The Bluffer's Guide to Stand-up Comedy (Bluffer's Guides)

The Bluffer's Guide to Stand-up Comedy (Bluffer's Guides)

Language: English

Pages: 128


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Instantly acquire all the knowledge you need to pass as an expert in the world of stand-up comedy. Never again confuse a nail with a bomb, a flop sweat with a cotton mouth, or a tag line with a zinger. Bask in the admiration of your fellow comedy aficionados as you pronounce confidently on the comparative merits of the greatest performers in the history of stand-up, and hold your own in any discussion about the best gags of all time.

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description and mime of having a heart attack is almost too painfully funny to watch. Pryor, in turn, was a huge influence on Chris Rock. Both had issues with the N-word. Pryor used to pepper his set with it but then renounced it after a trip to Africa. Rock was already famous after appearing on Saturday Night Live, but he really made his name with one particular routine in the late 1990s contrasting ‘niggas’ and ‘black people’. Rock rejected the view that a distorted image of African Americans

hardest type of humour in the world, yet the one-line gag seems like the simplest. While some of the world’s greatest comedians tell lengthy stories, spin yarns, fly off at surreal tangents or try to bring the government down, a certain type of stand-up goes straight for the funny bone. Bluffers holding court should assert boldly that one of the best one-liner merchants of the modern era was Bob Hope. His gags entertained Americans from the vaudeville era until his death in 2003. Hope was never

up with the setup that will turn the phrase into a joke. Take this example of backwards thinking, Vine-style: ‘Did you know if you chop a horse in two then bang the halves together, it sounds like someone riding a coconut?’ But a word of warning to any bluffers interested in deconstructing jokes: it is not as easy as it looks. It was once said that analysing comedy is like dissecting a frog. Nobody laughs and the frog dies. Americans seem to be very good at one-liners. Steve Martin used to

people to stand on a stage and tell jokes. Others have suggested that, between conquering Europe and Asia Minor, the Romans entertained each other with pithy anecdotes about dissolute emperors making their horses consuls, why their roads had no corner shops, and how the queen of Egypt was such an enthusiastic fellatrix that she once pleasured 100 Roman soldiers in a single session.* Humour probably goes back to the dawn of civilisation. No sooner had one Neanderthal brought home a dead animal

entertainer Max Bygraves was performing. The future father of chanteuse Lily Allen would go on to become a successful actor, author, singer-songwriter, TV presenter, artist, confrontational studio guest, and a few other things. A NEW WAVE OF WAGS Among the other unlikely acts who performed in the very early days was a young lawyer called Clive Anderson (who got into memorable trouble when the Bee Gees walked out of the chat show he was hosting) and a Denmark-born comedian called Sandi Toksvig.

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