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Satiristas: Comedians, Contrarians, Raconteurs & Vulgarians Hardcover – May 11, 2010
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“¡Satiristas! reveals the method and the madness of men and women who inhabit the funny side of the commentariat.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Humor heavyweights discussing satire and social change in their craft…A wealth of intimate, and, at times, surprising discussions…A cultural critique of comedy as an art form.” (Time Out Chicago)
“A brilliant, wildly inventive new book that is comedic magic. It features interviews with and portraits of some of the biggest comedians ever.” (Los Angeles Herald Examiner)
“Glimpses into the minds of some of the sharpest, most insightful and revolutionary voices in entertainment. They surprise, they challenge, they may even offend you, but every word is worth your time and attention. Read it. You won’t regret it.” (Sacramento Book Review)
From the Back Cover
Our nation's finest comedians, contrarians, and comic subversives come together to discuss the nature of humor, its relevance to society, and how simply speaking the truth as one sees it can give life meaning
We are living in a new golden age of satire. In a nation divided, polarized, and cynical of "official" news and information, it's no surprise that more young people get their news today from Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert than from 60 Minutes and CNN—the people who speak the most openly and fearlessly are our satirists. Politics and culture are analyzed, criticized, scandalized, and energized by comedians with no agenda other than to create the laughter and shock that comes from recognition and truth.
Perhaps the greatest collection of comic talents ever between two covers, ¡Satiristas! is a collaboration between Paul Provenza—comedy's insider inquisitor extraordinaire, director/co-creator of the film The Aristocrats, and star of Showtime's The Green Room with Paul Provenza—and Dan Dion, comedy's most celebrated portrait photographer. A virtual who's who of iconoclastic comedy, the book is an epic, hilarious, multivoiced manifesto on satire and comedy, and a revelatory study of the complexities and inner workings of the comic mind.
Balancing on the razor's edge of communicating important ideas without pretense or condescension, political comedians Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and Lewis Black weigh in with late-night monologists Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson. Veterans like Conan O'Brien, Robin Williams, Richard Lewis, and Roseanne Barr speak their minds alongside comedy legends such as the Smothers Brothers, Tom Lehrer, Lily Tomlin, and the late, great George Carlin. Also represented are creators, writers, and producers of The Daily Show, South Park, Mr. Show, This Is Spinal Tap, Wonder Showzen, Kids in the Hall, Freaks and Geeks, Superbad, The Simpsons, Monty Python's Flying Circus, and Saturday Night Live as well as fresh, up-and-coming talents and a new generation of comedy stars. Together, this cross-section of subversive comic artists offers insight into what drives them and makes them tick, and what drives them crazy and ticks them off.
Paul Provenza's casual, intimate, artist-to-artist interviews are intelligent, outrageous, controversial, and even downright sick—but no idea or opinion is censored, and the unabashed honesty that results is funny, thought-provoking and inspirational.
The intimate photographic portraits by Dan Dion, comedy's Richard Avedon, are art pieces that take us through the stand-up routine to the person underneath, making ¡Satiristas! something that will change the way you look at comedians and the art of comedy.
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Not only are the interviews contained here funny and informative, they are arranged in such a way as to flow seamlessly from one voice to the next. This sort of style is a great way to show how one comedian can influence the next--how, in the comedy world, we truly are just a massive, dysfunctional family.
I recommend this book for anyone who loves comedy, but the real people who will benefit from this are the people who want to pay their bills with humor. Indeed, if the world of academia becomes stretched enough (and I'm not sure it won't), you'll find this book as required reading the first class in your Comedy major. Comedy 101: Introduction to Stand Up.