NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Michiko Kakutani, New York Times • Newsday • Esquire • NPR • Booklist
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.
Praise for Born a Crime
“[A] compelling new memoir . . . By turns alarming, sad and funny, [Trevor Noah’s] book provides a harrowing look, through the prism of Mr. Noah’s family, at life in South Africa under apartheid. . . . Born a Crime is not just an unnerving account of growing up in South Africa under apartheid, but a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“[An] unforgettable memoir.”—Parade
“What makes Born a Crime such a soul-nourishing pleasure, even with all its darker edges and perilous turns, is reading Noah recount in brisk, warmly conversational prose how he learned to negotiate his way through the bullying and ostracism. . . . What also helped was having a mother like Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah. . . . Consider Born a Crime another such gift to her—and an enormous gift to the rest of us.”—USA Today
“[Noah] thrives with the help of his astonishingly fearless mother. . . . Their fierce bond makes this story soar.”—People
“[Noah’s] electrifying memoir sparkles with funny stories . . . and his candid and compassionate essays deepen our perception of the complexities of race, gender, and class.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A gritty memoir . . . studded with insight and provocative social criticism . . . with flashes of brilliant storytelling and acute observations.”—Kirkus Reviews
So here we go; it's time to back up because YouTube superstars, The Sidemen, are finally here in book form and they're dishing the dirt on each other as well as the YouTube universe.
There's nowhere to hide as KSI, Miniminter, Behzinga, Zerkaa,Vikkstar123, Wroetoshaw and Tobjizzle go in hard on their living habits, their football ability, and their dodgy clobber, while also talking Fifa, Vegas and superheroes. They'll also give you their grand house tour, letting you in on a few secrets, before showing you their hall of fame, as well as revealing some of their greatest shames.
Along the way you'll learn how seven of the world's biggest YouTube stars started off with nothing more than a computer console, a PC and a bad haircut before joining forces to crush the internet. And they'll tell you just how they did it (because they're nice like that) with their ultimate guide to YouTube while also sharing their memories of recording their favourite videos as well as a typical day in the life of The Sidemen.
You'll feel like you're with them every step of the way, smelling the 'sweet' aroma of the boys' favourite dishes in the kitchen, stamping your passport as you follow them on their trips around the world and kicking every ball as the boys gear up for the biggest football match of their lives.
It's going to get personal. It's going to get intense, and JJ is going to have lots of tantrums, so take a moment to prepare yourself, because this is The Sidemen book you've been waiting for!
From the writer and director of Knocked Up and the producer of Freaks and Geeks comes a collection of intimate, hilarious conversations with the biggest names in comedy from the past thirty years—including Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Roseanne Barr, Harold Ramis, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Lena Dunham.
Before becoming one of the most successful filmmakers in Hollywood, Judd Apatow was the original comedy nerd. At fifteen, he took a job washing dishes in a local comedy club—just so he could watch endless stand-up for free. At sixteen, he was hosting a show for his local high school radio station in Syosset, Long Island—a show that consisted of Q&As with his comedy heroes, from Garry Shandling to Jerry Seinfeld. They talked about their careers, the science of a good joke, and their dreams of future glory (turns out, Shandling was interested in having his own TV show one day and Steve Allen had already invented everything).
Thirty years later, Apatow is still that same comedy nerd—and he’s still interviewing funny people about why they do what they do.
Sick in the Head gathers Apatow’s most memorable and revealing conversations into one hilarious, wide-ranging, and incredibly candid collection that spans not only his career but his entire adult life. Here are the comedy legends who inspired and shaped him, from Mel Brooks to Steve Martin. Here are the contemporaries he grew up with in Hollywood, from Spike Jonze to Sarah Silverman. And here, finally, are the brightest stars in comedy today, many of whom Apatow has been fortunate to work with, from Seth Rogen to Amy Schumer. And along the way, something kind of magical happens: What started as a lifetime’s worth of conversations about comedy becomes something else entirely. It becomes an exploration of creativity, ambition, neediness, generosity, spirituality, and the joy that comes from making people laugh.
Loaded with the kind of back-of-the-club stories that comics tell one another when no one else is watching, this fascinating, personal (and borderline-obsessive) book is Judd Apatow’s gift to comedy nerds everywhere.
Praise for Sick in the Head
“I can’t stop reading it. . . . I don’t want this book to end.”—Jimmy Fallon
“An essential for any comedy geek.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Fascinating . . . a collection of interviews with many of the great figures of comedy in the latter half of the twentieth century.”—The Washington Post
“Open this book anywhere, and you’re bound to find some interesting nugget from someone who has had you in stitches many, many times.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“An amazing read, full of insights and connections both creative and interpersonal.”—The New Yorker
“Fascinating and revelatory.”—Chicago Tribune
“These are wonderful, expansive interviews—at times brutal, at times breathtaking—with artists whose wit, intelligence, gaze, and insights are all sharp enough to draw blood.”—Michael Chabon
“Anyone even remotely interested in comedy or humanity should own this book. It is hilarious and informative and it contains insightful interviews with the greatest comics, comedians, and comediennes of our time. My representatives assure me I will appear in a future edition.”—Will Ferrell
From the Trade Paperback edition.
