The Professional Skill-Building Course in Writing Stand-Up, Sketch, and Situation Comedy
by Gene Perret
Publication Date: January 15, 2015 $16.95 ($17.95 Canada) • Trade Paperback • 6″ x 9″ • 170 pages ISBN 978-1-61035-220-8 To the beginner, writing effective comedy can seem like a mysterious knack you need to be born with. But to Emmy award–winning comedy writer Gene Perret, comedy writing is a set of skills that anyone can study, improve, and master.
In Comedy Writing Self-Taught, Perret (a three-time Emmy winner and former head writer for Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller) teaches aspiring comedy writers how they can teach themselves the essential principles of comedy writing through comedy analysis and writing exercises. Covering the essential principles of writing stand-up comedy, sketch comedy, and TV situation comedy, Comedy Writing Self-Taught is professional-level training from a master who has spent decades at the very top of the entertainment industry.
Expressly designed for home self-study, Comedy Writing Self-Taught teaches that the most effective way to learn is to create comedy yourself. Perret teaches how to analyze the work of professional comedians to learn the principles of comedy and presents a full set of writing exercises to hone one’s skills.
The companion Comedy Writing Self-Taught Workbook provides even more comedy writing exercises, giving readers the equivalent of a master class in comedy. Comedy Writing Self-Taught also gives readers valuable advice from an experienced professional on how to pitch one’s work, break into the business and get paid for writing comedy.
Combining expert knowledge, rigorous training, shrewd observations about the nature of the entertainment busi- ness and hilarious jokes, Comedy Writing Self-Taught is a must-read book for every aspiring comedy writer and comedian.
ALSO AVAILABLE: Comedy Writing Self-Taught Workbook
About the Author: Gene Perret has written comedy material for such legendary performers as Bob Hope, Phyllis Diller, Carol Burnett, Tim Conway and others. He has been awarded three Emmys and one Writer’s Guild Award for his work on The Carol Burnett Show writing staff. He is the author of over 40 books, including the classic The New Comedy Writing Step-by-Step, available from Quill Driver Books.
The Professional Skill-Building Course in Writing Stand-Up, Sketch, and Situation Comedy
by Gene Perret
The WORKBOOK is the companion volume to Comedy Writing Self-Taught.
Field Notes on Foul-Mouthed Babies, Disenchanted Women, & Careening into Middle Age
by Kara Martinez Bachman
Life doesn’t end at 40. It just gets really, really weird. In Kissing the Crisis, humorist Kara Martinez Bachman takes on middle age with a kick-ass Generation X attitude and a willingness to try anything. Bachman’s comic essays recount her many absurd adventures in her forties, presenting a decidedly female approach to the midlife crisis.
Written for every woman who knows that turning 40 is no reason to become respectable, Kissing the Crisis is the field guide you need to blaze your own unconventional trail through the jungle of middle age. Bachman reports from the front lines of the battle to stay awake after 9 p.m., and her adventures will make you scream with laughter, cringe with embarrassment, and vow to tackle your own midlife crisis with a can-do attitude and a tasty cocktail.
Kissing the Crisis tells of Bachman’s fearless exploits such as searching for a child-friendly bar and grill for a parents’ drinking night; reigniting her rock ’n’ roll lifestyle by founding the world’s greatest ukulele-harp goth band; futilely trying to shush a foul-mouthed toddler shrieking obscenities in the grocery story, while everyone judges her for being a bad mother; overcoming her lifelong beliefs about gun control to learn target shooting—and absolutely loving it; and her many other wild attempts to live life after 40 to the fullest, even in the face of the harshest mommy judgment.
Bachman is a fresh, new, irreverent voice in humor, the spokeswoman of today’s middle-aged people, Generation X, who long ago lost the media’s attention but have been quietly redefining middle age as a time of freedom to be yourself without apologies. Kissing the Crisis is an inspiration to all of us living with a youthful spirit that says “Yes!” to adventure and a middle-aged body that says “Meh … let’s get ice cream instead.”
About the Author: Kara Martinez Bachman is a New Orleans-based freelance writer. Her work has appeared in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, NOLA.com, The Writer, Funny Times, NPR’s State of the Re:Union, Ellipsis, Magnolia Quarterly, the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina retrospective, Katrina Memoirs, and numerous other publications.
$14.95 ($18.95 Canada) • Trade Paperback • 6″ x 9″ • 146 pages
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by Gerry Holzman
Publication Date: August 16, 2022. Click here to preview the book.
Charming, humorous, sometimes tragic, and always fascinating vignettes from a life spent in craftsmanship.
