Last Man Standing Mort Sahl And The Birth Of Modern Comedy Book PDF, EPUB Download & Read Online Free

Last Man Standing
Author: James Curtis
Publisher: Univ. Press of Mississippi
ISBN: 1496811992
Pages: 400
Year: 2017-05-02
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On December 22, 1953, Mort Sahl took the stage at San Francisco’s hungry i and changed comedy forever. Before him, standup was about everything but hard news and politics. In his wake, a new generation of smart comics emerged—Shelley Berman, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Lenny Bruce, Bob Newhart, Dick Gregory, Woody Allen, and the Smothers Brothers, among others. He opened up jazz-inflected satire to a loose network of clubs, cut the first modern comedy album, and appeared on the cover of Time surrounded by caricatures of some of his frequent targets such as Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Adlai Stevenson, and John F. Kennedy. Through the extraordinary details of Sahl’s life, author James Curtis deftly illustrates why Sahl was dubbed by Steve Allen as “the only real political philosopher we have in modern comedy.” Sahl came on the scene the same year Eisenhower and Nixon entered the White House, the year Playboy first hit the nation’s newsstands. Clad in an open collar and pullover sweater, he adopted the persona of a graduate student ruminating on current events. “It was like nothing I’d ever seen,” said Woody Allen, “and I’ve never seen anything like it after.” Sahl was billed, variously, as the Nation’s Conscience, America’s Only Working Philosopher, and, most tellingly, the Next President of the United States. Yet he was also a satirist so savage the editors of Time once dubbed him “Will Rogers with fangs.” Here, for the first time, is the whole story of Mort Sahl, America’s iconoclastic father of modern standup comedy. Written with Sahl’s full cooperation and the participation of many of his friends and contemporaries, it delves deeply into the influences that shaped him, the heady times in which he soared, and the depths to which he fell during the turbulent sixties when he took on the Warren Commission and nearly paid for it with his career.
Last Man Standing
Author: James Curtis
Publisher:
ISBN: 1496809289
Pages: 400
Year: 2017-05-01
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The story of the comic who took the stage with nothing but a newspaper and gave America an entirely new way to laugh
Heartland
Author: Mort Sahl
Publisher: New York : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
ISBN:
Pages: 158
Year: 1976
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The Comedians
Author: Kliph Nesteroff
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
ISBN: 0802190863
Pages: 432
Year: 2015-11-03
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In The Comedians, comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff brings to life a century of American comedy with real-life characters, forgotten stars, mainstream heroes and counterculture iconoclasts. Based on over two hundred original interviews and extensive archival research, Nesteroff’s groundbreaking work is a narrative exploration of the way comedians have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture over the past one hundred years. Starting with the vaudeville circuit at the turn of the last century, Nesteroff introduces the first stand-up comedian—an emcee who abandoned physical shtick for straight jokes. After the repeal of Prohibition, Mafia-run supper clubs replaced speakeasies, and mobsters replaced vaudeville impresarios as the comedian’s primary employer. In the 1950s, the late-night talk show brought stand-up to a wide public, while Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and Jonathan Winters attacked conformity and staged a comedy rebellion in coffeehouses. From comedy’s part in the Civil Rights movement and the social upheaval of the late 1960s, to the first comedy clubs of the 1970s and the cocaine-fueled comedy boom of the 1980s, The Comedians culminates with a new era of media-driven celebrity in the twenty-first century.
