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Stand Up Comedy In Chicago

Author: Vince Vieceli
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
ISBN: 1439642710
Size: 55.36 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Ten years after Chicago saw its first full-time comedy club open, the landscape was decidedly different. “Stand-up comedy has exploded in the last couple of years,” a club owner told the Chicago Tribune in 1985, “that’s the only way to describe it: exploded.” It was truly a comedy boom, with as many as 16 clubs operating at once, and it lasted nearly a decade before fading, taking with it some of Chicago’s oldest comedy stages, including the Comedy Cottage, Comedy Womb, and Who’s on First. Still, stalwarts like Barrel of Laughs (south) and Zanies (north) persevered. That part of the story is known; overlooked is the fact there was a comedy boom, period. To hear the story, it is as if stand-up comedy innately morphed from a dated nightclub scene to what one Chicago Sun-Times writer called “Chicago’s atomic comedy blast.”

Mastering Stand Up

Author: Stephen Rosenfield
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
ISBN: 1613736959
Size: 51.23 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Stephen Rosenfield, founder and director of the American Comedy Institute, the premier comedy school in the United States, has taught literally dozens of major standup comics in North America, and has also pioneered comedy as an academic discipline in many universities, a trend that is rapidly spreading. Mastering Stand-Up draws on Rosenfield's own extensive experience (and those of countless stars like Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Chris Rock, Rodney Dangerfield, Louis C.K., Steve Martin, Roseanne, and Johnny Carson) to show the reader—and would-be comic—what works, what doesn't, and why. Forty sharply written chapters cover every conceivable angle of the joke and how to tell it. There are a number of books on comedy and how to do it, but none has the breadth and authority Rosenfield brings to his theme. It's not for nothing that the New York Times has described him as "probably the best-known comedy teacher in the country." Rosenfield's book is sure to become the classic text on its subject. And it should help thousands who long to make others laugh to realize their fondest hopes.

Tim And Tom

Author: Tim Reid
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226709024
Size: 80.72 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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As the heady promise of the 1960s sagged under the weight of widespread violence, rioting, and racial unrest, two young men--one black and one white--took to stages across the nation to help Americans confront their racial divide: by laughing at it. Tim and Tom tells the story of that pioneering duo, the first interracial comedy team in the history of show business--and the last. Tim Reid and Tom Dreesen polished their act in the nightclubs of Chicago, then took it on the road, not only in the North, but in the still-simmering South as well, developing routines that even today remain surprisingly frank--and remarkably funny--about race. Most nights, the shock of seeing an integrated comedy team quickly dissipated in uproarious laughter, but on some occasions the audience’s confusion and discomfort led to racist heckling, threats, and even violence. Though Tim and Tom perpetually seemed on the verge of making it big throughout their five years together, they grudgingly came to realize that they were ahead of their time: America was not yet ready to laugh at its own failed promise. Eventually, the grind of the road took its toll, as bitter arguments led to an acrimonious breakup. But the underlying bond of friendship Reid and Dreesen had forged with each groundbreaking joke has endured for decades, while their solo careers delivered the success that had eluded them as a team. By turns revealing, shocking, and riotously funny, Tim and Tom unearths a largely forgotten chapter in the history of comedy.

Improv Nation

Author: Sam Wasson
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 0544558251
Size: 66.90 MB
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A Finalist for the 2017 George Freedley Memorial Award “With Saturday Night Live looming ever larger in the pop culture landscape, it’s time for a history of improv comedy. Wasson delivers, moving nimbly from improv’s origins in 1950s Chicago to movies like Caddyshack and TV shows like The Colbert Report.” —Entertainment Weekly “A compelling, absolutely unputdownable story . . . And, in case you’re wondering, yes, the book is funny. In places, very funny. A remarkable story, magnificently told.” —Booklist From the best-selling author of Fosse, a sweeping yet intimate—and often hilarious—history of a uniquely American art form that has never been more popular. At the height of the McCarthy era, an experimental theater troupe set up shop in a bar near the University of Chicago. Via word-of-mouth, astonished crowds packed the ad-hoc venue to see its unscripted, interactive, consciousness-raising style. From this unlikely seed grew the Second City, the massively influential comedy theater troupe, and its offshoots—the Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade, SNL, and a slew of others. Sam Wasson charts the meteoric rise of improv in this richly reported, scene-driven narrative that, like its subject, moves fast and digs deep. He shows us the chance meeting at a train station between Mike Nichols and Elaine May. We hang out at the after-hours bar Dan Aykroyd opened so that friends like John Belushi, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner would always have a home. We go behind the scenes of landmark entertainments from The Graduate to Caddyshack, The Forty-Year Old Virgin to The Colbert Report. Along the way, we commune with a host of pioneers—Mike Nichols and Harold Ramis, Dustin Hoffman, Chevy Chase, Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Alan Arkin, Tina Fey, Judd Apatow, and many more. With signature verve and nuance, Wasson shows why improv deserves to be considered the great American art form of the last half-century—and the most influential one today.

