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The Comedy Bible: From Stand-Up to Sitcom... The Comedy Writer's Ultimate How-To Guide Paperback – 1 Jul 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Currency Press; New edition edition (1 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0868197416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0868197418
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.4 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,696,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Marcus Aurelius on 24 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Work through all the exercises slowly and diligently otherwise this book will not help you at all.

Recommendation: BUY IT NOW.
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By J. Kertesz on 30 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From the first who wrote a book about standup comedy, about 33 years ago, an even better one. Judy Carter gives us this time a whole workshop, of 'modern standup' comedy, inspired by a big number of workshops she has given.

So much to absorbe and learn, slowly, one workshop at a time if one wants to learn it all. Or, rush to read it first, then come back and do the exercises one by one.

On her website, she even has a DVD / CD combination accompaniment.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anton McLeod on 27 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book contains some information I've not seen anywhere else, as well as some good jokes and examples, so four stars. But it is far from a comprehensive guide to comedy. One wonders if the title 'Bible' was meant as a joke.
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6 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Oct. 2001
Format: Paperback
This book offers deep insight into several aspects of comedy, however, i would warn anyone who reads this book to not look at this book as a guideline but as a source upon which you can expand your own "comic genius" on.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 103 reviews
92 of 96 people found the following review helpful
Comedy: For Those That Need To Know How Something Works 10 Feb. 2002
By "ronlv" - Published on
Format: Paperback
For many reasons this is a well done book. Judy Carter interviewed and studied many famous comedy people for this book. Quotes by the dozens throughout the book powerfully build on the point made in the text. Stand up comedians are not the only ones that need to be funny. The most widely used clique about professional speaking is: "You don't need to be funny unless you want to get paid." Reading this book is more useful than reading all the joke books you can find. Carter says it the most clearly and the most forcefully. You need to first get your message sorted out completely and then make it funny or at least entertaining. Your personal message is more critical to your success than copying other successful people no matter what you field of speaking, entertaining or communication.
The book seemed like one giant personal conversation with the author Judy Carter. You may not break out laughing very often reading this book. Carter would have made a good engineer or scientist, she breaks down into the tiniest imaginable pieces what makes something funny and then puts it back together. Reading and working with this book will make you funnier, it is by far the most promising book I have found so far. That is the good news. The bad news is that you can not just read this book. It is more like a highly serious work book. While it is ultra easy to read, it is very demanding to work your way through the book--- At least in the manner Judy Carter expects the book to be used. The book benefits from the years that Judy Carter has taught comedy performance and writing.
If you are interested in writing comedy, jokes, sit com or speeches this is the book to buy. Be ready to roll up you sleeves and really work with this book. It is designed and written to the full range of people that are serious about entertaining other people with humor. In another book on comedy Steve Allen wrote in a foreword: "How to books on comedy are a dime a dozen." For the intensely thinking person on comedy that craves an in depth understanding, I will be surprised if a better book can be found. I will search for that potential gem, but my suspicions are as follows. When a better book is written on comedy, it is likely to be written by Judy Carter. As you can see by my review I thought her original book was outstanding and this one is even better. While I have read it once through carefully, the big pay off is going to come by doing the exercises and the introspective work laid out in this book.
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
One of the best books on how to write stand-up comedy,etc. 26 Jun. 2005
By Chris Sellick - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book.Teaches you how to write comedy.This book is ideal because it guides you through the process of writing comedy and putting together a stand-up comedy routine.

I suggest that you read this book at your own pace.Ignore the bit at the beginning of chapter 2 where it starts "26 days to killer comedy material".It then mentions you are then going to perform what you have written.Ignore it! Read the book first and learn.Its your book,not your contract.

You will gain many things to help you achieve your goal as a comedy writer or stand-up comedian.

This book will be one you will keep and,carry with you so its there when you need it.

I also recommend these books:
1)"Zen and the art of stand-up comedy",By Jay Sankey".
2)"The comic toolbox",By John Vorhause.
3)"Comic insights",By Franklin Ajaye.
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
The place to start 11 Mar. 2002
By starspangledgirl - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is simply the best book on standup comedy I have read. I wish I could take her class! This book helped me to improve a five minute routine I have and perform it in front of a crowd. I also appreciate that Judy Carter does not have the sexism that mars other books on the topic such as Comic Toolbox by John Vorhaus. If you had to buy only one book on standup, this should be it. Greg Dean's book is pretty good too, but it's just not as comprehensive. Thank you, Judy, for being a great teacher through this book.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A structure to comedy for comedians 12 Oct. 2006
By S. Mason - Published on
Format: Paperback
I live in New York, and write stand up comedy.

I have a lot of friends who are pro comics on the NY circuit, and every one of them is aware of, and owns, this book.

It won't make you funny, it you are fundamentally not funny.

If you are occasionally funny, or regularly funny, then this book will help you structure you work, and tells you how to develop your work into a pro set that can get you noticed.

It tells you what not to do, it guides you on what works.

I own a fair set of comedy books, but this is one that keeps it's number one spot consistently. Even with year and years of practice, the comedians I know still know exaclty where their copy is!

If the pros own it, why don't you?
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
As a graduate of the Comedy Workshops program... 29 April 2005
By James H. Lui - Published on
Format: Paperback
Yes, I'm quite satisfied with the results. I headlined at my showcase night at The Improv - Hollywood, and thanks to Judy's personal touch, we played to a packed house of 250 with consistent unique and tight delivery, and came away with the experience of a lifetime. The audio CD's and DVD's help with understanding how you need to apply the step-by-steps found in this book - but the point is: you have to get out of your own head and work the material like a maniac. The average rate is about 200 hours of writing per hour of performance rough material, so there's lots ahead.

Judy herself points out that she didn't "invent" this methodology - she merely thought enough to actually organize all of the years of experience she's gained in writing, living and loving comedy and put it into a single tome. But that doesn't mean it will write material for you. It points you in the direction you need to go - which is start noting down every single premise you discover and forensically tear it down thoroughly. Then, grab your comedy writing "buddy" and start working it through to death. And get in front of every audience or person that will listen.

Think of this as a common sense guide to what are the "magical" things that make people like Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Robin Williams, and Billy Crystal funny. And how you can take your personal point of view and find the "funny" in it.
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