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Be a Great Stand-Up: Teach Yourself Paperback – 25 Jun 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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  • Be a Great Stand-Up: Teach Yourself
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  • The Serious Guide to Joke Writing: How To Say Something Funny About Anything
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  • The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You're Not
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Teach Yourself (25 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444107267
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444107265
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"The author's love for his job shines through...it has inspired me to pencil a date in my diary for my own return to stand-up after a ten-year hiatus." (- www.channel4.com/4laughs)

"With advice from several comics and tips on how the business end of comedy works, anyone who reads it will feel empowered, full of confidence that they can take to the stage." (- www.chortle.co.uk)

Stand-up is such a visual and oral medium, how could you possibly gain anything other than very basic advice from a self-help book? Logan Murray has succeeded. The highly experienced stand-up and comedy course tutor, has written a very useful guide to starting out as a stand-up comedian. (- LaughRiot.co.uk)

Book Description

From one of the UK's most acclaimed and successful tutors of stand-up comedy comes this guide to understanding, developing and, most importantly, delivering a great comedy routine.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I own at least 8 books on stand-up comedy, and I only bought this one because I just arrived in London and considered doing Logan Murray's course.

Well, after only reading some random parts of the book I knew that this is by far the best and most helpful book on stand-up comedy I have ever read. It covers lots of areas other established books don't even touch; there is golden advice on every page, and unlike with many of the other books you know after reading only a few lines that here is somebody who has actually done stand-up successfully instead of just writing about it.
For anybody who thinks about trying their hand at stand-up: buy this book!

Having said that, I don't want to slag all off the other books, but too many of them tell you too many things you already know or that are simply about 20 years out of date. If you would like to complement this book with others, I'd recommend Jay Sankey's "Zen and the art of stand-up comedy" for a very interesting look at the performance side of stand-up, and Greg Dean's "Step by Step to Stand-up Comedy" mainly for its interesting and helpful approach to the dreadfully tricky topic of rehearsing for stand-up comedy. And since Greg Dean covers the important (though in some ways dated) set-up/punchline stuff (that everybody who's ever told a joke probably knows, to be honest) you probably don't need any of the others, either.

But for me, Logan Murray's book is absolute top dog among these three and I will definitely do his course even though I've been on stage before.

Ah yeah, none of the books will of course save you from actually going on stage over and over and over again and dying on your arse every now and then.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd done two open mic spots before getting this and let's just say they didn't go fantastically!
With the help of this book I have managed to write some fantastic new material. All of which I managed to mine out of my own head thanks to the techniques I picked up form this book. I would recommend this to anyone who has suffered with the dreaded writers block, as it offers all kinds of writing ideas that will get your creative juices flowing again.

While there are a lot of useful exercises for the individual working alone, there are twice as many for those working in groups (No use to me but great if you're working with other trainee comedians!). Even so, there's plenty for the lone writer to get stuck into, including a complete set building workshop.

This book follows the standard format of the Teach Yourself range which is easy to follow and packed with handy tips and words of wisdom from other comedians. Taking you from the history of stand-up through comedy theory, joke theory & routine building right up to stagecraft and the all important business side.
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Format: Paperback
I have bought a number of stand-up comedy books, done a few gigs (failed to beat the frog, gonged off at the comedy store) and even took a part time course. If I'd had this book to start with I would have progressed further a lot quicker. This is a very practical manual which will have you writing your own material very soon. It helps you decide which type of comic you want to be, and shows you how to play to your strengths. It's a good book at a good price, and in my view should be top of your list.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Great great book.
Read a paragraph and you know you're listening to someone speaking form experience. Has the feel of an old pro sitting beside you and chatting, rather than a teacher at the front of a class. Never pompous, never vague. To the point and really enjoyable.

Last week I did my first stand up set. Not that that gives me any extra clout as a reviewer, but what I can now say is that going through the process I found this book to be a really close and knowledgeable friend on the journey.

I was slightly hesitant about the idea of being 'taught' what is and isn't 'funny', but that wasn't what this was at all. It's a guide to finding your own voice(s) and create material that no one else can. 'Cause it yours, obviously.
And the process of creating material is hugely enjoyable. Other than getting a good response when you shyly try stuff out on unsuspecting partners, friends and rooms full of strangers, it's the most rewarding bit.

I'd also recommend Sally Holloway's book 'The serious guide to joke writing' if you're just looking to generate material, or write for sketches and plays etc. But if you want a book to go through the whole process with you from wondering if you could be funny, to the etiquette of turning up to your first gig, this is the kiddy.

Even if you never take it any further, this book improves your batting average in social groups; more honest laughs, less shuffling feet and pitying smiles.
If you have to give presentations or lectures at work, if you're obliged to go to 'lunches' or speak to strangers at 'work drinks', this book will be useful.
It's also made it fun to watch people telling boring stories and recognise which principles they could have rescued their banal anecdotes with.
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Format: Paperback
I say the best all-inclusive starter guide *money* can buy, having said that bartering or exchanging love or other goods might find you a better guide.

This is a fantastic book - giving you a good guide of basic how to do everything on stage - from mic usage to pausing and working the room - as well as excellent stuff on how to generate material and ways to come up with different ways of doing the joke. Oh, and afterthought everything.
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