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The Last Laugh: The World of Stand-Up Comics Paperback – November 14, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Cooper Square Press; Updated edition (November 14, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815410964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815410966
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,501,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Hilarious yet harrowing… the breakthrough book on the subject. (Publishers Weekly)

Phil Berger is best known as a New York sportswriter... but his best work might be 'The Last Laugh.' (Robert Armstrong Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Utterly authentic, a fascinating account of what life is like in an important area of American humor. (Steve Allen)

About the Author

Phil Berger is a journalist whose award-winning writings on sports have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Playboy, and many other publications. He is also the screenwriter for the film Price of Glory. He lives in New York City.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Atar Hadari on February 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
A strange, nervous little book that I picked up at a bus station to have something to read on the journey and found myself engrossed by. The device is simple - Berger starts with the career of one obscure comic and follows it, weaving in and around it the careers of endless other comics - an initially obscure Lenny Bruce among them - and the book just goes on in one long series of anecdotes and bits and gags to tell the history of the business from mid-century or so and towards the present day. The book has a slightly antiquated, out of date feel to it - it's definitely about the era that preceded today's comics and the people they watched on TV - but it does capture something of the DRIVE of these people and their compulsiveness. Not a book to browse, a book to listen to like a long, long monologue. Full of the sweat of comics long ago shut down and gone to Florida to sell aluminium siding. Yes - that's one of the good things about this book - it's not a glam bio and tells it like it usually was - long, and difficult and here and there quite funny as well as painful.
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