One of the undisputed heavyweight champions of American comedy, with nineteen appearances on the Johnny Carson show, thirteen HBO specials, five Grammys, and a critical Supreme Court battle over censorship under his belt, George Carlin saw it all throughout his extraordinary fifty-year career, and made fun of most of it. Last Words is the story of the man behind some of the most seminal comedy of the last half century, blending his signature acerbic humor with never-before-told stories from his own life, including encounters with a Who’s Who of 1970s celebrity—from Lenny Bruce to Hugh Hefner—and the origins of some of his most famous standup routines. Carlin’s early conflicts, his long struggle with substance abuse, his turbulent relationships with his family, and his triumphs over catastrophic setbacks all fueled the unique comedic worldview he brought to the stage. From the heights of stardom to the low points few knew about, Last Words is told with the same razor-sharp wit and unblinking honesty that made Carlin one of the best-loved comedians in American history
In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of “why I did stand-up and why I walked away.”
Emmy and Grammy Award–winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written.
At age ten Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott’s Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes.
Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times—the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies.
Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.
“Here’s Johnny!” Probably everyone in America knows the phrase, whether they watched every episode of The Tonight Show or none because they had to go to bed early on school nights. From 1962 to 1992, Johnny Carson and his Tonight Show dominated the American consciousness.
Henry Bushkin was Carson’s best friend and lawyer during that period, and his book is a tautly rendered and remarkably nuanced portrait of Carson, revealing not only how he truly was, but why. Bushkin explains why Carson, a voracious (and very talented) womanizer, felt he always had to be married; why he couldn’t visit his son in the hospital and wouldn’t attend his mother’s funeral; and much more. Johnny Carson is by turns shocking, poignant, and uproarious — written with a novelist’s eye for detail, a screenwriter’s ear for dialogue, and a knack for comic timing that Carson himself would relish.
“A fascinating book about a complex man.” — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Like The Tonight Show, the book has many a merry moment . . . [Johnny Carson] was also one of a kind, and is missed. This book brings a bit of him back.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A People magazine Top Ten Book of the Year
Jennifer Saunders' comic creations have brought joy to millions. From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, from Bolly-swilling Edina in Ab Fab to her takes on Madonna or Mamma Mia, her characters are household names.
But it's Jennifer herself who has a place in all our hearts. This is her funny, moving and frankly bonkers memoir, filled with laughter, friends and occasional heartache - but never misery.
BONKERS is full of riotous adventures: accidentally enrolling on a teacher training course with a young Dawn French, bluffing her way to each BBC series, shooting Lulu, trading wild faxes with Joanna Lumley, touring India with Ruby Wax and Goldie Hawn.
There's cancer, too, when she becomes 'Brave Jen'. But her biggest battle is with the bane of her life: the Laws of Procrastination. As she admits, 'There has never been a Plan. Everything has been fairly random, happened by accident or just fallen into place. I'm off now, to do some sweeping...'
Prepare to chuckle, whoop, and go BONKERS.
Before long, they were as big as Elvis or the Beatles would be after them, creating hysteria wherever they went and grabbing an unprecedented hold over every entertainment outlet of the era: radio, television, movies, stage shows, and nightclubs. Martin and Lewis were a national craze, an American institution. The millions (and the women) flowed in, seemingly without end—and then, on July 24, 1956, ten years from the day when the two men joined forces, it all ended.
After that traumatic day, the two wouldn’t speak again for twenty years. And while both went on to forge triumphant individual careers—Martin as a movie and television star, recording artist, and nightclub luminary (and charter member of the Rat Pack); Lewis as the groundbreaking writer, producer, director, and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies—their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as in each man’s heart.
In a memoir by turns moving, tragic, and hilarious, Jerry Lewis recounts with crystal clarity every step of a fifty-year friendship, from the springtime, 1945 afternoon when the two vibrant young performers destined to conquer the world together met on Broadway and Fifty-fourth Street, to their tragic final encounter in the 1990s, when Lewis and his wife ran into Dean Martin, a broken and haunted old man.
In Dean & Me, Jerry Lewis makes a convincing case for Dean Martin as one of the great—and most underrated—comic talents of our era. But what comes across most powerfully in this definitive memoir is the depth of love Lewis felt, and still feels, for his partner, and which his partner felt for him: truly a love to last for all time.
In his bold and wildly entertaining publishing debut, he continues to embrace his dark side and gives readers the book they have long been waiting for—hilarious and often dirty. Bob believes there's a time and a place for filth. From his never-before-heard stories of what really went on behind the scenes of two of the most successful family shows of all times, with co-stars like John Stamos and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, to his tales of legendary friends and colleagues like Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, and other show business legends, Saget opens up about some of his personal experiences with life and death, his career, and his reputation for sick humor—all with his highly original blend of silliness, vulgarity, humor and heart, and all framed by a man who loves being funny above all else.
Only Ayoade can appreciate Ayoade's unique methodology. Only Ayoade can recognise Ayoade's talent. Only Ayoade can withstand Ayoade's peculiar scent. Only Ayoade can truly get inside Ayoade.
They have called their book Ayoade on Ayoade: A Cinematic Odyssey. Take the journey, and your life will never be the same again.
Ayoade on Ayoade captures the director in his own words: pompous, vain, angry and very, very funny.
Bonnie's own path from bartending to truck driving, massage therapy, elder abuse, stand-up comedy, and acting never stopped her from being Doug's genuine number one fan. So when her alcoholic, hoarding life finally came to an end many weird adventures later in rural Arizona, it was inevitable that Doug and Bonnie would be together for one last excursion.
Digging Up Mother follows Doug's absurd, chaotic, and often obscene life as it intersects with that of his best friend, biggest fan, and love of his life-his mother. And it all starts with her death-one of the most memorable and amazing farewells you will ever read.
