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.
Yael Kohen is a reporter and editor in New York City. A contributing editor at Marie Claire, she covers books, pop culture, and issues important to working women. She has written for New York magazine, Salon, The Daily Beast, the New York Daily News, and The New York Sun.
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.
Sweat dries. Blood clots. Bones heal. Suck it up, buttercup.
After his deployment in Afghanistan, Dan Caddy began swapping great drill sergeant stories by e-mail with other combat veterans—an exchange with friends that would grow into the dedicated Facebook page, “Awesome Sh*t My Drill Sergeant Said.” But what began as a comedic outlet has evolved into a robust online community and support network that conducts fundraisers for and donates to military charities, has helped veterans struggling with PTSD and other issues, and on numerous occasions, literally saved lives.
Now, Caddy shares more great DS stories—most never before seen—in this humorous collection. Often profane, sometimes profound, yet always entertaining, these rants from real life soldiers are interspersed with lively sidebars, Top 10 lists, stories from fans, one-liners, and more.
For anyone who has suffered a hard-ass manager (in uniform or not), Awesome Sh*t My Drill Sergeant Said will add a much needed dose of humor to the day.
"An absolute must-read" – Shondaland
“[Rabbit] tells how it went down with brutal honesty and outrageous humor” – New York Times
They called her Rabbit.
Patricia Williams (aka Ms. Pat) was born and raised in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. One of five children, Pat watched as her mother struggled to get by on charity, cons, and petty crimes. At age seven, Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At twelve, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior. By thirteen, she was pregnant. By fifteen, Pat was a mother of two.
Alone at sixteen, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive. Rabbit is an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope and unexpected humor. With wisdom and humor, Pat gives us a rare glimpse of what it’s really like to be a black mom in America.