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The Union of The State Paperback – May 3, 2016
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The members of The State are my heroes, my peers, and my friends. Individually and collectively they are responsible for an impressively large percentage of everything funny that currently exists in the world. Somehow Corey Stulce was able to convince all 437 original members of the State to tell their own stories, in their own words. For comedy nerds like me, it is essential reading. --Weird Al Yankovic
About the Author
Author Corey Stulce was not hired to write the history of The State but was inspired to start writing this book after hearing Thomas Lennon say this at San Francisco Sketchfest in 2012: The secret to all of every industry, just start doing it, and they won t notice that they never told you to. If you want to be a hand model, just start doing it. Somehow people forget that they never gave you permission. Corey has interviewed and written about comedy legends from Mel Brooks to George Carlin and Phyllis Diller as well as contemporary humorists such as Judd Apatow, Paul Feig, Kate McKinnon and David Sedaris. His first book, Laugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians, was released in 2011. Corey spent a decade as a magazine/newspaper features and entertainment editor in the St. Louis metro area, and his writing has appeared on NBC and in newspapers and magazines all over the country as well as dozens of entertainment websites. Visit coreystulce.com for more info, or follow him at @coreyshame on Twitter or facebook.com/coreystulce.
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Top Customer Reviews
There's nothing pretentious or groundbreaking about the format, and that's perfect -- the structure stays out of the way of the fantastic (often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking) content. The 11 members guide most of the story, but the supporting cast really helps contextualize the unique and sometimes impenetrable genius and friendship that bonded this crew.
I'm happy to report that The Union of the State joins this company. It's a comprehensive look at the hard work behind creative occupations and the personality traits that serve someone in a creative career; I seriously think you should give this book to any teen considering a path in the performing arts so they can see how much desire and discipline are required just to start. Or read it if you're in a creative field; it doubles as a how-to manual for doing creative work and finding the people you want to work with.
The Union of the State is admirably thorough -- author Corey Stulce tracks down former collaborators and he does not edit out disagreements -- and it covers a considerable breadth of subject matter over a nearly thirty-year history. And while Stulce does write plenty of contextual passages to introduce different sections of the book, he has good sense to get out of the way of his subjects and let them do the talking, and an even better skill of weaving together people's quotes into compulsively readable narrative.
Comedy nerds will love this. Nineties Nostalgia types will love this. And anyone looking to add to the oral-history-of-pop-culture library should enjoy it too.
It's really too bad that the interest isn't so high that a video version, with the actors and writers on camera speaking the text from the book, couldn't be created, as it would be just a fantastic thing to watch. But it would be hours and hours, due to the amazing amount of detail in here.
The editing of all these personal stories and thoughts must have been an enormous amount of work, and I'm really thrilled to get to read it. I hear the actors voices as I read along, and it makes it all that more interesting.
If you're a fan of the State you will absolutely love this book.
I liked the CBS chapter the best, it was so informative and interesting to hear the members re-tell the story all these years later with such honesty and some regret. The NYU years are really fascinating as well. TIP: You'll want to get your hands on the MTV series DVD for the great episode-by-episode section of the book. There's a bunch of great commentary that are only enhanced by the visuals!