading.

Funny: The Book also covers pretty much every field of comedy, centering rightly on the great comic progenitors whose work established the basis from which comedy has evolved (or devolved, as many would argue).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Fred on March 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was not nearly as interesting as I'd hoped it was, given Misch's background. I'm a fan of a lot of shows he's written for and/or produced, but this book just didn't do it for me. It should have just been called "funny people I like." His choice of comics/comedians was great (Groucho, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Buster Keaton, Woody Allen) but it wasn't much more than a trip through memory lane. For people below the age of, I don't know, maybe 30, this book might be a good introduction to comedians of the past-- comedians who inspired the comedians of today-- but it's very superficial. And surprisingly Misch tries too hard to be funny and ends up failing most of the time (not to say he fails all the time, he does have a few good ones). He also gets some facts and dates wrong. For example, he lists Modern Times as a 1932 release but it's actually 1936. Yeah, maybe that's a minor quibble, but when you're talking about how much you like a film, don't you get things like that right? And while it was nice that he liked the house facade falling on Buster Keaton, he could have mentioned that it had been in many films before. And on the subject of Keaton, it was his neck that he fractured, not his collar bone. That's a pretty odd thing to get wrong when it's important enough to be the title of a chapter.

My first impulse was to give the book less stars, maybe 1 or 2, but I'm giving it 3 because the book (hopefully) will inspire younger people, (or older people who haven't been exposed to the folks discussed in the book) to go out and watch those films. It's not a "bad" book, it's just that it could have been 1/4 as long and covered just as much.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Donna Peacher-Hall on May 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I laughed, I cried, I laughed again. Funny? YES!!! A book? YES, again. Do I know more about comedy now than before I read this book? Yes, Ja, Si, Oui, Da.
I highly recommend this enjoyable romp about comedy to anyone that might have a funny bone or may have forgotten where it was. Educational? But, of course. And I even went to see the New 3 Stooges movie after I read Misch's book. And it was funny, still is and probably always will be. Do I know why? Hmmmmmm, not sure. I'm by comedy as I am by art. If I like it and it makes me happy then it has accomplished the goal. David Misch's book "Funny: The Book" would be a welcome addition on anyone's bookshelf, be it wooden or digital.

Run, don't walk (or just click "Add to Cart") and obtain this book. You will NOT regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert N. Sarlin on May 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a delight, a mind-tingler and a bit of a miracle. That's because one would assume that any attempt to dissect humor would kill it and at it's core be very,very un-funny. Au contraire, mes amis. This book is like the ideal life partner - well-shaped, smart, funny and good-hearted to the core. I laughed my tush off and, if I read right, as a result I gained a few more precious moments of life.
Just read it. You'll see.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynne F. on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Misch has written a tome on the art of 'funny' that is both educational and, to be clear, funny. Misch rides a fine balance of delightful and edgy. Droll, smart and insightful, this book will educate you on a familar art form while enjoying a smile, a titter and, sometimes, a full guffaw. If you are reading this in public, exercise prudence while drinking beverages to avoid the proverbial spit take.
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