Michael McIntyre is Britain's biggest comedy star. He has released two record-breaking DVDs, Live and Laughing and Hello Wembley; hosts his own BAFTA-nominated BBC1 series, Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow; and has picked up British Comedy Awards for Best Live Stand-Up and Best Male TV Comic. Last year he became the youngest ever host of the Royal Variety Performance, and now in 2011 he takes the hot seat as a judge in the hit ITV show Britain's Got Talent.
How did he get there?
Michael reveals all in his remarkably honest and hilarious autobiography. His showbiz roots, his appalling attempts to attract the opposite sex, his fish-out-of-water move from public to state school and his astonishing journey from selling just one ticket at the Edinburgh Festival to selling half a million tickets on his last tour. Michael McIntyre's Life and Laughing is riveting, poignant, romantic and above all very, very funny.
Michael McIntyre was born in South London in 1976 to parents from the world of showbiz. His Hungarian mother was a dancer and his Canadian father co-wrote The Kenny Everett Television Show. Now he is a stand-up comedian who in 2009 sold out a record six nights at Wembley Arena and four nights at London's O2. Michael lives in North London with his wife Kitty and their sons Lucas and Oscar. This is his first book.
Do you think you’re funny? Do you want to turn your sense of humor into a career? If the answer is yes, then Judy Carter’s The Comedy Bible is for you. The guru to aspiring stand-up comics provides the complete scoop on being—and writing—funny for money.
If you’ve got a sense of humor, you can learn to make a career out of comedy, says Judy Carter. Whether it’s creating a killer stand-up act, writing a spec sitcom, or providing jokes for radio or one-liners for greeting cards, Carter provides step-by-step instructions in The Comedy Bible. She helps readers first determine which genre of comedy writing or performing suits them best and then directs them in developing, refining, and selling their work.
Using the hands-on workbook format that was so effective in her bestselling first book, Stand-Up Comedy: The Book, Carter offers a series of day-by-day exercises that draw on her many years as a successful stand-up comic and the head of a nationally known comedy school. Also included are practical tips and advice from today’s top comedy professionals—from Bernie Brillstein to Christopher Titus to Richard Lewis. She presents the pros and cons of the various comedy fields—stand-up, script, speech and joke writing, one-person shows, humor essays—and shows how to tailor your material for each. She teaches how to find your “authentic” voice—the true source of comedy. And, perhaps most important, Carter explains how to take a finished product to the next level—making money—by pitching it to a buyer and negotiating a contract.
Written in Carter’s unique, take-no-prisoners voice, The Comedy Bible is practical, inspirational, and funny.
'Will surprise, entertain, and allow fans and newcomers to enter the comic's uniquely brilliant world' GQ Magazine
'Raucously funny and superbly written' Heat
'A great read. My only criticism is it ended too soon' The Sun
'A fascinating read' Star Magazine
'Brilliantly written' Express
'Fascinating stuff' Closer
'Uproariously great' Guardian
Famous comedian, funniest judge on Britain's Got Talent, irresistible ladykiller and high-achieving sportsman, David Walliams is a man of many talents. Launched to fame with the record-breakingLittle Britain, his characters - Lou, Florence, Emily, amongst others - became embedded in our shared popular culture. You couldn't enter a playground for a long while without hearing "eh, eh, eh" or "computer says no".
Yet Walliams is a mystery. Often described as a bundle of contradictions, he is disarming and enigmatic, playing up his campness one minute and hinting about his depression the next.
To read Camp David is to be truly shocked, as well as tickled pink, as David Walliams bares his soul like never before and reveals a fascinating and complex mind. This searingly honest autobiography is a true roller-coaster ride of emotions, as this nation's sweetheart unlocks closely guarded secrets that until now have remained hidden in his past.
David Walliams is an actor, writer, active fundraiser and - above all - he's a world class comedian who knows how to make us laugh. He performed in and co-wrote the phenomenally successful Little Britainand Come Fly with Me with Matt Lucas, and recently appeared as a popular judge alongside Simon Cowell on Britain's Got Talent. He has performed many feats of endurance for charity, and won over the entire country when he swam the Thames for Sports Relief. His bestselling children's books include Mr Stink, Gangsta Granny, Billionaire Boy, Boy in the Dress and Ratburger.
In 2001, after over a decade in the business, Stewart Lee quit stand-up, disillusioned and drained, and went off to direct a loss-making musical, Jerry Springer: The Opera. Nine years later, How I Escaped My Certain Fate details his return to live performance, and the journey that took him from an early retirement to his position as the most critically acclaimed stand-up in Britain, the winner of BAFTAs and British Comedy Awards, and the affirmation of being rated the 41st best stand up ever.
Here is Stewart Lee's own account of his remarkable comeback, told through transcripts of the three legendary full-length shows that sealed his reputation. Astonishingly frank and detailed in-depth notes reveal the inspiration and inner workings of his act. With unprecedented access to a leading comedian's creative process, this book tells us just what it was like to write these shows, develop the performance and take them on tour. How I Escaped My Certain Fate is everything we have come to expect from Stewart Lee: fiercely intelligent, unsparingly honest and very, very funny.
A comedian's autobiography?
I wonder if he's ever used humour to deflect from his insecurities?
To avoid being bullied?
Is there heartache behind the humour?
I wonder if he's a manic-depressive?
Tears of a clown?
Yes, all of that.
Discover the hilarious life-story of one of Britain's best-loved comedians in Kevin Bridges' brilliant memoir.
'First of all, I have never written a book before, you probably haven't either, so there we have it; a connection is established between reader and writer . . .'
Aged just 17, Kevin Bridges walked on stage for the first time in a Glasgow comedy club and brought the house down. He only had a five-minute set but in that short time he discovered that he really could earn a living from making people laugh.
