Thursday, February 03, 2011

Review -- And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on their Craft

And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on their Craft"And Here's the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers on their Craft" was the opportunity for comedic writer Mike Sacks to interview other comedic writers. In his introduction he notes that he didn't get everyone on his wish list, some declining for a lack of interest or because they were too busy and presumably other un-funny reasons, but he never reveals who turned him down.

He does, however, still assemble a collection of 21 interviews from Dave Barry to Dick Cavett, Larry Gelbart to Bob Odenkirk. In some ways, conversations might be a better word than interviews, with Sacks laying out things out in a way that really flow. But, you see a lot less from him, often just enough to establish a topic or join two ideas, the spotlight really is on the comics themselves. And it works well.

I also came to learn that Jack Handey is a real person, not just a name made up for SNL's "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey." The material might have been put together with a target audience of aspiring comic writers, but even if you're just an entertainment consumer like me, you'll enjoy this book. Between interviews Sacks also includes short bits/advice on writing from other comics, as well as tips on getting work published in magazines and how to submit for television from people who receive and review such submissions.

If you enjoy comedic television or movies, you will enjoy reading this book and seeing a little more behind the scenes -- good and bad -- of the industry, not to mention some glimpses into why these people are funny.
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