The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You're Not Paperback – 1 Sep 1994
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Top Customer Reviews
His ideas on story structure are presented in a fun and funny way, but whenever I approach other books on writing I feel like Vorhaus got there first with this light little book, before all the guys with their deeply important mythic cycle breezeblock-workbooks hung around their necks -- and he got there with a smile on his face.
His principles on comedy in this book have given me what feels like X-ray vision when it comes to watching popular culture of any kind. This is someone who's been paying close attention to how story, humour, and thinking work, and he's given us all his crib notes.
First the basics of what makes us laugh are explained. The book then moves into defining how to make your comic characters and to forget about why you think a certain aspect is unfunny.
After this the book is split up into seperate sections depending on which field of comedy you wish to pursue, be it sitcom, sketch, stand-up, and, ahem, practical jokes (it is hard to show sarcasm through text).
The end of the book applies to every comedian, helping you to perfect your work, and ultimately selling your material.
Unfortunately the book is not prfect throughout. Most explainations of certain comic situations involve the use of a 1980's film or tv series, so if you are under the age of, say 25 like me (or, if you didn't watch American shows of the 80's) I would strongly suggest buying Mel Helitzer's Comedy Writing Secrets, 2005. Apart from this I strongly recommend this book, trust me you can't go wrong.
1) Full of practical, fun, inspiring exercises - more of a workbook than a theory book.
2) very straightforward approach, friendly, funny, full of good advice
3) Advice that can be directly and practically applied on your work AND some inspiring words on being creative in general, working hard, finding inspiration. But mostly the fun stuff.
Beautiful book, highly recommended for comedy writers, stand-up comedians, but also any type of writers.
"Every time you make someone laugh, you bring joy into the universe and make your world, in some small way, a better place to be. Respect this gift, honor it, and take responsibility for it. Comedy is no innocent thing, but a powerful, often subversive force of change." (p.190)
If you want to inject humour into your writing then you need this book. In the same way that you should attend writing classes/groups, you need this book. I spent many years writing in the dark (even after courses at Cambridge University!) writing the long way 'round, and The Comic Toolbox fixed me up. I saw the light. The Comic Toolbox gives a structure to your humourous writing and will allow you to produce better results, faster. Simple as that.
My latest book is 44 thousand words plus a bit in length and yes, it's a better book because of The Comic Toolbox. Oh, you can buy Selling to the British here, on Amazon. And when you read it, you will see the influence. Just follow me through to my author page. I'll see you there.
If you write for money - and I can't think of a better reason - then this book is a must.
So. Who is our hero? Our hero is...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book. The American sense of humour is different to the Brits, but is a good read. Recommend it.Published 6 months ago by Mr V.P Chapman
Excellent. Lots of exercises to keep you involved and help you learn properly. Very practical.Published 7 months ago by Edward Mclean
Bought for my son as another recommendation from a professional comedienne as he wants to try stand up comedy. He has rated this as easy to read and a great help.Published on 8 Sept. 2013 by Dennie May
Great book! Good for starting your understanding about humour's essentials and getting you started to notice what's funny in life. Read morePublished on 10 May 2012 by Teemu
Great book for screenwriters with a lot of exercises, that are very practical and useful. i would recommend this book for students and professionals as well, looking to add humour... Read morePublished on 21 Nov. 2011 by Evgenia