Kevin began life as a shy, nerve-ridden school-boy, whose weekly highlights included a cake-bombing attack by the local youths. Reaching his teens, he followed his true calling as the class clown, and was soon after arrested for kidnapping Hugh Grant from his local cinema on a quiet Saturday night. This was a guy going somewhere - off the rails seeming most likely.
Kevin's trademark social commentary, sharp one-liners and laugh-out-loud humour blend with his reflections on his Glaswegian childhood and the journey he's taken to become one of the most-loved comedians of our time.
'. . . Hopefully now you'll take this over to the till and I can accompany you for the next wee while. That's the benefit of book shops, reading the little bit and then deciding if the author deserves to be part of your carefully selected 3 for 2 deal, or part of your plane journey, train journey, your next bath, your next shite.'
Praise for Kevin Bridges:
'The Best Scottish Stand up of his Generation.' The Scotsman
'A wonderfully dry and deadpan Glaswegian comic . . . one the most exciting talents to have emerged from Scotland since Billy Connolly' Guardian
'Kevin Bridges might just become the best stand-up in the land . . . he will go and deliver a one-liner that you want to jot down and frame' The Times
'Wonderfully sharp, assured stand-up from the preternaturally gifted young comic' Independent
Millions of us have wondered how Agnes Brown does it. Keeping her end up while seven grown-up children tear about the fecking place like the eejits haven't got a home to go to.
Packed with Mammy's tips for keeping a perfect family, or at least a family, as well as contributions from her children, neighbours and other hangers on, Mrs Brown's Family Handbook dispenses advice in her own inimical fecking style.
• why every mammy's secret weapon is the tea towel
• the dos and don't of cleaning up Granddad
• what Dermot doesn't know about farting (not much)
• what Winnie knows about seks (not enough)
• all about the Five-Sausages-A-Day Diet (hint: contains sausages)
• from Maria all about pain relief in child birth (if its free, take it)
The perfect gift for anyone in a large family - it's one present and cheap - or with no family at all (seeing what they're missing might cheer the miserable feckers up), Mrs Brown's Family Handbook is also ideal for anyone sick and tired of giving out bloody DVDs for Christmas.
Brendan O'Carroll is an Irish writer, producer, comedian, actor, director and author. He is best known for playing Agnes Brown in Mrs Brown's Boys, which won the best sitcom BAFTA in 2012. He has written four films and nine comedy shows, including The Course (1995), The Last Wedding (1999) and last year saw the release of his DVD for the live tour Good Mourning Mrs Brown. He has also published seven novels, including The Mammy, The Scrapper and The Young Wan - a number of which have been translated into 12 languages.
This curtain is going up…
No matter what else goes down.
Leigh’s intrepid Aunt Bess has decided that an abandoned building in the small Pittsburgh borough of West View would make the perfect theater for her troupe of local thespians, and when Bess sets her mind to something, it generally happens. Never mind that the building boasts a century-long history of nefarious owners, financial default, mysterious disappearances, drunken debauchery, regular break-ins, strange nighttime lights, at least one murder, and last but not least -- that nagging little accusation of devil worship.
Though wary of the building’s macabre milieu, Leigh reluctantly allows her children to assist Bess by sorting through the decades of accumulated junk stashed in the erstwhile church’s basement. Little does she know that the kids’ findings are only the tip of an iceberg, and that for someone with her “proclivities,” this particular building is the last place she should be. With her friend Detective Maura Polanski expecting and stuck on bedrest, Leigh scrambles to unravel the link between the murders of the past and the growing threats of the present -- before this theater’s opening becomes someone’s end!
Young Frankenstein was made with deep respect for the craft and history of cinema-and for the power of a good schwanzstucker joke. This picture-driven book, written by one of the greatest comedy geniuses of all time, takes readers inside the classic film's marvelous creation story via never-before-seen black and white and color photography from the set and contemporary interviews with the cast and crew, most notably, legendary writer-director Mel Brooks.
With access to more than 225 behind-the-scenes photos and production stills, and with captions written by Brooks, this book will also rely on interviews with gifted director of photography Gerald Hirschfeld, Academy Award-winning actress Cloris Leachman and veteran producer Michael Gruskoff.
Mel Brooks is an American film director, screenwriter, comedian, actor, producer, composer and songwriter. Brooks is best known as a creator of broad film farces and comic parodies including The Producers, The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Silent Movie, High Anxiety, History of the World, Part I, Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. More recently, he had a smash hit on Broadway with the musical adaptation of his first film, The Producers. An EGOT winner, he received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2009, the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award in June 2013, and a British Film Institute Fellowship in March 2015. Three of Brooks' classics have appeared on AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs list. Blazing Saddles at number 6, The Producers at number 11, and Young Frankenstein at number 13.
Judd Apatow is one of the most important comic minds of his generation. He wrote and directed the films The 40-Year-Old Virgin (co-written with Steve Carell), Knocked Up, Funny People, and This Is 40, and his producing credits include Superbad, Bridesmaids, and Anchorman. Apatow is the executive producer of HBO's Girls.
It took Bonnie McFarlane a lot of time, effort, and tequila to get to where she is today. Before she starred on Last Comic Standing and directed her own films, she was an inappropriately loud tomboy growing up on her parents’ farm in Cold Lake, Canada, wetting her pants during standardized tests and killing chickens. Desperate to find “her people”—like-minded souls who wouldn’t judge her because she was honest, ruthless, and okay, sometimes really rude—Bonnie turned to comedy. In her explosively funny and no-holds-barred memoir, Bonnie tells it like it is, and lays bare all of her smart (and her not-so-smart) decisions along her way to finding her friends and her comedic voice.
