John Limon is Professor of English at Williams College. He is the author of The Place of Fiction in the Time of Science and Writing after War.
Oliver Double writes a lively history of the traditions of British stand-up comedy - from its roots in music hall and variety to today's club and alternative comedy scene - and also engages in a serious exploration of what it is like to be a comedian onstage in front of a sometimes adoring and sometimes hostile audience. He looks critically at the work of such stand-up stars as Frankie Howerd, Les Dawson, Billy Connolly, Victoria Wood, Ben Elton and Eddie Izzard. And he looks at himself as a performer.