Top Notch Advice from Your Favorite Comedy Writers
In 2009, author Mike Sacks sat down with 21 comedy writers to talk about the industry with his book, And Here’s the Kicker. Now, he’s back at it with Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers. Sacks recruited a laundry list of A-listers including Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt, Amy Poehler and Mel Brooks to talk about the world of comedy. Read More
Years of Insight Just A Click Away
It’s finally happened. Mick Napier has started a blog and it’s loaded with advice and insight that we’ve all been waiting for. This man is an icon and artistic genius, so listen to what he has to say. Thanks Mick!
Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual
The Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual is a comprehensive guide to the UCB style of long form comedy improvisation. Written by UCB founding members Matt Besser, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh, the manual covers everything from the basics of two person scene work (with a heavy emphasis on finding “the game” of the scene), to the complexities of working within an ensemble to perform long form structures, such as “The Harold” and “The Movie”. Read More
GURU: My Days with Del Close By Jeff Griggs
A legend of improvisational theater, Del Close is best known for discovering and cultivating the talents of John Belushi, Chris Farley, Bill Murray, Mike Meyers, and countless other comedy giants. He was resident director of Chicago’s famed Second City and “house metaphysician” for “Saturday Night Live,” a talent in his own right, and one of the brightest and wackiest theater gurus ever. Jeff Griggs was a student of Close’s at the ImprovOlympic in Chicago when he was asked to help the aging mentor (often in ill health) by driving him around the city on his weekly errands. The two developed a volatile friendship that shocked, angered, and amused both of them—and produced this hilarious and ultimately endearing chronicle of Close’s last years. With all the elements of a picaresque novel, Guru captures Close at his zaniest but also shows him in theatrical situations that confirm his genius in conceptualizing and directing improvisational theater.
The Art in Truth in Comedy by Charna Halpern and Del Close
This improv manual introduced the concepts of the “Harold” — the innovative improvisational tool that helped Saturday Night Live’s Mike Myers, Chris Farley, George Wendt, and many others on the road to TV and film stardom. The innovative concepts are described fully in this insightful theatre book that has become the bible for wannabe improvisers. Read More