From fistfights in elementary school to riding motorcycles to the World Famous Comic Strip, to Late Night with David Letterman, and through to her infamous “c” word bit on Last Comic Standing, You’re Better Than Me is her funny and outrageous trip through the good, bad, and ugly of her life in comedy. McFarlane doesn’t always keep her mouth shut when she should, but at least she makes people laugh. And that’s all that matters, right?
But he was not always such a roaring success.
The Life of Lee is an utterly hilarious and very moving autobiography charting his ups and downs on the way to the top. Lee takes us on a darkly humorous journey through his childhood spent running wild on a Bristol housing estate and his unconventional school days, when he was publicly derided as 'a failure' by a sadistic teacher.
In this brilliantly entertaining and engaging tale, he also guides us through a grim teenage period of numerous dead-end jobs. When he was cleaning toilets and plucking turkeys, he could never have imagined that one day he would be playing to thousands of adoring fans at the O2 Arena.
The book also reveals how as a boy Lee got his first taste of showbiz, living out of a suitcase and accompanying his entertainer father around the smoky, rowdy, unforgiving working-men's club and theatre circuit.
Desperately struggling to be accepted, this quiet young loner always saw himself as an outsider. But he finally met the love of his life and accidentally discovered the one place where he felt at home: the stage.
The Life of Lee is a story that is like its subject: compelling, touching, charming and, above all, fantastically funny.
In We Killed, Kohen pieces together the revolution that happened to (and by) women in American comedy, gathering the country's most prominent comediennes and the writers, producers, nightclub owners, and colleagues who revolved around them. She starts in the 1950s, when comic success meant ridiculing and desexualizing yourself; when Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller emerged as America's favorite frustrated ladies; when the joke was always on them. Kohen brings us into the sixties and seventies, when the appearance of smart, edgy comedians (Elaine May, Lily Tomlin) and the women's movement brought a new wave of radicals: the women of SNL, tough-ass stand-ups, and a more independent breed on TV (Mary Tyler Moore and her sisters). There were battles to fight and preconceptions to shake before we could arrive in a world in which women like Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, and Tina Fey can be smart, attractive, sexually confident—and, most of all, flat-out funny.
As the more than 150 people interviewed for this riveting oral history make clear, women have always been funny. It's just that every success has been called an exception and every failure an example of the rule. And as each generation of women has developed its own style of comedy, the coups of the previous era are washed away and a new set of challenges arises. But the result is the same: They kill. A chorus of creative voices and hilarious storytelling, We Killed is essential cultural and social history, and—as it should be!—great entertainment.
Confessions of a Military Wife is an honest, witty, and often hilarious look at the life of the new generation military wife. Mollie Gross learned the hard way to laugh instead of cry at what she could not control as a military spouse—and as she quickly discovered, nearly everything was out of her control!
A standup comedienne, public speaker, and wife of a Marine Corps officer, Mollie explores everything about the “issued” spouse, from deployment and the stress of having a husband in a combat zone, to the realization that marriage changes when your husband returns home from war. Nothing is taboo or out-of-bounds in Confessions, including the “parties” military wives throw for themselves before hubby returns. (You’ll have to read the book to find out about those!)
More than one million American servicemen have deployed to war over the last few years, which means the lives and lifestyles of military wives are now front and center in the public’s curiosity. How do they live? What is their day-to-day life like? How do they interact? How do they deal with weeks and months of separation? The answers will surprise (and in some cases, shock) you. Confessions teaches all women, whether civilian or military, that they can learn to find the funny side of anything by embracing the situation and changing their perspective. And now they can do so with humor and levity, and a little wisdom.
Evocative and provocative, Confessions of a Military Wife is a can’t-put-down book that will leave you laughing and crying at the same time.
About the Author: Mollie Gross is a former Marine Spouse, author, standup comedienne, and public speaker. She uses comedy and quick wit to encourage and inspire other military wives through the challenges of the military lifestyle. She lives with her husband Jon in Los Angeles."
Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered roles as "Lesbians. Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians."
Her career at a low point, Dratch suddenly had time for yoga, dog- sitting, learning Spanish-and dating. After all, what did a forty- something single woman living in New York have to lose? Resigned to childlessness but still hoping for romance, Dratch was out for drinks with a friend when she met John.
Handsome and funny, after only six months of dating long-distance, he became the inadvertent father of her wholly unplanned, undreamed-of child, and moved to New York to be a dad. With riotous humor, Dratch recounts breaking the news to her bewildered parents, the awe of her single friends, and the awkwardness of a baby-care class where the instructor kept tossing out the f-word.
Filled with great behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Dratch's time on SNL, Girl Walks into a Bar... is a refreshing version of the "happily ever after" story that proves female comics-like bestsellers Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler-are truly having their moment.
Now, with Think Like a Freak, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have written their most revolutionary book yet. With their trademark blend of captivating storytelling and unconventional analysis, they take us inside their thought process and teach us all to think a bit more productively, more creatively, more rationally—to think, that is, like a Freak.
Levitt and Dubner offer a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems, whether your interest lies in minor lifehacks or major global reforms. As always, no topic is off-limits. They range from business to philanthropy to sports to politics, all with the goal of retraining your brain. Along the way, you’ll learn the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, the reason an Australian doctor swallowed a batch of dangerous bacteria, and why Nigerian e-mail scammers make a point of saying they’re from Nigeria.
