- Paperback: 442 pages
- Publisher: Black Rose Writing; 1 edition (June 28, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781684330133
- ISBN-13: 978-1684330133
- ASIN: 1684330130
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 27 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,192,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Banging My Head Against the Wall: A Comedy Writer's Guide to Seeing Stars Paperback – June 28, 2018
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About the Author
ANDY COWAN is a Who's Who in America 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award-Winner, with multiple episode, staff and pilot writing credits reflecting over a dozen comedies and talk shows. He produced, wrote and hosted his CableACE Award-winning 6 Minutes for Showtime, wrote/appeared in Knocked Down, a best comedy winner at the Southeast New England Film, Music & Arts Festival, created/co-hosted his comedy therapy show, Up & Down Guys, for KPFK-FM in Los Angeles, and performs as lead vocalist and hand percussionist in jazz clubs throughout Los Angeles. He's penned dozens of humor pieces for the Los Angeles Times, Salon, Reader's Digest and The New Yorker and written 300 comic panels for Dan Piraro's award-winning internationally syndicated King Features panel, Bizarro. He earned his master's degree in broadcasting from Boston University and began his broadcasting career in radio and TV news in Pennsylvania.
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It turns out Andy Cowan is a jack-of-all-trades -- a talented writer, stand-up comic, singer, talk-show host, and astute commentator on the neuroses of our age. He also has to rank as one of the most persistent people in Hollywood. Compared to him Sisyphus is a sissy. He never gives up. Cowan describes both his successes and his disappointments with wit and equanimity. Along the way he also illuminates what makes a comedy writer tick.
The book features an amazing cast of characters: Orson Welles, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Laurence Olivier, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and many more, including Dudley. Cowan is an unrepentant name-dropper... But when you've met and worked with so many stars over your decades-long career, why not mention them?
Admittedly this paperback is a bit longer than your typical behind-the-scenes book, but it's never boring. Cowan punctuates his memories with anecdotes, comedy sketches, original sitcom excerpts, cartoons, straight out jokes, and profound insights about working in the business of show.
Summing up, "Banging My Head Against the Wall" is a must-read for anyone who loves classic sitcoms and wants to know how Hollywood, then and now, works. It's an elegantly-written and richly rewarding memoir.
Aside from being consistently funny, what’s unique is how this book is actually two books in one. For the would-be comedy writer who truly has the talent, drive, and desire for success, this is a detailed look at what it takes to succeed in the comedy business, and it takes a lot. Cowan recounts the immense effort that has gone into his successes, near-misses, and even his failures.
For the truly aspiring comedy writer this is a “how-to (maybe)” told by someone who’s been called “the most persistent guy in showbiz.” However, for someone who merely likes dabbling in comedy who thinks “I can do that,” this is a cautionary tale. Cowan’s book is entertaining, even inspiring and encouraging, but it’s also an implicit warning to pursue another line of work if you don’t have the stomach for what it really takes.