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Posts tagged as books

Finding Business Lessons in the World of Improv

In his book Funny Business, Bill Connolly explores the connection between business and comedy. With interviews from Boston’s powerhouse standup Gary Gulman to the owners of Boston’s Improv Asylum, Connolly explores how his ten comedic principles, if applied, can better any boardroom or office.

For several years Connolly performed at the Improv Asylum in Boston and worked as a marketing analyst. He couldn’t deny the benefit his professional life received from his comedic one, and it inspired him to research the correlation.The result? His book and a new career.

Connolly currently travels for the ad agency iCrossing teaching improv to all its US employees. I caught up with him while [...]

The 'It's Always Sunny' Gang Is Writing a Self-Help Book

The life experts of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are writing a book. A pre-order page recently showed up on Amazon for The 7 Secrets of Awakening the Highly Effective Four-Hour Giant, Today, a book "written" by Charlie, Mac, Dennis, Sweet Dee, and Frank that will serve as a self-help guide. From the book's description:

The Gang may have finally found their golden ticket. Left alone to close down Paddy’s Pub one night, Charlie Kelly inadvertently scored himself, and his friends, the opportunity of a lifetime—a book deal with a real publishing company, real advance money, and a real(ly confused) editor. While his actual ability to read and [...]

Billy Eichner Is Writing His First Book

Billy on the Street host Billy Eichner is getting into the literary world. THR reports that Eichner has signed a deal to write his first book, a currently untitled comedic tome about the worlds of comedy and pop culture. "I'm very excited to start writing and I can assure my fans they will love the book more than Shailene Woodley loves Tom's of Maine," Eichner said. "This book is for anyone obsessed with show business, pop culture, social media and lots of other fun topics that fill our days as we hurtle helplessly toward accidents, illness, infidelity and death."

Billy on the Street, which finished its third season in [...]

In 'Poking a Dead Frog', Comedians' Advice, Stories, and Neuroses Shine

Nerding out on comedy just got a lot easier with Mike Sacks’ new Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers. In his follow up to 2009’s excellent And Here’s the Kicker, Sacks has compiled an impressively diverse list of writers working within the humor genre, from both sitcom and feature writers to directors to cartoonists to radio writers, like The Best Show on WFMU’s Tom Sharpling and 97-year-old Peg Lynch, writer of the 1940s Ethel and Albert. Whether you’re a comedian or a fan, there’s something here to interest you and that’s no doubt by design. The table of contents alone is intimidatingly long in the best possible way.

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Long-Time Letterman Writer Bill Scheft on 'Late Show', Writing Novels vs. Writing Jokes, and Stephen Colbert

Tonight, when David Letterman saunters on to the Ed Sullivan Theater stage to deliver his monologue, flanking him will be two men whose tenures date back to the groundbreaking Late Night With David Letterman: To his right, bandleader Paul Shaffer; and to his left, writer Bill Scheft, who Late Show viewers have undoubtedly come to know as the bespectacled man off in the corner, surveying the proceedings. If hosting a late-night talk show is an hour-long prizefight, Bill Scheft is Letterman's corner man.

Since joining Late Night in 1991, Scheft has garnered 16 Emmy nods; while also serving as writer for two Oscars, head writer for 3 ESPYs, and special [...]

Read Some New Excerpts from the Updated 'Live from New York' Book

The new and extended version of Tom Shales and James Miller's SNL oral history book Live from New York isn't out until September 9th, but in the meantime THR has released a few exclusive excerpts from the book all about the show's more recent political satire, from how Tina Fey's Sarah Palin was born to why Robert Smigel's last TV Funhouse segment was rejected to Fred Armisen and Jay Pharoah's Obama impersonations. Here's Horatio Sanz on the opposing political sensibilities of former head writers Jim Downey and Seth Meyers:

I don't think the show itself has ever let its freak flag fly in the last 20 [...]

Patton Oswalt Has Written a Book About His Addiction to Movies

Patton Oswalt has a second book in the works. Recently, Amazon posted the pre-order page for his upcoming book titled Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film. Here's the book's official description:

New York Times bestselling author, comedian, and actor Patton Oswalt shares his entertaining memoir about coming of age as a performer and writer in the late ’90s while obsessively watching classic films at the legendary New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles.

Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakeable addiction. It wasn’t drugs, alcohol, or sex. It was film. After moving to L.A., Oswalt became a huge film buff, absorbing classics [...]

Jim Gaffigan's Second Book, 'Food: A Love Story,' Out Oct. 21st

Standup Jim Gaffigan's second book, Food: A Love Story, is now available for pre-order. Gaffigan has long been fixated on discussing food in his standup, and the book finds him spending the entire tome discussing all different kinds of food (check out an excerpt here). The book is set to hit shelves October 21st. Gaffigan's first book, the New York Times bestseller Dad Is Fat, was released last year.

Mike Sacks on 'Poking a Dead Frog', Discontented Comedy Writers, and "Comic Decay"

Comedians think often about how their identity relates to the world around them. They spent much of their time reflecting on who they are, where they come from, what they've done, and what they've seen. Usually these reflections are form-fitted and presented to us as comedy for entertainment, and it's through this process that we may come to know more about the comedian and the world we live in.

Imagine if you gave comedians free-range to tell us about themselves and what they think about their world without having to mold it to fit a comic form. Mike Sacks has been doing that for us since 2009 when he [...]

'Poking a Dead Frog,' Mike Sacks's Sequel to 'And Here's the Kicker' Out Today

Mike Sacks's latest book of interviews with comedians, Poking a Dead Frog, hits the shelves today. A follow-up to his 2009 book, And Here's the Kicker, Poking a Dead Frog features interviews and advice from over 40 professional comedy writers, spanning a wide range of mediums including movies, late night, sitcoms, standup, print, podcasts, and more. James L. Brooks, Adam McKay, Amy Poehler, Mel Brooks, Diablo Cody,Glen Charles, and Carol Kolb are just some of the writers included in the new book, from which we excerpted an interview with longtime SNL writer James Downey this morning.

Air Bud: Glory Days, by Joe Veix

Do go check out PBQ Vol. 2. Edited by our friend John Howell Harris (with cover and interstitial art by Daniel Spenser) the second in the PBQ series is an elegant, hardbound number filled with humorous art and pieces from folks who have previously created material for The Onion, The Tonight Show, Adult Swim, Community, and The New Yorker.

It’s $15.00, so a small but solid investment. All proceeds benefit New York Cares. Please enjoy this excerpt, “Scenes From Air Bud: Glory Days” by Joe Veix.

Air Bud finds a box of old basketball memorabilia in his attic. He blows dust off a newspaper clipping, and ponders the [...]

Holden Caulfield Applies for an HR Position, by Dan Morey

Greg Roman Integrated Software 48 Detmire Road White Plains, NY 10601

Dear Mr. Roman,

I’m writing to apply for the goddam HR Manager position you advertised in the New York Times. I’ve enclosed my résumé and three references from real hot-shots.The opportunity in your ad is very interesting and all. You wouldn’t believe how enthusiastic I am about it. You really wouldn’t. My brother D.B. says I’m a born HR man, and he’s a terrific judge of character. At least he used to be before he moved out to Hollywood and started writing all those rotten movies. D.B. is really just a prostitute now.

Anyway, I guess my experience and education make [...]

Dave Hill Clears Up the Amazon-Hachette Dispute for Dick Cavett and Malcolm Gladwell

The battle between Amazon and Hachette books rages on without any comment from Amazon, so Dave Hill put together this video with legendary TV host Dick Cavett and bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell to clear up any confusion surrounding the issue. Cavett, at least, is satisfied by Hill's creative way of breaking down Amazon's side of the situation.

Adam McKay on What He Learned from Working with Improv Guru Del Close

Will Ferrell doesn’t mince words when describing Adam McKay, his longtime friend and comedy collaborator. “He’s kind of a dangerous individual,” Ferrell says. “He’s extremely funny; there’s no doubt about it. But he’s dangerous. I wouldn’t stay in a room with him, one on one, for any longer than I had to. There’s a criminal tendency there. We have a great working relationship because I don’t ask him much about his past. He just frightens me.” Ferrell is joking, obviously. But there was a time, years before McKay found Hollywood success directing and co-writing films such as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006) and The Other Guys (2010), [...]