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Now That's Funny!: The Art and Craft of Writing Comedy Paperback – June 1, 2017
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"Desberg, a clinical psychologist, and Davis, a film and TV writer, have crafted a unique twist on the familiar writing how-to guide: they came up with a premise for a television show, which they gave to 24 comedy writers/writing teams to turn into a hypothetical series . . . The unique approach, combined with the in-depth interviews, makes this a solid go-to for aspiring comedy writers."(Kristine Huntley Booklist (ALA))
"Unique . . . provide[s] readers valuable insights into the creative process and the customary give and take in the job of comedy writing . . . particularly valuable to aspiring comedy writers and students of the field . . . if the creative process of writing humor and the effects of evolving societal influences on funniness are topics of interest to you, this Now That's Funny! is for you."(reviewed by Louis R. Franzini, PhD, author of JUST KIDDING: Using Humor Effectively and KIDS WHO LAUGH) The Humor Connection)
About the Author
Peter Desberg, PhD, received his doctorate from the University of Southern California. He is a professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and also a licensed clinical psychologist. For over twenty five years, he has conducted seminars and workshops on controlling stage fright for business people, students, performers, athletes, job applicants, and others. Dr. Desberg is the author of sixteen published books and numerous articles. He and his family currently reside in the Los Angeles area.
Top customer reviews
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This book is a compilation of many comedy writers different views and you'll get that many different answers to tackle your writing issues. If one doesn't work for you, try another! That's what I got out of this book. I also love the honesty. One writer when asked about how they find balance between writing so many projects answered honestly "I don't. I'm completely overwelmed." LOL. That pretty much sums up the book. Honest and funny writing about how to write funny. Good stuff.
The interviewers asked controlling questions, that writers called the interviewers out on. Answers were a mix of quick biographical anecdotes, thinking through how to make something funny (which is more breaking down storytelling elements, an inherently unfunny act reminiscent of your college screenwriting classes.) I enjoyed some interviews over others, which is natural in an aggregation. But after a quarter of the way in, I could guess which of the 3 paths the writers would answer the questions with. I did feel the book was repetitive, similar to this review.
The implied message of this book to me came off as "this is how you learn comedy," but it's not. Read it as a pop- academic view of Hollywood. It was clearly a side project because it lacked the analysis of a typical academic's writing.
That being said, if you have never read a comedy history book, I'd strongly recommend it. For first timers who want to know behind the scenes to shows like Cheers-- it's great. For comedy fan boys who have not done proper comedy history research, you will love it. If you've already read the History of SNL and all the bios of individuals like Tiny Fey, Chris Farley, Mindy Kaling, etc. You would already know the comedy writer life tropes this one repeats. It is a very honest account of Hollywood writers circa 1960-2010.
Most recent customer reviews
The awkward premise is that comedy writers are given a brief summary for a sitcom...Read more