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Martino
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Any good resources for learning this most difficult of skills?
"There's a difference between not knowing how something is done and knowing it can't be done!" - Simon Aronson
Michael Peterson
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Here are a couple in the U.K.-

http://www.comedyworks.co.uk/

http://www.robinkelly.btinternet.co.uk/zucker.htm

I hope these help, I personally have no need because the elves who live in my hair write all my material for me Smile



Smile
Peter Marucci
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The notes from two of my lectures -- Funny Business and Peter's Patter -- include sections on writing comedy.
If you are interested, e-mail me privately and I'll send you my e-mail list of available lecture notes -- those and others -- and original routines.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Burt Yaroch
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Also check out Jay Sankey's The Real Secrets of Professional Comedy.
Yakworld.
amagician
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I have to plug Gene Perett's books on writing comedy. Sorry if the name is slightly mis-spelt.
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James Fortune
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Can you tell me a little more about the Sankey and Perett books?
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
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Geoff Williams
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Gene Perrot (top comedy writer for Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller and others) wrote a great book called "How To Write And Sell Your Sense of Humor."

Recommended.
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
Fredrick
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The Sankey book, Zen and the Art of Stand Up Comedy, gives you a pretty good sense of the process and work involved in writing comedy.

There are also a couple of books by Judy Carter that are highly recommended by people who are in the comedy arena. She was one of the first magicians to move into the comedy club circuit in the 1970's. Search for her name at your favorite bookseller's site and you should find the list.
"Try to find the humanity in the magic and maybe you'll come up with something of your own. It's the humanity that gets you there, not techniques." Michael Moschen on Creativity
Geoff Williams
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I've been told by friends "in the know" who do standup that the Carter book is quite "dated" but still contains solid info. Here are some others worth investigating:

-- "Step by Step to Stand-Up Comedy"
by Greg Dean, Steve Allen.
HIGHLY recommended.

-- "Comedy Technique,"
one of Bob Orbin's famous series of gag books.
May still be available at your favorite dealer.

-- "Comedy Writing Secrets"
by Mel Helitzer; Writers Digest Books.
You may have to get it from the publishers if you can't find it anywhere else (Amazon, etc.)

-- "How To Write and Sell Your Sense of Humor,"
by Gene Perrot, Writer Digest Books.
Good book, similar to Helitzer's in approach.

-- "Comedy Writing Step By Step,"
by Gene Perrot.
SOLID advice.

-- "The Comedy Magic Texbook,"
by David Roper. David Ginn, Pub.
Good advice for developing magic routines.

-- "How To Be Really Funny"
by Mark Stolzenberg -
Copyright 1999 ISBN # 0-941599-47-1, paperback 128 pgs.
Publisher: Piccadilly Books,
Post Office Box 25203, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80936
USA Price $14 USD http://www.Piccadillybooks.com
"Saját légpárnás tele van angolnák."

(Hungarian for "My hovercraft is full of eels")
Martino
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Thanks for all the advice guys!
"There's a difference between not knowing how something is done and knowing it can't be done!" - Simon Aronson
M.P.D.
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I write a lot of comedy. Books are nice to learn what others have done, to learn how to write it, but, really I don't think you need a book for this. Carry a note pad around and don't think of anything funny... it will come to you, or you might hear something. Just write it down and you'll come up with something. I often find the funniest things I write come to me when I am up late at night bored and thinking.. when your mind wanders, you'll suprise yourself with the crazy thoughts that pop into your head. Now the benefit to having such books will help you structure your ideas, and performing in comedy clubs will help you know what works and what doesn't.
Peter Marucci
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MPD, the late magician/comedian Sid Lorraine said the most important thing you could do, to get comedic ideas, was to carry a notebook.
He pointed out, accurately, that no matter how good you think your memory is, if you don't write it down, you WILL forget it.
As for books on comedy, trying to learn how to write or do comedy from a book is a bit like learning how to fly a jet by reading about it.
About the only thing books that allegedly teach comedy or comedy writing do is make money for the publishers.
cheers,
Peter Marucci
showtimecol@aol.com
Mike Robbins
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Quote:
On 2002-02-06 17:07, Martino wrote:
Any good resources for learning this most difficult of skills?


