I've been a fan of John Vorhaus' since I discovered The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You're Not in the 1990s. Vorhaus was a master at zooming in on the "working parts" of a joke/routine/sketch/scene/story/etc. and making it seem simple. Then he gave you an exercise to do to help you develop/flex that particular writing muscle.
COMEDY WRITING 4 LIFE does the same thing, but it's a couple of decades later and Vorhaus has more writing tricks up his sleeve than he did back then!
More than that, his experience in the field since then seems to have crystallized his understanding of comedy writing (and writing in general) to a laser-sharp focus that makes you feel like, "Oh! It's THAT easy? I can do that!"
In fact, it seems like explaining the mechanics of writing comedy is almost a secondary goal; his primary reason for writing this book seem to be to get US writing OUR book/script/standup routine/etc! Where other professional writers can be vague and mysterious about their process, John Vorhaus is open and as honest as a person can be. Where writing gurus can give us great theoretical insight into why the finished story works, Vorhaus gives us fun steps to creating that story! This isn't writing theory, these are practical steps!
And as with everything he writes, COMEDY WRITING 4 LIFE is just a lot of fun to read! Even if this is your first Vorhaus book, you know you can trust the process he outlines for you because he is, himself, an excellent and funny writer.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in writing, even if their genre isn't comedy. This book can help anyone generate a story idea out of thin air, then develop that idea into a skeleton, then into an outline, then into a completed draft, then rewrite that draft until is sparkles!
My short list of all-time writing references: This book (first), then Vorhaus' How to Write Good (strong second), then McKee's STORY, then King's ON WRITING.
But if you read only one book to get started writing, I would recommend this one!