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Writing Comedy (Writing Handbooks) 4th Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1408146453
ISBN-10: 1408146452
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Editorial Reviews


John Byrne is the guru when it comes to advice on building a successful comedy career. Unlike many advisors, he's been there and done it himself. He knows the joys and sorrows of the comedy world and is best placed to help budding comedians make the most of their talent. Jasmine Birtles, financial journalist, author, columnist for Independent This is a book every comedy writer will come to value. Ken Rock, founder member of the British Society of Comedy Writers

About the Author

John Byrne has over 20 years of experience as a writer, broadcaster and performer, as well as working as a personal advisor to many top performers and entertainers, both one-to-one and via his popular weekly advice column in The Stage. He has worked for Radio 4, Five, BBC World Service, Virgin Radio and Nickelodeon, Private Eye and the Guardian, has managed a number of successful performers, and has been script doctor on various theatre shows. Broadcast appearances include BBC London, Sky News and E4's "Get Your Act Together with Harvey Goldsmith". He regularly lectures on arts careers for events such as Actors Expo, the Edinburgh Festival and institutions such as The Guildhall, BIMM and The Brits School.


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Product Details

  • Series: Writing Handbooks
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama; 4 edition (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408146452
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408146453
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,509,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Jeff Lippincott on December 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm a sucker for just about any "how-to" book written on comedy. I don't purchase all the ones that I find, but the good ones get me to pull the wallet out. I pulled the wallet out for this one! What a great resource for someone interested in comedy writing. There are kinda two books in one in this tome. One part covers the basics of writing comedy, and the other part covers how to make a career as a comedy writer. It also distinguishes comedy writers from comedy performers - the two are not necessarily one and the same. This book is about comedy writing - not comedy performing.

But don't pass up this book just because you don't intend to be a professional comedy writer. Any writing that is intended for an audience will probably be better received (and enjoyed?) if it includes at least a touch of comedy or humor in it. If you are a consultant who writes books, ebooks, and/or creates and delivers seminars and workshops, then you will do yourself a favor to get this book and study its contents.

If you are a member of Toastmasters and want some insight on how to tackle the Humorous Speech manual, then consider getting this book.

The author has over 20 years experience as a comedy professional and he's written over 40 books. The quality of this book exudes all that experience. It's very informative and well-written. And being a 3rd edition says a lot about the book. It's been around and has been made better with each edition. It was a pleasure to read. 5 stars!
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Format: Paperback
Those that can DO - those that can't TEACH.

John Byrne's book on comedy is a joke - a self-described "successful" comedian no UK stand-up fans have ever seen or heard perform thinks he has the right to teach comedy. Byrne has never performed on British TV, you never see his name headlining major comedy clubs, nor on the writing credits of a succesful tv sitcom. Yet he believes he can teach how to be a success at all of these.

And the book's contents? Well if you think you can become a successful comedian using dated techniques like puns and malaprops, good luck to you. But don't expect to be headlining the Comedy Store thanks to anything you'll read in this dated, irrelvant and misleading travesty of a book.
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