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Posts tagged as books

Pre-Order 'Poking a Dead Frog,' Mike Sacks's Follow-Up to 'And Here's the Kicker'

Mike Sacks has written a sequel to his hit 2009 book And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on their Craft. The new series of interviews — called Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers — includes new insights from Amy Poehler, Patton Oswalt, Mel Brooks, Adam McKay, George Saunders, and more and is now available for pre-order on Amazon ahead of its June 24th release. Order it now for extra comedy nerd credit.

(Full disclosure: Our Managing Editor Bradford Evans contributed to the book.)

'The Humor Code' and the Science of How Comedy Works

Writing about comedy has become a cottage industry in recent years as the swelling popularity of live and online humor has birthed a new audience for comedy journalism, whether it's Jason Zinoman's New York Times pieces or Splitsider's own blow-by-blow reporting on the industry.

But outside of the standup, sketch, and podcast worlds, there's also been a larger, centuries-long search to understand the fundamental nature of humor. It's the sort of quest that electrifies certain comedy nerds while making others wince at the idea of slicing open something as mysterious and subjective as laughter. It also begat E.B. White's famous 1941 quote: "Humor can be dissected, as a frog [...]

Aziz Ansari Turns to Reddit for Help with His New Book

In August, Aziz Ansari signed a deal to write his first book, an untitled semi-academic tome about "the basic issues facing a single person—whom we meet, how we meet them, and what happens next—have been radically altered by new technologies." Today, Ansari announced that he created a subreddit section on the website Reddit to start conversations to help him research the book via personal stories from Reddit users.

The subreddit, called "Modern Romantics," features a bunch of questions from Ansari (like "Has anyone broken up or gotten into a huge fight with a partner based on something you saw on their phone or computer?" and "Has anyone [...]

Charlie Chaplin's Only Book to Be Published This Year

A lot of great writers don't get discovered until after their death, and in the case of Charlie Chaplin, some writers don't even get published until almost 40 years after their death. According to THR, the only book Chaplin ever wrote was recently discovered and restored by the Cineteca di Bologna in Italy. Titled Floodlights, the 34,000-word work follows a struggling comedian named Calvero who "vows to stage a comeback and 'rock them with laughter like I used to.'" Chaplin finished the book in 1948 after the slow decline of his own career following a string of films in the 20s and 30s.

According to a spokesman for [...]

Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak Star in the Trailer for B.J. Novak's New Book

Here's the trailer for B.J. Novak's first book, a collection of short stories called One More Thing: Stories & Other Stories and is due out February 4th. The trailer stars Novak, his The Office costar Mindy Kaling, and also people who weren't on The Office.

Todd Glass's Memoir Has a Title and a Release Date

Standup Todd Glass got a book deal after the excellent, acclaimed 2012 episode of WTF with Marc Maron in which he came out of the closet, and that book is finally hitting the shelves this summer.

Called The Todd Glass Situation: A Bunch of Lies about My Personal Life and a Bunch of True Stories about My 30-Year Career in Stand-Up Comedy, the memoir is being released on June 3rd, features blurbs from Glass's buddies Norm Macdonald, Sarah Silverman, and Patton Oswalt, and is available for preorder now.

(via The Comedy Bureau)

B.J. Novak Credits Rainn Wilson for His Leap into Acting on 'The Office'

"Rainn Wilson once gave this interview where he said, 'The universe will tell you what it wants from you.' That really haunted me. I really wanted to act at that time, but I was clearly better as a writer. I thought, What part of me is chasing the fun and thrill of this job and how much of me should actually be doing this? I felt kind of ashamed and inquisitive. It really challenged me, even if for all I know [Wilson] got it from Chicken Soup for the Soul."

- B.J. Novak tells Vulture about his days as a frustrated actor on The Office while promoting the audiobook [...]

