Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I Just Read... And Here’s The Kicker:

Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers On Their Craft

--by Hanje Richards

If you are interested in comedy, writing, and/or listening to artists (writers, in this case) talk about how they do what they do and why they do what they do, And Here’s The Kicker: Conversations With 21 Top Humor Writers On Their Craft might be a book for you. It confirmed some things I thought about writers of comedy, and it dispelled some myths about writers of comedy. (I can assure you right now, that they are not necessarily funny when they are talking about what they do, but they are interesting!)

This book includes a great selection of humor writers; some I was already familiar with like David Sedaris, Dave Barry and Buck Henry and some I had never heard of (who I will not mention, so as not to embarrass them.).

The book includes humor writers from all sorts of different markets. There is someone who has been with Mad Magazine for years, there are people who have written jokes and monologues for some of the greats of late night, there are stand-ups and newspaper columnists and essayists and the list goes on.

In addition to the great conversations with all these interesting folks, there are various tidbits of advice for budding humor writers about getting jobs, self- promoting, and actual skills required.

In the order the conversations appear in the book, author Mike Sacks talks with: Buck Henry, Stephen Merchant, Harold Ramis, Dan Mazer, Merrill Markoe, Paul Fieg, Irving Brecher, Bob Odenkirk, Todd Hanson, Marshall Brickman, Mitch Hurwitz, David Sedaris, George Meyer, Al Jaffee, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Dave Barry, Dick Cavett, Larry Wilmore, Jack Handey, and Larry Gelbart.

Check it out: And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on Their Craft by Mike Sacks (808.7 SACKS)

And, if you are interested in these writers and want to see more of their work, some of it is available here at the Copper Queen Library.

Dave Barry
Big Trouble (FIC BARRY BIG)
Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up (AV 814 BAR)
Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort of History of the United States (973 BAR)

Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys: A Fairly Short Book (818.54 BAR)
Dave Barry’s Guide to Marriage and/or Sex (646.77 BAR)
Tricky Business (FIC BARRY)

Buck Henry
The Graduate (VID FIC GRADUATE) (co-author of the screenplay)
Grumpy Old Men (DVD FIC GRUMPY) (member of the cast)

Al Jaffee
Mad Magazine (designer and creator of the Mad Fold-In)


Dan Mazer
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (DVD FIC BORAT) (co-author of the screenplay)

Harold Ramis
Analyze This (DVD FIC ANALYZE) (director)
Caddyshack (DVD FIC CADDYSHACK) (co-author)
Groundhog Day (VID FIC GRO) (DVD FIC GROUNDHOG) (producer, director and co-author)
Ice Harvest (DVD FIC ICE HARVEST) (director)

David Sedaris
Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays (814.54 SEDAR)
David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall (CD 818.5402 SED)
Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim (818.54 SEDARIS) (CD 818.54 SED)
Holidays On Ice (FIC SED)
Me Talk Pretty One Day (814.54 SED)
Naked (814.54 SEDARIS)
When You Are Engulfed In Flames (814.54 SEDARIS)