Some of the steps toward thinking like a Freak:First, put away your moral compass—because it’s hard to see a problem clearly if you’ve already decided what to do about it. Learn to say “I don’t know”—for until you can admit what you don’t yet know, it’s virtually impossible to learn what you need to. Think like a child—because you’ll come up with better ideas and ask better questions. Take a master class in incentives—because for better or worse, incentives rule our world. Learn to persuade people who don’t want to be persuaded—because being right is rarely enough to carry the day. Learn to appreciate the upside of quitting—because you can’t solve tomorrow’s problem if you aren’t willing to abandon today’s dud.
Levitt and Dubner plainly see the world like no one else. Now you can too. Never before have such iconoclastic thinkers been so revealing—and so much fun to read.
As Jamaican reggae/dancehall music has become very dominant in our
culture, artists play a huge role in the development of our language, known as patois, as they are constantly coining
words and phrases that baffle even older Jamaicans and certainly foreigners.
So as people worldwide swing to our music and Jamaica
is a well -known tourism destination in the Caribbean , since most Jamaicans
do not automatically speak English but only when required, this dictionary is critical to travellers as well music lovers.
This is 6th edition of the Original Dancehall Dictionary, a publication which since 1993, has been doing an
invaluable job in helping the world understand our language and the cartoons
not only assist in the translation but also they add to the hilarity of the publication.
NOT GOT MUCH TIME?
One, five and ten-minute introductions to key principles to get you started.
Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience.
Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress.
EXTEND YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Extra online articles at www.teachyourself.com to give you a richer understanding of stand-up comedy.
FIVE THINGS TO REMEMBER
Quick refreshers to help you remember the key facts.
Innovative exercises illustrate what you've learnt and how to use it.
Starting with the vaudeville circuit at the turn of the last century, Nesteroff introduces the first stand-up comedian—an emcee who abandoned physical shtick for straight jokes. After the repeal of Prohibition, Mafia-run supper clubs replaced speakeasies, and mobsters replaced vaudeville impresarios as the comedian’s primary employer. In the 1950s, the late-night talk show brought stand-up to a wide public, while Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and Jonathan Winters attacked conformity and staged a comedy rebellion in coffeehouses. From comedy’s part in the Civil Rights movement and the social upheaval of the late 1960s, to the first comedy clubs of the 1970s and the cocaine-fueled comedy boom of the 1980s, The Comedians culminates with a new era of media-driven celebrity in the twenty-first century.
—Jerome Groopman, New York Times bestselling author of How Doctors Think
"Ariely not only gives us a great read; he also makes us much wiser."
—George Akerlof, 2001 Nobel Laureate in Economics
—New York Times Book Review
Why do our headaches persist after we take a one-cent aspirin but disappear when we take a fifty-cent aspirin? Why do we splurge on a lavish meal but cut coupons to save twenty-five cents on a can of soup?
When it comes to making decisions in our lives, we think we're making smart, rational choices. But are we?
In this newly revised and expanded edition of the groundbreaking New York Times bestseller, Dan Ariely refutes the common assumption that we behave in fundamentally rational ways. From drinking coffee to losing weight, from buying a car to choosing a romantic partner, we consistently overpay, underestimate, and procrastinate. Yet these misguided behaviors are neither random nor senseless. They're systematic and predictable—making us predictably irrational.
I’m Mike Birbiglia and I’m a comedian. You may know me from Comedy Central or This American Life or The Bob & Tom Show, but you’ve never seen me like this before.
Wait, that’s the name of another book. Also I’m not naked as there are no pictures in my book. Also, if there were naked pictures of me, you definitely wouldn’t buy it, though you might sneak a copy into the back corner of the bookstore and show it to your friend and laugh. Okay, let’s get off the naked stuff.
This is my first book. It’s difficult to describe. It’s a comedic memoir, but I’m only 32 years old so I’d hate for you to think I’m “wrapping it up,” so to speak. But I tell some personal stories. Some REALLY personal stories. Stories that I considered not publishing time and time again, especially when my father said, “Michael, you might want to stay away from the personal stuff.” I said, “Dad, just read the dedication.” (Which I’m telling you to do too.)
Some of the stories are about my childhood, some are about girls I made out with when I was thirteen, some are about my parents, and some are, of course, about my bouts with sleepwalking. Bring this book to bed. And sleepwalk with me.
From the actor who somehow lived through it all, a “sharply detailed…funny book about a cinematic comedy of errors” (The New York Times): the making of the cult film phenomenon The Room.
In 2003, an independent film called The Room—starring and written, produced, and directed by a mysteriously wealthy social misfit named Tommy Wiseau—made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Ten years later, it’s an international cult phenomenon, whose legions of fans attend screenings featuring costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons.
Hailed by The Huffington Post as “possibly the most important piece of literature ever printed,” The Disaster Artist is the hilarious, behind-the-scenes story of a deliciously awful cinematic phenomenon as well as the story of an odd and inspiring Hollywood friendship. Greg Sestero, Tommy’s costar, recounts the film’s bizarre journey to infamy, explaining how the movie’s many nonsensical scenes and bits of dialogue came to be and unraveling the mystery of Tommy Wiseau himself. But more than just a riotously funny story about cinematic hubris, “The Disaster Artist is one of the most honest books about friendship I’ve read in years” (Los Angeles Times).
For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.
It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.
Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.
Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.
What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.
Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.
Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 editionThe original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.
Decades before The Daily Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour proved there was a place on television for no-holds-barred political comedy with a decidedly antiauthoritarian point of view. In this first-ever all-access history of the show, veteran entertainment journalist David Bianculli tells the fascinating story of its three-year network run -- and the cultural impact that's still being felt today.
