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Stand-Up Comedy: The Book Paperback


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Frequently Bought Together

Stand-Up Comedy: The Book + The Comedy Bible: From Stand-up to Sitcom--The Comedy Writer's Ultimate "How To" Guide + Step by Step to Stand-Up Comedy
Price for all three: $43.52

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (August 5, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440502438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440502432
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Judy Carter is an author, speaking/comedy coach, and speaker. Her message of using comedy techniques to decrease cubicle stress makes Carter an in-demand speaker for Fortune 500 companies where her keynotes entertain and inspire.

Judy's been featured on over 100 TV shows, nominated for Atlantic City's Entertainer of the Year, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Oprah Winfrey Show and on CNN.

When she's not speaking, snowboarding, or scuba diving, Judy coaches people how to improve their presentational skills by finding their authentic message and making it funny. Her private clients include TV stars, pro wrestlers, celebs and even a United States senator.

As an author, Judy doesn't like to brag, but she did write the Bible. No joke, she's the author of The Comedy Bible (Simon & Schuster) as well as, Standup Comedy: The Book (Dell Books) which was featured on Good Morning America, CNN and The Oprah Winfrey Show, where Oprah recommended the book to anyone who wants to lighten up.

Judy's new book, The Message of You: Turn Your Life Story into a Money-Making Speaking Career (St. Martin's Press, Feb 2013), teaches readers how to use life stories to inspire others and launch a speaking career.

Her animals and partner reside in Venice Beach, California, where they provide periodic accommodations to her.

Customer Reviews

This book must surely be one of the few writing how-to texts I've purchased that's really worth the money.
Kevin L. Nenstiel
If you're out there looking to get in to stand up GET THIS BOOK!!, it's straight to the point & yes its long but for those of us without A.D.D. we can handle it!.
LaMott
Judy Carter's 'Stand Up Comedy: The Book' and the 'Comedy Bible' should be required reading by every professional speaker, writer and stand up comic.
Damien Fitz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By "jumpingjehosifats" on October 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you really want to buy this book then dont. Buy her latest book, The Comedy Bible. Its basically an updated version of this one. I ended up buying 2 books because they both have different titles. I wasnt impressed. Why not just update this one. No she has to update it and give it a new title. Not very funny at all.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book must surely be one of the few writing how-to texts I've purchased that's really worth the money. Though too narrow in focus to work for prose writers, this text actually gets down into the nitty-gritty of creating material that is on-target, marketable, and interesting. Though incomplete in its examination of the potentials of comedy, it gives students a thorough grounding in the creation of humorous content for the stage.
Carter shies away from telling you too much on how to do topical material, instead coaching the novice comic to focus on the one thing you know more about than anyone else--your own fool self. By simply starting with having you talk about what's on your mind, she presents you with an inexhaustable source of content. This is mother's milk comedy, of course, but if you want something punchy like Foxworthy's "Redneck" routine or Margaret Cho's ethnic commentary, that will come with experience.
The stand-up comedy Carter coaches you on in this book has little to do with the joke-telling of Jack Benny or Henny Youngman. Instead, you're presented with what seems a modern form of Native American storytelling, with the focus on the self. This will not appeal to all up-and-coming comics, and some might find this book rather trying. Starting out, however, most new comics will find good grounding in the stylistic tactics of this book.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "ronlv" on January 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
A truly incredible book, Carter breaks down comedy performance into very tiny pieces so we ought to be able to produce outstanding material. It leaves me awestruck. With everybody near and far, high and low, saying you either have it or you don't... along comes Carter and says if you want to learn how to do it follow through with the work in this book. There are lots of projects, lists of things to do and exercises. Her blindingly insightful advise to not try to be funny is very helpful. Instead, you work on your experiences to turn them into entertaining commentary, routines or speeches. Eventually, you work you way though the process of getting laughs allowing yourself to be surprised by the positive reception. If there are no laughs you just move on having told them an interesting story. You keep working on your stories until the laughs come. It is a cross between a textbook with assignments and a highly motivational book. Carter breaks down into fine detail what makes people laugh. Even if you are not going to shoot for being a famous stand up comedian, you can learn how to spice up you speeches and conversations-to lighten up. The author does not talk down to the reader. Reading Carter, it feels like she is in the room with constant encourage that it will happen. Carter must be a wonderful caring person.
She is not saying your life has to be messed up to have a source of comedy from your experiences. She is saying it is not a negative--exploit it. She shows how humility and self deprecation can work with out bringing you down. The book is impressively easy to read, but the exercises are not easy. You will need to set aside a lot of time for the projects and exercises to make the book work for you. It must be a good cheap initial substitute for going to her school.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Go Bears 1986 on June 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've read a lot of these stand-up books now, about five of them, and this one is far and away the worst. If you want to know how to sound like a dated, hack comic -- this is your text. I cannot imagine an evening out being "entertained" by a group of comics that all follow the exercises in this book. I would hang myself before the night was over. This book convinces comics to play AWAY from their voice and to simply take banal observations and wrestle them into tired hyperbolic cliche setup-punch format. Nothing in this book put forward as an example of good comedy made me laugh. Actually, more often than not they made me cringe. The book is dated, the lessons will turn your into an unfunny "joke teller." Do yourself a favor and watch some comedians you find funny and then ask yourself if they are doing anything REMOTELY similar to what this book suggests you need to do to be funny. You'll be surprised. I have to say please don't waste your money on this book unless you actually WANT to be a bad, cheesy, stuck-in-the-80s "comedy stylist."
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
"Stand-Up Comedy" is a hilarious and immensely-informative guide to creating a "killer act," performing it, and even making money with it. Judy Carter, as sexy as she is talented, reveals a wealth of stand-up techniques. Even at the start of the book, Carter writes about the "Five Big Secrets to Making People Laugh" (one of them is, ironically, "Don't try to be funny"). This quintet of comedic wisdom is, in itself, worth the price of the book. Another estimable featue is the assemblage of master comedians (Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Poundstone, Garry Shandling, etc.) and Carter's a fine accessment of what makes each of them so unique--not to mention funny. Carter's prose is concise, witty, and insightful (though I don't agree with her when she says "the more miserable your life, the better your act"). The book's layout is appealing and has plenty of white space. And in the Appendix, Carter includes a list of comedy clubs, comedy publications, and agents who handle comedians. My only hope is that Carter is preparing a much-needed second edition to this classic work.
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