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Comedy Writing Self-Taught: The Professional Skill-Building Course in Writing Stand-Up, Sketch, and Situation Comedy

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Comedy writing is an acquired skill. No one is born a comedy writer. The desire may be there from an early age, but the techniques must be learned, developed, and honed. Fortunately, the best teachers are readily available. They are the comics of the past and present, the television shows you see daily, both current versions and reruns. They provide your Ph.D. course in humor writing.In “Comedy Writing Self-Taught,” Gene Perret, a three-time Emmy Award-winner and former head writer for Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller, teaches you how to teach yourself comedy writing techniques by observing, analyzing, and replicating those who have already mastered the skills. This book not only guides you in selecting the appropriate mentors for your writing and helps you decide what to look for in your studies, it also offers drills and exercises that will develop your creativity. A companion volume, “Comedy Writing Self-Taught Workbook,” provides even more exercises and writing workouts.Whether you’re writing stand-up routines, TV sketches, or sitcoms, this book clues you in to the fastest, most convenient way to teach yourself the skills you’ll need. You’ll do the watching, studying, and learning. You’ll do the work — and it will require work — but you’ll also reap the generous rewards, and have fun while teaching yourself to write comedy.

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Review

Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, “Comedy Writing Self-Taught” should be considered a must for all aspiring comedians, as well as novice writers trying to write jokes and comedic ideas for those comedians. –Midwest Book Review

A must for any comedy writer who wants more of a workbook approach to learning, along with industry specifics. –California Bookwatch

Any would-be comedy writer — especially those just starting out in the genre — need this and its accompanying workbook. –The Bookwatch

About the Author

Gene Perret taught himself to write comedy in the early 1960s by studying the technique and the writing style of the great comedians of the day, especially Bob Hope. This led to his writing comedy material for many nightclub performers, including Phyllis Diller and Slappy White. In 1968, Gene was signed to contribute to “The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show.” That led to a television career writing for “The Jim Nabors Hour,” “Laugh-In,” “The New Bill Cosby Show,” “The Carol Burnett Show” and others. Later, he produced such hits as “Welcome Back Kotter,” “Three’s Company,” and “The Tim Conway Show.” Gene also worked with Bob Hope on all of his personal appearances and TV specials for 38 years, the last 12 of which he served as Hope’s head-writer. Perret has won three Emmys and one Writer’s Guild Award. He is also a well respected teacher of comedy writing and is the author of over 45 books, including “The New Comedy Writing Step by Step” and “The Ten Commandments of Comedy.”

Comedy writing is an acquired skill. No one is born a comedy writer. The desire may be there from an early age, but the techniques must be learned, developed, and honed. Fortunately, the best teachers are readily available. They are the comics of the past and present, the television shows you see daily, both current versions and reruns. They provide your Ph.D. course in humor writing.In “Comedy Writing Self-Taught,” Gene Perret, a three-time Emmy Award-winner and former head writer for Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller, teaches you how to teach yourself comedy writing techniques by observing, analyzing, and replicating those who have already mastered the skills. This book not only guides you in selecting the appropriate mentors for your writing and helps you decide what to look for in your studies, it also offers drills and exercises that will develop your creativity. A companion volume, “Comedy Writing Self-Taught Workbook,” provides even more exercises and writing workouts.Whether you’re writing stand-up routines, TV sketches, or sitcoms, this book clues you in to the fastest, most convenient way to teach yourself the skills you’ll need. You’ll do the watching, studying, and learning. You’ll do the work — and it will require work — but you’ll also reap the generous rewards, and have fun while teaching yourself to write comedy.

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