Before it was suddenly removed from the CBS lineup (reportedly under pressure from the Nixon administration), The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was a ratings powerhouse. It helped launch the careers of comedy legends such as Steve Martin and Rob Reiner, featured groundbreaking musical acts like the Beatles and the Who, and served as a cultural touchstone for the antiwar movement of the late 1960s.
Drawing on extensive original interviews with Tom and Dick Smothers and dozens of other key players -- as well as more than a decade's worth of original research -- Dangerously Funny brings readers behind the scenes for all the battles over censorship, mind-blowing musical performances, and unforgettable sketches that defined the show and its era.
David Bianculli delves deep into this never-told story, to find out what really happened and to reveal why this show remains so significant to this day.
Performing Live Comedy is full of advice and original interviews with comedians and writers currently involved in the comedy industry such as Shazia Merza, Henning Wehn, Ed Aczel, Paul Zerdin and Lucy Greaves.
From Scandihoovian Spanglish to snickering chickens, New York Times bestselling author and humorist Michael Perry navigates a wide range of topics in this collection of brief essays drawn from his weekly appearances on the nationally syndicated Tent Show Radio program. Fatherhood, dumpster therapy, dangerous wedding rings, Christmas trees, used cars, why you should have bacon in your stock portfolio, loggers in clogs—whatever the subject, Perry has a rare ability to touch both the funny bone and the heart.
Jim dishes on everything from the SNL years to his early adventures in film. The cast of characters in I'm Not High includes Chris Farley, Dave Chapelle, and Tracy Morgan-who all taught Jim lasting lessons about the high-stakes game of fame. He also chronicles the constant role his family has played in keeping him honest. Whether he's arguing with his wife about religion (Is it okay to believe in God but not believe in church?), trying to take care of his kids, or helping his father get through the day with his dignity in tact, it's clear that some of his best material comes from his best moments as a son and a dad and a husband.
Watch a Video
Here you will find my favourite six scripts, hand-picked from all three series, with introductions by moi, and some other tit-bits, and silliness. Because no book of this ilk should be without tit-bits and silliness. If nothing else it's fun to say tit-bits. Repeat after me: tit-bits. You're welcome.
I hope you enjoy seeing the scripts in their pure written form on the page before they translated to what you have seen on screen. And if you're a lovely young person still at school let me know if your drama teacher ever lets you do an episode for the school play. Nothing would make me happier. Though I bagsy play Miranda.
Your favourite, number one bestselling, comedian Miranda Hart is giving you an access-all-areas VIP backstage pass to her award-winning sitcom.
Miranda Hart has won bundles of awards, written a bestselling book and completed a sell-out nationwide tour.
But it was her award-winning BBC sitcom Miranda which first made her a much-loved household name. Here Miranda gives us an access-all-areas VIP backstage pass to Miranda the sitcom.
The Best of Miranda is a beautiful and hilarious book which will delight Miranda's many fans and earn her many new ones.
She jokes. She writes. She acts. She hosts. She produces.
Is she a budding tycoon? A whirling typhoon?
Well, yes and yes.
Chelsea Handler is at once a sexy, sharp-tongued comic, a highly-rated television host, a best-selling author, and, of late, a sitcom actress playing her own sister. Despite her self-deprecating humor and surgical skewering of all-things-celebrity, she has become a bonafide superstar in her own right.
On the tube, the shelves, the stage, and the tabloids, the blonde beauty is seemingly everywhere. Compared to Handler, Ryan Seacrest is a couch potato.
In his international bestseller The Game, Neil Strauss delved into the secret world of pick-up artists—men who have created a science out of the art of seduction. Not only did he reveal the techniques that they had developed, but he became a master of The Game, and the world's No. 1 PUA, as Style.
Now, in this bestselling companion, Strauss reduces three books of life-changing knowledge into a single-volume set. The first book, The Stylelife Challenge, breaks down the knowledge he learned and techniques he invented into simple step-by-step instructions that anyone can follow to meet and land the women of their dreams.
In the second book, Strauss takes readers into the dark side of The Game. The Style Diaries offers a series of tales of seduction and sexual (mis)adventure. From accidentally getting married during a drunken night in Reykjavik, to luring a famous musician's granddaughter into a threesome; to the stress and frustration of the torturous and highly unorthodox "30 Day Sex Experiment," The Style Diaries takes you further into the seduction underworld than ever before. Finally, in the all-new, updated third volume, Strauss collects the greatest, most powerful, field-tested, word-for-word routines.
You don't need money, looks, or fame to succeed with women. All you need is an understanding of how attraction works—and this thirty-day workout program for your social skills, which has already guided countless men from frustration to fulfillment.
The RZA, the Abbot of the Wu-Tang Clan and hip-hop culture's most dynamic genius, imparts the lessons he's learned on the journey that's taken him from the Staten Island projects to international superstar, all along the way a devout student of knowledge in every form he's found it-on the streets, in religion, in martial arts, in chess, in popular culture. Part chronicle of an extraordinary life and part spiritual and philosophical discourse, The Tao of Wu is a nonfiction Siddhartha for the hip-hop generation-an engaging, seeking book that will enlighten, entertain, and inspire.
The legions of Wu-Tang fans are accustomed to this heady mix-their obsession with the band's puzzlelike lyrics and elaborate mythology has propelled the group through fifteen years of dazzling, multiplatform success. In his 2005 bestseller The Wu-Tang Manual, the RZA provided the barest glimpse of how that mythology worked. In The Tao of Wu, he takes us deep inside the complex sense of wisdom and spirituality that has been at the core of his commercial and creative success.
