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Standup Guys: A Generation of Laughs Paperback – October 10, 2012
Life Stories to Inform & Inspire
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John DeBellis ... has written a story of friendship that goes beyond any profession or discipline. The hilarious depictions of he and his comic cohorts give ample proof that none are sane. Their individual neuroses and (for some) borderline psychotic behaviors are told in anecdotal fashion ... Each comedian works out... his need to be accepted on his own terns as each finds the format and style that fits his personality. It is the camaraderie and unselfish love between them that makes the book such an easy, delightful read. Good job, John.--5-star review by Robert R. --Readers Favorite 10/6/12
From the Author
My story acts as a through line that puts you in the middle of those golden days of stand-up comedy, with guys like Larry David, Richard Lewis, Gilbert Gottfried, Rita Rudner, Richard Belzer, Paul Reiser, Bill Maher and on and on. I think it's a fun, informative read, something that regular people as well as aspiring comics would enjoy. I'm not trying to pat myself on the back but I really do believe that every young comic would benefit from reading this because it's our history as comedians. There's a great book calledThe Last Laugh about comedians in the late 50's and early 60's (the original version) that we all read. It gave you a feeling of being back there. I wanted to do the same thing, except from a comic's point of view, and hopefully I succeeded.
More About the Author
John's stand-up comic career started in New York City working at Catch A Rising Star, the Improvisation and the Comic Strip and later worked clubs all across America and Europe, which included England, Ireland, Paris and Amsterdam, getting a few laughs, less money, and frequent rejections from every denomination of waitress possible (even after performing on three episodes of "Make Me Laugh.")
He worked several more years as a standup comic before realizing that he wasn't losing his hearing just the audience. In fact the only thing he could hear was his self-esteem drop. In order to afford therapy, (where he was told that being a man was just a phase that he was going through), he starting writing for stand-up comics such as Rodney Dangerfrield, Johnny Carson, Joan Rivers, David Letterman, Gabe Kaplan, Elaine Boozler, Billy Crystal, Joe Piscopo and Jenny Jones, before joining the writing staffs of "Saturday Night Live," "The Tonight Show," "Politically Incorrect" and was the head writer for critically acclaimed D.C. Folilis. He also has written for sitcoms so bad, to this day, he's too embarrassed to cash the checks.
He was, however, the supervising producer of the ACE Award winning "Joe Piscopo Special" on HBO and also produced what the competing networks, said was the best special ever done about stand-up comedy, "Comedy Club Super Stars" on ABC.
In recent years John wrote and directed "The Last Request," a feature film, starring Danny Aiello and T.R.Knight due in the theaters sometime before his next reincarnation. Though not a religious man, John hopes there is an afterlife, he needs the time to find a real job. Being a writer is in his genes, his ancient ancestor was the critic who gave the bible a bad review because he didn't think the lead character was believable. John, himself, believes that if we were all made in God's image, in his case, it must have been shortly after He had a stroke
In the face of all his fears and despite being over medicated John continued writing for the Huffington Post, as well as articles for Perfect Ten Magazine, who's editor was Pulitzer Prize nomine David Black. John is now writing novels and non fiction books, figuring the additional length will insure that he spells a few words correctly. He also is one of the founding members of the comedy Hall of Fame, which is currently in pursuit of an actual hall.
John insists that for a comedy writer he is very sexy - he wears no underwear under his underwear
Top Customer Reviews
Ever heard a joke that you enjoyed so much that you had to share it? Then, when you tried to emulate the way it was told to your listeners, family, friends or co-workers they looked at you blankly or shook their heads - you BOMBED! According to John DeBellis, this is an example of what comics experience continuously. Why would anyone in his right mind expose himself to such devastating pain? John's hilarious depictions of he and his comic cohorts give ample proof that none are sane. Their individual neuroses and (for some) borderline psychotic behaviors are told in anecdotal fashion as you meet them all. John doesn't go into any deep psychological analysis of the need to get recognition by being funny, but you are reminded of Red Skelton's tragic clown persona. Each works out, not always successfully, his need to be accepted on his terms as each finds the format and style that fits his personality. John is almost always kind and aware of the lengths each goes through on his journey to self expression. His detailed descriptions of incidents were, at times, a little too much for me, but the humor and affection for each balanced it out. It is the camaraderie and unselfish love between them that makes the book such an easy, delightful read. He does emphasize that their group was unique and that nowadays, in the cutthroat world of comedy, it would be difficult to duplicate their experiences.
John DeBellis has "made it" as a standup comic and as a comedy writer, but he has written a story of friendship that goes beyond any profession or discipline. His story demonstrates what many young couples relate about their difficult struggles in the early years of their marriage. It created the bond that carried them into more comfortable lives, but overcoming adversity is its own reward. John retells the happiest times of these comedians' lives - before they were famous. Good job, John.
There are more and more books about the early days of comedy, a decade or so before the comedy boom of 1980, but this book stand alone in the area of comedy writing in the form of book which will inspire more hidden comedians for come forward in the world to make this planet more happier place to live and enjoy.
There are many instances in the book which will leave you laughing for hours and some might make you laugh when you are alone. The author’s detailed descriptions of incidents of his life filled with the humor and affection balanced.
The author states in his book that wanted to tell his story about artistic integrity, innocence, the struggle to improve, the love of the art form, and most of all the camaraderie. And none will contend that he didn’t do an outstanding job.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which tells us more about what happen behind the screen than what we usually see on the screen or stage of plays and comedies. I have watched a lot of comedies and entertainment show and I can really relate those things with what the author has wonderfully expressed in the book.I
recommend it highly to anyone wanting a glimpse into the lives of what could be called the golden era of modern comedians and the evolution of the comedy as a source of prime entertainment and mass enjoyment. I must read book to truly appreciate the comedy and the spirit behind any act of comedy.
Shashikant Nishant Sharma.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John DeBellis has a talent for telling his story and the reader feels as if they, too, were involved in the old comedy scene! Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sharon Mahn
Comedians are certainly an entertaining group of neurotics. Their lives, although much of it spent laughing with and at each other, is about transforming pain into humor and vice... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lane Russel
This is an amazing book! I absolutely loved it. It gives you personal insight into some of the greatest comedians of all time. John DeBellis is an incredible comedic writer. Read morePublished 6 months ago by J. Smith
The book was ok. He tried too hard to keep bringing up Larry David. We get it. He was friends with a guy who became a billionaire. The stories were not that great. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Michael Burg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Congrats to J D for this amazing depiction of these lives and times. I had misgivings, at the start, thinking maybe this would be a namedropping exercise conceived by a failed... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jim Roche
This book is absolutely fantastic. Whether or not one is into standup comedy or comedy in general (I assume they're out there..), it is a brilliant read. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mandy Del Rio
Poorly written, repetitive, disorganized. Too much about the author and how much fun he had hanging out with obscure comics, with little perspective on the evolution of the scene... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Reynaldo Bo