Christmas is coming up. You know someone who likes stand-up comedy or who is even an amateur stand-up comedian. You think:
“I get them a book connected to that thing I know they like. That should cover up for ignoring them for most of the year.”
The best book (That I read) about the process of writing stand-up comedy is:
No wrong Blog. This is the book you’re after:
I started stand-up comedy at the age of 27 back in 2011. This book came out around the same time. I have always been a fan of Stewart Lee and found this book fascinating as he picks apart his set from his comeback shows and talks about his time in the wilderness when he stopped doing stand-up.
This book goes into the process of making a routine, the practice, hard work and sheer uncertainty of it all.
I found this way more inspiring than the “how to do” comedy books where they tell you to end a joke with “Then I woke up on the bus” punchline. Even if don’t enjoy Lee’s work but are interested in the mechanics of stand-up, I’m sure you’ll get something out of this book. But if you don’t it’s not my problem and I’m not going to do anything about it.
Now for something completely different:
This is for those that want to be the arena busting stand up in your life. I read most of the big name stand up comedian books. They all fall into the same trap. Mostly about their boring lives before doing stand up. It filled with this type of stuff:
“My Da used to make me dress as a Lizard”, “I thought I would be a coal miner forever” & “That when I found out what a daisy chain really was”. By the way, all those quotes are just from Nina Conti’s autobiography.
Even Peter first book (The sound of Laughter) did this. But this book is all the good stuff. The awful gigs, the failures, set back’s and then becoming the biggest comedian in England and then going off the boil. The book doesn’t talk about that last part. I just added it on as I’m trying to be sassy. (Snaps fingers.)
The one that got away:
A couple of years ago. I was at the big Irish comedy festival (The cat laughs).
There was a special show done by Sky where they showcased some new comedy shorts. Some of the people in front & behind the camera were there to talk about the shorts they worked on.
Johnny Vegas was one of them. The moderator opened the floor to questions from the audience. There was an awkward silence. To break it, I raised my hand and said I had a question for Johnnny:
“I really liked your book, any plans to turn it into a film?”
He was chuffed about the question. He went into a long answer about how he is working on a film based on the book and hoping to start filming soon.
After the Q & A., He came over to me and said thanks for asking about the book. He put three years of his life into it and it meant a lot to him that people really cared about it.
I didn’t know what to say. As I had never read it. It was the only thing I could think to say to him. He was so nice I got a copy of it as soon I could. I still haven’t read it and that was two years ago. Sorry, Johnny.
November blog up. Come talk to me on twitter @ as I’m lonely at Christmas time and you can tell me how none of those books in the featured image were mentioned.
Here a link to me doing stand up:
And recent segment I did on the radio: