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Make 'Em Laugh: 35 Years of the Comic Strip, the Greatest Comedy Club of All Time! [Hardcover]

Jeffrey Gurian , Richie Tienken , Chris Rock
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1, 2012 1620870746 978-1620870747 1
Once in a lifetime a venue comes along that changes show business dramatically, that fosters growth and camaraderie, experimentation and freedom. The Comic Strip is one of those places, and Make ’Em Laugh is an inside look at how it all happened, straight from the mouths of the stars who built their careers on its stage. Owner Richie Tienken and a wealth of comics open their hearts and souls to share their most intimate memories, the laughs and tears, the good times and the bad, in order to paint an all-encompassing, behind-the-scenes history of this iconic club. Interviews include famous comedians, such as:

• Jerry Seinfeld
• Gilbert Gottfried
• Paul Reiser
• Lisa Lampanelli
• George Wallace
• Billy Crystal
• Jim Breuer
• Susie Essman
• Lewis Black
• Ray Romano
• And many more!

Relive the excitement as these comics explain how they came to belong to the Comic Strip family, and how they went on to enjoy huge careers, bringing laughter to millions of people all over the world. This book is a must for any comedian or comedy lover’s library!

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Make 'Em Laugh: 35 Years of the Comic Strip, the Greatest Comedy Club of All Time! + Dynomite!: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times--A Memoir
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeffrey Gurian is a comedy writer, performer, director, author, producer, doctor, and healer. He's written material for comedy legends such as Rodney Dangerfield, Jerry Lewis, Phil Hartman, Richard Belzer, George Wallace, and Joan Rivers. He's also written for MTV, National Lampoon, Weekly World News, and many Friars Club Roasts. In 1999, he launched Comedy Matters, a celeb-based, online entertainment column that now has evolved into Comedy Matters TV, an internet TV channel with over 150 A-list celebrity interviews. He currently teaches an online comedy class for the Learning Annex. You can read more at And you can reach Jeffrey on Twitter at @jeffreygurian.

Richie Tienken opened the Comic Strip on June 1, 1976, and effectively changed the face of comedy forever. At thirteen, he ran away from his home in the Bronx to Boston, where he got a job selling magazines door-to-door. He moved back to New York a year later and has since managed some of the biggest comedy stars, such as Eddie Murphy, Adam Sandler, and Colin Quinn.

Chris Rock is a comedian, actor, screenwriter, television producer, and film producer.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1620870746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1620870747
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,223,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing March 24, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I loved reading about all the great comics who came through the Comic Strip. Great read! Very worth it for anyone who likes standup comedy! Bravo!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read. October 30, 2013
This is the perfect kind of book to read when you're riding on the train, in the bathroom, drinking decaf coffee, or just in general. What I love about the format, is you are not forced to read it only in the start-to-finish direction. You can read it however you like.

I have been a stand-up comedian myself, so I appreciate the book on a level differently than others might, but if you are someone who has ever thought about stand-up, this will probably be the book that gets you to suck it up, and just do it already.

The book doesn't just tell the story of the Comic Strip, but also the ups and downs of individual comics, comics who are considered among the best in the business. Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Judah Friedlander, Colin Quinn, just interesting to hear their stories.

If you go to Comic Strip, you never know who might just pop in, or what future stories will be written.

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2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible read June 18, 2013
By TerryK
I was really looking forward to reading this and when I did it was a major disappointment. It is basically a question and answer book where they ask various comedians about The Comic Strip and their careers. They ask all of them about the owner and another guy who worked there who has passed away. This was a wasted opportunity. They could have picked a comedian and told the story from his or her vantage point in more of a narrative format. That would have made this more interesting. I found I read the sections on the comics I cared about and glanced over the rest. Even the stories of the well known comics aren't that interesting the way they are presented. Had they spent time developing more of a story or narrative, the stories about the people with whom I was unfamiliar would have seemed more interesting I suspect.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about comedy! March 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I've ever read about comedy. Great job! I'd recommend anyone studying comedy, or the history of comedy to pick up this book right away! I couldn't put it down. It's so knowledgeable and so much fun to read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read about NYC's first comedy clubs January 22, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fascinating read about the original NYC Comedy Clubs and the struggling-at-first comedians who are now big. I particularly liked the format of the book, with intros by Guran, and entire chapters written by the Masters themselves in their own words -like Jerry Seinfeld. It was a book that needed to be written, and although I have read others, i.e Dangerfield's bio, I loved the all-embracing concept of this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Make em available for Kindle November 18, 2012
Didn't read the book. I want to, badly. I buy the kindle versions of books. Publisher/authors: you'll sell a hell of a lot more books by getting with the times and giving customers the option.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book October 30, 2012
I just loved this book. Very easy reading & it made me feel as if I was part part the gang hanging out at the Comic Strip. Jeffrey Gurian does a fabulous job of interviewing the comedians.Richie brought his life in The Bronx to Manhattan!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book October 24, 2012
Jeffery Gurian has been in the comedy scene for years and is hilarious in this book! You won't be able to put it down! I highly recommend it for anyone who appreciates the art of comedy and the greatness of the Comic Strip! The fantastic interviews with many celebrities and wonderful pictures make this book a must read!
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