Laugh Your Butt off When Reading 6 Books About Stand Up Comedy

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The end is laughter, but it's not always the means.

Books About Stand Up Comedy

Laughter makes us feel good, which is why stand up comedy has been such a huge staple in American culture. Our comedians are some of the most beloved and celebrated celebrities in the entertainment industry. That's because they can always put a smile on our faces, no matter what the situation.

These books about stand up comedy range from memoirs to historical accounts of comedy through the years. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a stand up comedian, these novels will show you that there's much more than meets the eye. Behind the innocent laughter is hard work and sacrifice.

Allow these books to introduce you to the figures who made this all possible. Not to mention, some of them highlight the importance of the female presence in the development of comedy. It's impossible not to enjoy reading books about stand up comedy. Who doesn't like to add a little laughter to learning?


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1. Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

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Steve Martin highlights the emotional toll his career in stand up comedy took on his life. He also illustrates the time different time periods he worked through, from the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam to the new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies. Born Standing Up is a testament to the sacrifice and discipline it took to create one of the most iconic comedians of all time.

2. The Comedians by Kliph Nesteroff

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The Comedians takes readers through a century's worth of American comedy. Although jokes change from generation to generation, the drive, jealousy, heartbreak and triumph of the comedian remains consistent. From the Marx Brothers to Milton Berle to George Carlin to Eddie Murphy to Louis CK, this book hits just about every point in the history of comedy.

3. We Killed by Yael Kohen

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We Killed illustrates the rise of women in American comedy. Kohen assembles the most prominent comedians along with the writers, producers, and nightclub owners who helped their talents surface. Beginning with Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers in the fifties, all the way through the tough stand ups who made a name for themselves on SNL, this book demonstrates that a woman can be smart, attractive, sexually confident and hilarious.

4. Sleepwalk With Me by Mike Birbiglia

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Mike Birbiglia's comedic memoir tells stories of his life, including his childhood and even his bouts with sleepwalking. You might know him from Comedy Central, This American Life or The Bob & Tom Show, but he promises that you've never seen him like this before. Although he's just 32, he has plenty of personal, unfiltered and embarrassing tales to make a meaningful story out of his life thus far.

5. Attempting Normal by Marc Maron

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In Attempting Normal, Marc Maron weaves together twenty-five stories from his life and near-death. From his very first comedy road trips, to his rescuing of feral animals, to his moving tales of lust, heartbreak and hope, the comedian leaves nothing for the imagination. His cunning storytelling style keeps readers on their toes, but that doesn't mean they aren't laughing the entire time, too.

6. The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman

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From the star of the powerful 2015 film I Smile Back Sarah Silverman emerges a robust memoir. In this shockingly personal, poignant, hilarious book, Silverman lays her entire life out on the table. Fans of her show The Sarah Silverman Program, say this memoir is the next best thing.

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