All Jokes Aside

Author: Raymond Lambert
Publisher: Agate Pub Incorporated
ISBN: 9781932841954
Size: 39.89 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In the 1990s, legendary Chicago comedy club All Jokes Aside catapulted some of the biggest names in the business to the national stage: Jamie Foxx, Mo'Nique, Chris Rock, Steve Harvey, and Dave Chappelle, just to name a few. Behind the operation was Raymond Lambert, a 29-year-old investment banker who left a six-figure salary and a promising career on Wall Street to open the comedy club. Lambert channeled his experience in the cutthroat financial industry into what became the preeminent black comedy showcase in Americaand then he lost it all. All Jokes Aside: Stand-Up Comedy Is a Phunny Business is the wildly entertaining story of Lambert's journey, a behind-the-scenes look at the world of show business, and an inspiring tale for any dreamer and would-be entrepreneur. In 2012, Lambert released the documentary film Phunny Business, which profiles his iconic club through interviews with many of the club's most famous alumni. The film was met with worldwide acclaim and has since been nationally syndicated on Showtime and has sold more than 50,000 copies. All Jokes Aside provides an even deeper look into Lambert's successes and failures, as well as the lessons he learned from running America's one-time preeminent black comedy showcase. In the late 1980s, with a degree from Morehouse College and an MBA from University of Virginia's Darden School under his belt, the young Lambert had one more thing going for him: he was being mentored by legendary investment banker Chris Gardner, famously portrayed in an Oscar-nominated performance by Will Smith in the 2006 movie The Pursuit of Happyness. The only problem was that Lambert still felt unfulfilled. So on August 9, 1991, with no experience running a comedy club, Lambert and business partner James Alexander borrowed money from Alexander's mother and opened All Jokes Aside on Chicago's South Side. For a decade, All Jokes Aside was an often-unheralded "star factory" that nonetheless made an indelible impression on American pop culture. The club gave crucial early exposure to major talents, many of whom are now headliners of Hollywood's top box-office blockbusters. All Jokes Aside is chock-full of cautionary tales both humorous and dramatic, intimate details on the early careers of today's star performers, and tangible guidance on how to build a business. Lambert's storytelling is funny, insightful, and brutally honest. Whether you are looking for business advice or an uproarious good time,All Jokes Aside is a much-needed history of black entertainment and an uplifting personal memoir of stepping out into the spotlight.

Stay Hungry

Author: Sebastian Maniscalco
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1501115979
Size: 49.83 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This inspiring, honest, uproarious collection of essays traces Sebastian Maniscalco’s career from playing boxing rings and bowling alleys to reaching the pinnacles of comedy success. At twenty-four, Sebastian Maniscalco arrived in LA with a suitcase and saved up minimum wages. He knew no one and nothing about standup comedy, but he was determined to go for it anyway. At forty-four, he’s on the Forbes’ list of highest earning comedians, sells out arenas, and has starred in four hit comedy specials including Why Would You Do That? on Showtime. Stay Hungry tells the story of the twenty years in between. On the way from clueless rube to standup superstar, Seb was booed off stages; survived on tips and stolen food; got advice from mentors Andrew Dice Clay, Vince Vaughn, Tony Danza, and Jerry Seinfeld; fell in love; and stayed true to his Italian-immigrant roots. The one code that always kept him going: stay hungry, keep focused, never give up, and one day, you’ll make it.

The Awkward Thoughts Of W Kamau Bell

Author: W. Kamau Bell
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101985879
Size: 42.23 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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W. Kamau Bell delivers a humorous, well-informed take on the world today, tackling a wide range of evergreen issues, such as race relations, fatherhood, the state of law enforcement today, comedians and superheroes, right-wing politics, and so much more.

Standup Comedy 101

Author: Jim Rauth
ISBN: 9781548618131
Size: 31.67 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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"If you're looking at this book, trust your instincts," says Jim Rauth founder of the Comedy College a standup comedy school located in Milwaukee and Chicago. Jim has been teaching "Standup Comedy 101" for the last 19 years. Jim's students have appeared on HBO, Comedy Central, NBC's "Last Comic Standing", Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien and more!Jim also has managed a comedy club and has produced over 600 comedy shows. "In the early years, I was producing an open mic in Chicago and in the same room we had TJ Miller, Kumail Nanjiani, Kyle Kinane, Nate Bargatze and Hanibal Burress when they were starting their careers on a Tuesday," said Rauth.If you're looking to be funnier for the next party or you're heading for a national television gig, this workbook will get you there. It's worked for numerous Comedy College students who have made to national television shows and others who make their living doing standup. The book is an easy read and the exercises are simple to follow. It's designed to help you get your comedy act together for you first comedy performance, and then to help you keep building your comedy career.

How To American

Author: Jimmy O. Yang
Publisher: Da Capo Press
ISBN: 0306903504
Size: 67.99 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Standup comic, actor and fan favorite from HBO's Silicon Valley and the film Crazy Rich Asians shares his memoir of growing up as a Chinese immigrant in California and making it in Hollywood. "I turned down a job in finance to pursue a career in stand-up comedy. My dad thought I was crazy. But I figured it was better to disappoint my parents for a few years than to disappoint myself for the rest of my life. I had to disappoint them in order to pursue what I loved. That was the only way to have my Chinese turnip cake and eat an American apple pie too." Jimmy O. Yang is a standup comedian, film and TV actor and fan favorite as the character Jian Yang from the popular HBO series Silicon Valley. In How to American, he shares his story of growing up as a Chinese immigrant who pursued a Hollywood career against the wishes of his parents: Yang arrived in Los Angeles from Hong Kong at age 13, learned English by watching BET RapCity for three hours a day, and worked as a strip club DJ while pursuing his comedy career. He chronicles a near deportation episode during a college trip Tijuana to finally becoming a proud US citizen ten years later. Featuring those and many other hilarious stories, while sharing some hard-earned lessons, How to American mocks stereotypes while offering tongue in cheek advice on pursuing the American dreams of fame, fortune, and strippers.