1. The Comic Toolbox: How to be Funny Even if you're Not, John Vorhaus, ISBN: 1879505215.
This book can help. It covers things I haven't seen elsewhere on conflict and characterization and has exercises to do. While I agree you won't "learn comedy" from a book (really it can only be learned by doing it!) you will learn some of the basic elements of comedy.

2. The Comedy Bible: From Stand-Up to Sitcom: The Comedy Writer's Ultimate How-To Guide, Judy Carter, ISBN: 0743201256.
This is by a comedian who started out as a comedy magician. It gives you exercises to do and a formula (as much as there can be) for writing comedy.

HTH,

Mike
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
p.b.jones
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Hi,
I have found that several of the items at this link (there actually written for speakers) are great for adding comedy to your act, also info on keeping it fresh and up to date ect. Well worth a look, some are available as e-books too

http://www.antion.com/t.cgi/190648/speakershop.htm

phillip
Fredrick
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Having just done this myself, check out your local university's adult continuing educational offerings. For a paltry sum, I attended a Stand-up Comedy workshop that was wonderful. The most important thing was that we all developed, honed and presented in a comedy club five minutes of material within 4 class nights.

Lots of pressure, but a great experience...

Be well ~ Fredrick

Smile
"Try to find the humanity in the magic and maybe you'll come up with something of your own. It's the humanity that gets you there, not techniques." Michael Moschen on Creativity
ruiefe
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I own Sankey's Zen and the Art of Stand-Up Comedy. It is a very interesting book from a man who says of himself he is a "comedian doing magic" (something like that, I would need to check the exact words) and can give an idea of the way to go when writing.
How about watching tv comic series and see when you laugh and trying to understand why you laugh (maybe with the notebook handy)?
Woody Allen's books?
Rui Fernandes
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Sergeant
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I must second with a great deal of enthusiasm the/any books by Greg Dean and Judy Carter. What makes these books stand out from the pack is that they teach joke writing. They go to the very core of a joke and take you step by step to the development of a good solid joke and routine.

A word of caution, it is not easy. But, the two mentioned authors do give you all the tools you need to get the job done. The books will also tell you about carrying a notebook with you all the time. Of course this is useful for any creative process.

The Sankey book is OK but it will not really be helpful in teaching you to write material. I suggest you go outside the magic community to find the best materials for comedy writing. Why, to give you very fresh perspectives. You do not want to get in the habit of simply recycling old magic material. Sid Lorraine would always talk about going outside the magic community to find good solid material. He had a tape set many years ago called “Talk about Patter”. Even after all these years there is still solid advice on those tapes. Some of the material is dated but the concepts are valid.

Sergeant
Chris Calabrese
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Steve Allen (one of my heros) has written several books on the mechanics of comedy. Search for "Steve Allen comedy" (without the quotes) at Amazon.com.

Laugh.com has a fantastic series of CDs called "On Comedy" which are candid interviews recorded in the 1960s with some famous comedians. I have several of these, and they are all very interesting. Here's the link: http://store.yahoo.com/laughstore/oncomedy.html
~ Chris Calabrese ~
RC4MAG
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I agree with Chris on those "On Comedy" CDs. I have the ones by Jerry Lewis, Jerry Seinfeld, Woody Allen, George Carlin, and Johnny Carson. Very informative interviews. There are many more available too.
Also I agree on the Steve Allen books, in particular "How to be funny-Discovering the comic you".
Other books I enjoyed, Melvin Helitzer's "Comedy Writing Secrets" and to a lesser extent, Richard Belzer's "How to be a Stand-up Comic".
Comedy Writer
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Mike Bent has a new book out. Haven't seen it, but based on his reputation - should be excellent!
If you need more comedy resources, PM me

Comedy writier
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