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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many Perspectives, One Book.
I don't have to go through all the trouble of gathering and organizing so many theories of comedy since Helitzer here has done all the hard work for me with his book. The result is that with this book I can come up with so many ideas (most of them crap) and actually make people laugh (think of that!).

The more I read this book, the more I come to appreciate it...
Published on 23 Oct 2009 by Deniz Ates

versus
44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ignorant, vindictive and charmless.
After the seventh page I found myself skipping the bits written by the author and jumping instead to the quotes. When I did force myself to read the (poor) prose between the quotes, I usually found the gist could be got from the first sentence with the rest of the paragraph mere padding.
Looking from the writing style to the theory and philosophy;
While I am...
Published on 14 Mar 2006 by Mr. G. Coffey


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Many Perspectives, One Book., 23 Oct 2009
By 
Deniz Ates (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for It (Paperback)
I don't have to go through all the trouble of gathering and organizing so many theories of comedy since Helitzer here has done all the hard work for me with his book. The result is that with this book I can come up with so many ideas (most of them crap) and actually make people laugh (think of that!).

The more I read this book, the more I come to appreciate it because the ideas in this book seem to build upon each other. I have also found that comedy compliments other disciplines such as creative problem solving, education, marketing, sales, and acting. Read Comedy Writing Secrets. It's a damn good book. I would also recommend reading Keith Johnstone's "Impro" along with it because I have found that the two work together to form something very special.

May it bring laughter and smiles into your life and into the lives of those around you.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ignorant, vindictive and charmless., 14 Mar 2006
This review is from: Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for It (Paperback)
After the seventh page I found myself skipping the bits written by the author and jumping instead to the quotes. When I did force myself to read the (poor) prose between the quotes, I usually found the gist could be got from the first sentence with the rest of the paragraph mere padding.
Looking from the writing style to the theory and philosophy;
While I am undecided whether the author was the bully or the bullied, I am certain that he is familiar with bullying. In fact, his philosophy of comedy largely revolves around vindictiveness of one type or another and as such provides a charmless and cynical picture of humanity as a whole.
Moving from his philosophy to his theory of getting laughs; I found it distracting when the author used bad definitions of terms and then cited examples that failed to support even his own definition (eg: "malapropism" ... which uses a pun to introduce it in the book before mistakenly citing examples of verbal imbecility as malapropisms).
If you are interested in writing comedy, I strongly recommend against this book in favour of ... something else. For me, "Writing Television Sitcoms" (Evan S. Smith) is a much stronger book with more convincing (better written and informative) arguments and a much less misanthropic view of comedy.
Just my two cents.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lessons in VERY Old School Comedy, 4 Oct 2007
By 
R. Lewis - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for It (Paperback)
Very disappointing. Despite quoting from a few modern American comedians in the book,the comedy being taught here is SO dated. The actual humour techniques described inside might've been useful if you were writing a routine for Bob Hope in the 1950's, but bear little relation to today's comedy. Try using and performing old techniques from this book in a stand-up act like puns,wordplay, malapropisms etc , and you won't get very far in today's market, or get many laughs in the process. Do any of today's most successful comedians like Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervais,Chris Rock,Dane Cook etc use these ancient comedy methods? Of course not. I give the book 2 stars for one interesting chapter on writer's block and brainstorming ideas, but the rest is a let-down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kinda dated, 22 Nov 2013
Had some real valid points, but hard to keep interested with the old quotes etc. Worth reading if you have the time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but a bit dated, 5 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for It (Paperback)
This book gives some good outline for what you need to know to write jokes or anecdotes. It has quiet a lot of quotes from various celebrities that support the various points in each section, so it's very well structured but I felt like it's a bit dated. I'm sure half the comedians and celebrities are dead by now. However it is a very useful book if you're willing to put some dedicated study time and make use of it......it probably helps if your into old school American humour from comedians such as Rodney Dangerfield, Steven Wright, Beth Midler, Bill.Cosby, Jeneane Garofalo they even go as far back as Dean Martin and I didn't even know he did comedy, I thought he was just drunk all the time! To be honest a lot of the comedians they mention I'd never heard of before that means their either dead or not that funny. It's a book I bought over two weeks ago and I'm about 1/8th of the way through, is it because the book makes me feel old so now I'm reading twice as slow? it's definitely an archival piece....may be that's where it belongs? You only dig it up when you want to reminisce on what the comedians were saying in the Jacobean period. It's so old by the time I finish reading it I'll be dead!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old hat but solid, 6 Dec 2010
This review is from: Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for It (Paperback)
This book might be a bit dull but I suspect that's the gap between the excitement we all feel about hearing a great joke and the reality that formal comedy writing requires plodding dedication. This book does feel a bit old (it was originally written in the '80's) but it does solidly cover the basics of comedy. If you want something a bit more up to date (as of Nov 2010) try Logan Murray's 'Be a great stand-up' which has a good joke writing section and Sally Holloway's 'Serious Guide to Joke Writing' which is a whole book full of very modern joke writing techniques.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Tool, 14 Sep 2010
This review is from: Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for It (Paperback)
A very goog book on the mechanical aspects of comedy performing and writing, but in a lot of ways the style of comedy today has moved on. On the question of whether or not comedy writing and performing can be tought, I'm not so sure. In the case of writing, the comedy idea for a sketch or routine I usually find inspiration comes from a spark in the subconcious. And I usually find that these little sparks tend to come when I least expect them. I realise that it doesn't work like that for all writers, particularly writing partnerships. And there are some very famous writers who do sit down together and literally hammer out their masterpiece, and it works for them.
But unfortunately with all the best teaching books in the world, when you have crafted and polished your script, unless someone will pay you money for your efforts and perform your masterpiece, it is a whole different ball game. And every writer knows the feeling of rejection. In fact one writer I know has made his living on rejection, have a look at Simon Ashley Richmond's Write Again Vol 1 He didn't get his scripts published, but his letters of rejection made a small volume.
But back to 'Comedy Writing Secrets'. Yes it is well worth reading and it made me think about other avenues of exploration. But comedy is an everchanging genre and what worked yesterday won't always work tomorrow.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great comedy writing guide, 6 Nov 2010
This review is from: Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for It (Paperback)
A great introduction to comedy writing techniques. Some of them are brilliant. The techniques are easy to do and will a make a huge difference in your writing.
Some people have criticised this for being old fashioned and to be fair some if the jokes are pretty old. However as you read through it you will see many examples of types of jokes that are used to this day. It is probably the best book of its type that I have seen.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 28 Mar 2007
By 
Mr. Daniel J. Offer "Danny" (Nr Swindon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for It (Paperback)
I've just read the other reviews on here and I'm shocked.

This is an EXCELLENT book, a detailed read on why we laugh, what is funny and what is not - and why!

If your an aspiring comedian, or just want to develop your "sense of humour" this book is for you.

Five Stars. No Question.
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3.0 out of 5 stars boring but useful, 17 Feb 2009
This review is from: Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition: How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny and Get Paid for It (Paperback)
it was very boring to me but if you can make it all the way through then i guess it would really help. but i would advise getting something else if you can.
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