The book is built around major moments in the RZA's life when he was faced with a dramatic turning point, either bad (a potential prison sentence) or good (a record deal that could pull his family out of poverty), and the lessons he took from each experience. His points of view are always surprising and provocative, and reveal a profound, genuine, and abiding wisdom-consistently tempered with humor and peppered with unique, colloquial phraseology. It is a spiritual memoir as the world has never seen before, and will never see again.
This book gives readers an up-close and personal, behind-the-scenes look at the family in the exploding A&E® show—Duck Dynasty®. This Louisiana bayou family operates Duck Commander, a booming family business that has made them millions. You’ll hear all about the Robertson clan from Willie and what it was like growing up in the Robertson household. You’ll sample some of Willie’s favorite family recipes from Phil, Kay, and even some of his own concoctions; and you’ll get to know the beautiful Robertson women. You’ll hear from Korie about the joys and hardships of raising a family, running a business, and wrangling the Robertson men while staying fashionable and beautiful inside and out. Discover more about the family dynamics between brothers Willie, Jase, Jep, and parents Phil and Kay. You’ll even meet a fourth brother who isn’t in the show.
The popularity of Duck Dynasty is skyrocketing, garnering a Wednesday-night top two finish in all of cable. The book releases in time for season two of the show in October 2012.
There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock.
He stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines—on their own ground. And each time, he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with ninety-three confirmed kills.
This is the story of a simple man who endured incredible dangers and hardships for his country and his Corps. These are the missions that have made Carlos Hathcock a legend in the brotherhood of Marines. They are exciting, powerful, chilling—and all true.
If there's one Mammy in the world who knows what's what, it's Mrs. Brown. Here, Agnes, star of the incredibly popular TV show Mrs. Brown's Boys, and the much anticipated Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie, follows up her bestselling Mrs. Brown's Family Handbook with an A to Y (who really needs 'Z's anyway?) of modern life.
In it, Agnes explores everything from pandas to piles, from biscuits to The Big Bang and from handwriting to hairdryers. Peppered with her inimitable humour and full of hilarious photos, the A to Y of Everything is to your Christmas stocking what sausages are to a toad-in-the-hole.
In Gasping for Airtime, Jay offers an intimate account of the inner workings of Saturday Night Live. He also dishes on the guest hosts (John Travolta, Shannen Doherty, Charles Barkley), the musical guests (Kurt Cobain, Steven Tyler, Eric Clapton), and of course his SNL castmates (Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and David Spade). Refreshingly honest and laugh-out-loud funny, this book will appeal both to fans of Jay Mohr and to devotees of Saturday Night Live.
Hailed by the New York Times as one of the most unexpectedly consistently popular bands on the rock charts, Five Finger Death Punch has become the new heavyweight champ of the metal scene. In this high-energy memoir, Jeremy Spencer, the band’s cofounder and drummer, takes us onstage and behind the scenes, on tour and into the studio to tell the band’s story and his own.
Death Punch’d is a detailed in-depth account of the group’s origins and influences, as well as the infighting and tensions that, when channeled properly, result in the music fans love. It is also the hard-charging, laugh-out-loud tale of how a mischievous boy rose from small-town Indiana to rock royalty—and how he nearly destroyed it all for a good time.
Told in his unique, self-deprecating voice, filled with his twisted and humorous take on living the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll dream turned nightmare, and including dozens of photos, Death Punch’d is a lively, no-holds-barred ride and an inspiring cautionary tale that offers lessons for us all.
“California, Labor Day weekend . . . early, with ocean fog still in the streets, outlaw motorcyclists wearing chains, shades and greasy Levis roll out from damp garages, all-night diners and cast-off one-night pads in Frisco, Hollywood, Berdoo and East Oakland, heading for the Monterey peninsula, north of Big Sur. . . The Menace is loose again.”
Thus begins Hunter S. Thompson’s vivid account of his experiences with California’s most notorious motorcycle gang, the Hell’s Angels. In the mid-1960s, Thompson spent almost two years living with the controversial Angels, cycling up and down the coast, reveling in the anarchic spirit of their clan, and, as befits their name, raising hell. His book successfully captures a singular moment in American history, when the biker lifestyle was first defined, and when such countercultural movements were electrifying and horrifying America. Thompson, the creator of Gonzo journalism, writes with his usual bravado, energy, and brutal honesty, and with a nuanced and incisive eye; as The New Yorker pointed out, “For all its uninhibited and sardonic humor, Thompson’s book is a thoughtful piece of work.” As illuminating now as when originally published in 1967, Hell’s Angels is a gripping portrait, and the best account we have of the truth behind an American legend.
From the Hardcover edition.
Far from the gentle worlds of his routines or TV shows, Cosby grew up in a Philadelphia housing project, the son of an alcoholic, largely absent father and a loving but overworked mother. With novelistic detail, award winning journalist Mark Whitaker tells the story of how, after dropping out of high school, Cosby turned his life around by joining the Navy, talking his way into college, and seizing his first breaks as a stand-up comedian.
Published on the 30th anniversary of The Cosby Show, the book reveals the behind-the-scenes story of that groundbreaking sitcom as well as Cosby’s bestselling albums, breakout role on I Spy, and pioneering place in children’s TV. But it also deals with professional setbacks and personal dramas, from an affair that sparked public scandal to the murder of his only son, and the private influence of his wife of fifty years, Camille Cosby.
Whitaker explores the roots of Cosby’s controversial stands on race, as well as “the Cosby effect” that helped pave the way for a black president. For any fan of Bill Cosby’s work, and any student of American television, comedy, or social history, Cosby: His Life and Times is an essential read.