Richard Ayoade Signs a Deal to Write Three Books About Film

UK comedy director/writer/actor Richard Ayoade is about to become a published author. Chortle reports that Ayoade has signed a three-book deal with British publisher Faber and Faber to write a series of books that will make use of his "furious obsession with film with his innate sense of life's ridiculousness." The first book, which will come out in November in the UK, will depict "a filmmaker exploring himself, respectfully, insightfully, and sometimes by surprise… on a journey that has the courage to step inside."

Ayoade has been a big name in UK TV comedy for over a decade. He starred in and wrote for Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and hosted/co-created its [...]

Seth MacFarlane Wrote a Novel Based on the Screenplay to His Next Movie, 'A Million Ways to Die in the West'

As if he has any free time these days, Seth MacFarlane somehow managed to write his first book. He authored a 208-page novelization of his next movie, A Million Ways to Die in the West. was co-written by MacFarlane and frequent collaborators Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild, but he wrote the book solo. MacFarlane also stars in the film as a sheep herder who falls in love with a woman (Charlize Theron), only to find her husband (Liam Neeson) is a dangerous criminal. A Million Ways to Die in the West: The Novel comes out March 4th. The movie, while the movie that inspired it hits theaters May 30th,

It's [...]

B.J. Novak's First Children's Book 'The Book Without Pictures' Will Be Available in September

Last year, Office writer/star and Mindy Kaling's BFF B.J. Novak signed a two-book deal with Knopf and announced a forthcoming collection of short stories One More Thing: Stories & Other Stories due out next month. Today on Twitter, Novak announced the release of the second book from the deal, a children's book called The Book Without Pictures. "I wanted to write a book that would introduce the youngest of kids to the idea that words can be their allies — that the right words can be as fun, exciting, and ridiculous as any pictures," Novak says in the book announcement in Publisher's Weekly. "Also, I [...]

Judd Apatow Is Releasing a Book of Interviews He Did with Comedians

Judd Apatow was a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers last night, and Meyers mentioned that Apatow is releasing a book of interviews he conducted with comedians "of all different generations."

No other details on the book were given as far as a title/release date, but Apatow proceeded to talk about how he would regularly interview comedians he idolized as a high schooler, something he's discussed in interviews quite a bit. There's no word on whether the book will be a collection of Apatow's interviews as a teenager in the 1980s with folks like Jerry Seinfeld, Harold Ramis, and John Candy, or something different entirely. This will be [...]

'A Confederacy of Dunces' Is Being Turned Into a Play That's Aiming for Broadway

After three decades of failed attempts at a movie adaptation, the late John Kennedy Toole's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Confederacy of Dunces is being developed into a play that producers are looking to take to Broadway, Variety reports. Playwright Jeffrey Hatcher (Broadway musical Never Gonna Dance, the stage adaptation of Tuesdays with Morrie) is writing the stage version of Confederacy of Dunces. Producers are casting for a spring reading. The last news on the Confederacy of Dunces movie, which has cycled through a handful of directors, actors, screenwriters, and studios since the early '80s, was that Zach Galifianakis had signed on to star in the film and James [...]

Nick Offerman Is Writing a Second Book, Called 'Great Americans'

Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman has signed a deal to write a second book, EW reports. Called Great Americans, the book will "highlight approximately twenty-five figures from U.S. history that Offerman considers his personal pantheon of 'Great Americans" — which range from George Washington to Willie Nelson – told from his unique, always humorous perspective."

Offerman's first book, Paddle Your Own Canoe, a humorous memoir full of advice, came out in October of last year and was a bestseller.

Updated Edition of 'Live from New York' Book Will Be Available This September

Since its publication in 2003, Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller's oral history book Live from New York has served as the quintessential SNL bible for fans and students of TV history alike, and according to Miller, the book is currently being updated to include all the post-2003 SNL history the original edition missed out on. To put it into perspective, Live from New York ends with the 2002-2003 cast when Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, and Will Forte were mere featured players — years before the explosion of The Lonely Island's viral-friendly Digital Shorts — so the updated book will include 11 more years of interviews, anecdotes, and [...]