They say life is a merry-go-round—for Gerry Holzman, this has been literally and figuratively true. A master figure carver who has restored over 100 pieces of antique carousel art, created 250 pieces of original carousel carving, and was the head carver and executive director of New York’s landmark Empire State Carousel Project, Holzman has devoted the past 50 years to woodcarving, and his skill has taken him around the world as a student, teacher, craftsman, and artist. Throughout this giddy merry-go-round of a career, he has encountered many intriguing ways to use our brief time on earth and invites us to accompany him as he strives to understand and appreciate them all.
Wanderings of a Wayward Woodcarver is Holzman’s record of a lifetime spent in the craft and the many lessons it has taught him about what it means to be a carver and what it means to be a human being, plus a recounting of the many memorable characters he has met along the way.
From master carver Gino Masero, who taught Holzman much about carving, life, creativity, and decency, to Holzman’s students who touched his life deeply, to a sign carver who could not read, a witch who invited Holzman to visit her coven, and the mafioso who showed Holzman how to prevent his carvings from being stolen, Wanderings of a Wayward Woodcarver shows how a life in craft is the perfect viewpoint to see the whole of the human condition.
More about Gerry Holzman:
Gerry Holzman has been a professional woodcarver since 1971. During his career, Gerry has restored over 100 pieces of antique carousel art and has created approximately 250 pieces of original carousel carving. His commercial clients include Disney World, Cunard Cruise Lines, and the South Street Seaport.
$18.95 US • Trade Paperback • 6″ x 9″ • 250 pages
They call California the Granola State — a place where everyone is a fruit, a flake or a nut. They don’t get any fruitier, flakier or nuttier than the deviants, crackpots and losers profiled in California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts. A freewheeling catalog of misfits, eccentrics, creeps, criminals and failed dreamers, California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts profiles 48 bizarre personalities who exemplify the Golden State’s well-deserved reputation for nonconformity.
Unlike the sanitized heroics taught in school, California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts tells history from the view-point of the losers: murderers, lunatics, eccentrics and disgraced, washed-up celebrities. Presenting a wealth of historical information that had long been swept away and forgotten, California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts is a uniquely entertaining look at the dark and disreputable corners of California history.
In these pages, Gold Rush pioneers are revealed as murderous madmen; Hollywood celebrities are shown to be drug-addled sex maniacs; early hippies are just 1950s weirdos; and even seemingly ordinary Californians have a talent for freakish, crazy and criminal behavior.
California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts profiles such stellar Californians as frontier lunatic Grizzly Adams (whose head was one massive wound after multiple bear attacks); I Love Lucy star William Frawley (a racist, misogynist, foul-mouthed drunk); skirt-wearing, skirt-chasing legendarily awful film director Ed Wood; proto-hippie and “Nature Boy” singer eden ahbez; rocket scientist, black magician and L. Ron Hubbard mentor Marvel Parsons; and many more nutjobs, oddballs and dangerously violent freaks.
The perfect book for anyone who likes feeling superior to losers, California Fruits, Flakes, and Nuts is a side-splitting, salacious and shocking salute to the people who made California the strangest place on earth.
By Gene Perret
Beginning comedy writers and performers think you can’t teach funny. Legendary comedy writer Gene Perret, winner of three Emmy Awards, knows better. A good joke works because it follows ten strict principles — or, as Perret calls them, The Ten Commandments of Comedy. Perret calls these principles “Commandments” for good reason — these rules strengthen your material and make every joke as funny as it can possibly be. Violating even one or two of these precepts might destroy an otherwise viable gag. But a joke that follows all the Commandments will deliver maximum humor … and audiences know the difference.
Three-time Emmy Award-winner Gene Perret’s Comedy Writing Step by Step has been the manual for humor writers for 25 years. In this new book, his first update, Perret offers readers a treasure trove of guidelines and suggestions covering a broad range of comedy writing situations, along with many all-important insights into the selling of one’s work. Perret covers all aspects of comedy writing in his uniquely knowledgeable and anecdotal fashion.
In Damn! That’s Funny!, readers learn from a true pro what makes readers laugh, how to write humorous pieces, how to add humor to serious articles, and how to market their material. Written by television comedy writer Gene Perret, a three-time Emmy Award-winner and longtime head writer for Bob Hope.
Everything You Need to Know About Being Old and Grumpy!
By three time Emmy Award-Winner Gene Perret, is a humorous story of a gaurdian who can not only turn water into wine (well, actually coffee into Merlot- not a great Merlot, but passable), but can also turn a struggling Philadelphia comedian wannabe into an entertainer of star quality.
Is Shecky really an angelic visitor from the other side? Or is he just a blowhard deadbeat who’s trying to con a few free drinks and a meal or two from a kid who wantes desperately to make it in the comedy profession?