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We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy Hardcover – October 16, 2012
"Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It"
Read the new book by bestselling author Grace Helbig. More by Grace Helbig.
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Top Customer Reviews
At first, I thought the format was a awkward and I wanted a little more to connect the conversations, but then I forgot the format and was just enjoying reading about all these women (and a few men) talking about what it was like to write, perform, and get a foot in the door.
If you ever mistakenly thought that women aren't funny, you just have to read the lineup in this book to remind you of all the women who have made us laugh since the 1960s. Carol Burnett, Penny Marshall, Lily Tomlin, Mary Tyler Moore, and dozens more are all here. Even though Kohen includes a wide cross-section of women in comedy, you're bound to notice some of the women who aren't in the book, such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Betty White. The sheer number of notable women in comedy should prove the point that women are funny, and these are just the women on screen.
Reading about how some of my favorites got their starts was fun, but the real power of this book is in how the women dealt with the various degrees of sexism that existed in the 1960s and in many cases still exist today.Read more ›
“Comedy has always reflected society- its values, taboos, norms. Surely, then, it only makes sense that the rise of women in comedy has run parallel to the rise of women in out society” (5). This is one of several hooks in the introduction, however I lost interest hereafter.
Kohen’s introductions to chapters are concise, consisting mostly of history with a sprinkle of her own observation.
The format of the book is awkward. Each paragraph is an oral account of club proprietors, writers, performers, producers, etc.- the name and profession in bold type followed by their personal story. The problem with this is, the book gave little indication of its format, thus confusing me right out the gate. Another reason this is troublesome is because it doesn’t move the history along. There is an abundance of information embedded in the oral accounts and I learned a great deal, but I felt like I had to hunt for the information. Not everything accounted for needed to be recounted.
Kohen’s book is well researched and surely informative. I loved learning how women dealt with sexism in each of their generations, past to present. I learned Phyllis Diller preferred to work gay clubs because they were chic; the audience had higher brow expectations for jokes unlike the vaudeville clubs.
I appreciate Kohen creating an inclusive environment in her book- men and women participate in the discussion- this is how feminism is thrives and paradigms begin to shift.
Kohen does a wonderful job researching and including so many wonderful people, but I feel there might be a few missing pieces.Read more ›
Fast forward to September when I start thinking about the book again. I realized that with the mid-October release date looming, I needed to act fast. I emailed FSG's publicity department and made my case. I basically said that I've been lusting after this book since June, have reviewed non-fiction before (Kathy Griffin's memoir), and would promote the hell out of this book. No reply, but a book showed up in the mail about a week later. I did squeal and jump around, and tweeted about it immediately. I was in the middle of like 4 other books at the time, so I made an attempt at holding off on it. I couldn't help myself though and brought it with me to work that night, but then I was responsible and finished the other books before really diving into We Killed.
This is such a fascinating book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic book on the origins of female comedians. Very nicely put together and very easy reading.Published 7 months ago by ralph capeluto
A useful tool but not a book to sit down and read. The collected interviews offer information but the book offers little perspective.Published 21 months ago by Your Best Friend
I enjoyed reading about women comic that I had never heard of, and more about one's that I knew about. Boy what a tough time they had getting their foot in the door. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Joan Krieger
Of course this is a book about the women comedians of now and the past, but interestingly, the portraits are painted (for the most part) by other women comedians talking about each... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Christopher W. Graul
Yes, women comics are featured - and that's great! But if you like the behind-the-scenes look into comedy, it's for all to read. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Sally
This well researched and written book is filled almost exclusively with quotes. As I am an older adult, I am familiar with the work of early female comedians, but have begun to... Read morePublished on December 22, 2013 by Karen K. Little
What a great book. Every comic—male, female, or other—should read this book, and know their history as well as this book conveys it.Published on November 6, 2013 by DanaNYC