Seriously Funny
Author: Gerald Nachman
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 0307490726
Pages: 672
Year: 2009-08-26
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The comedians of the 1950s and 1960s were a totally different breed of relevant, revolutionary performer from any that came before or after, comics whose humor did much more than pry guffaws out of audiences. Gerald Nachman presents the stories of the groundbreaking comedy stars of those years, each one a cultural harbinger: • Mort Sahl, of a new political cynicism • Lenny Bruce, of the sexual, drug, and language revolution • Dick Gregory, of racial unrest • Bill Cosby and Godfrey Cambridge, of racial harmony • Phyllis Diller, of housewifely complaint • Mike Nichols & Elaine May and Woody Allen, of self-analytical angst and a rearrangement of male-female relations • Stan Freberg and Bob Newhart, of encroaching, pervasive pop media manipulation and, in the case of Bob Elliott & Ray Goulding, of the banalities of broadcasting • Mel Brooks, of the Yiddishization of American comedy • Sid Caesar, of a new awareness of the satirical possibilities of television • Joan Rivers, of the obsessive craving for celebrity gossip and of a latent bitchy sensibility • Tom Lehrer, of the inane, hypocritical, mawkishly sentimental nature of hallowed American folkways and, in the case of the Smothers Brothers, of overly revered folk songs and folklore • Steve Allen, of the late-night talk show as a force in American comedy • David Frye and Vaughn Meader, of the merger of showbiz and politics and, along with Will Jordan, of stretching the boundaries of mimicry • Shelley Berman, of a generation of obsessively self-confessional humor • Jonathan Winters and Jean Shepherd, of the daring new free-form improvisational comedy and of a sardonically updated view of Midwestern archetypes • Ernie Kovacs, of surreal visual effects and the unbounded vistas of video Taken together, they made up the faculty of a new school of vigorous, socially aware satire, a vibrant group of voices that reigned from approximately 1953 to 1965. Nachman shines a flashlight into the corners of these comedians’ chaotic and often troubled lives, illuminating their genius as well as their demons, damaged souls, and desperate drive. His exhaustive research and intimate interviews reveal characters that are intriguing and all too human, full of rich stories, confessions, regrets, and traumas. Seriously Funny is at once a dazzling cultural history and a joyous celebration of an extraordinary era in American comedy. From the Hardcover edition.
This Might Get a Little Heavy
Author: Ralphie May, Nils Parker
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 1250085756
Pages: 304
Year: 2017-12-12
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There was a time when Ralphie May was one of the biggest standup comedians in the country, both by ticket sales and by tonnage. While some things changed—Ralphie lost half his body weight—others did not: he will be remembered as one of the most successful comics of his time. Completed just months before his untimely passing, in This Might Get a Little Heavy, Ralphie takes readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of his life and career, one that winds across the country, over obstacles, beyond heartbreak, and through the golden age of stand-up. Raised in poor, rural, Arkansas by a single mom who struggled to make ends meet, Ralphie’s early years were the perfect breeding ground for the kind of pain and stress and adversity that only comedy can cure. Bitten by the comedy bug at a Methodist sleep-away camp when he was 12 years old, Ralphie seized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity six years later at an open-mic in a pizza parlor. Mentored and inspired by legendary comedian Sam Kinison to move to Houston, where he got his start, Ralphie packed his bags and never looked back. A major headliner for over twenty-five years, in This Might Get A Little Heavy, Ralphie finally tells the world how a chubby poor kid from Clarksville went from Arkansas to Houston to Hollywood and beyond. Full of never before told stories from Ralphie’s life, This Might Get A Little Heavy will bust your gut, pull at your heart strings, and touch your soul.
Comedy at the Edge
Author: Richard Zoglin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1582346259
Pages: 256
Year: 2009-02-03
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Surveys the stand-up comedy of the 1970s, citing the contributions of celebrity comics, from George Carlin and Richard Pryor to Robin Williams and Andy Kaufman, in an account that also evaluates the roles played by such clubs as Catch a Rising Star, the Improv, and the Comedy Store.
Myrna Loy
Author: Emily W. Leider
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520274504
Pages: 424
Year: 2012-07-09
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A biography of the actress from her early dance training, to being typecast as Hollywood's "exotic," to her success in her most famous role, Nora Charles.
Stand-up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America
Author: John Limon
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822380501
Pages: 160
Year: 2000-06-02
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Stand-Up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America is the first study of stand-up comedy as a form of art. John Limon appreciates and analyzes the specific practice of stand-up itself, moving beyond theories of the joke, of the comic, and of comedy in general to read stand-up through the lens of literary and cultural theory. Limon argues that stand-up is an artform best defined by its fascination with the abject, Julia Kristeva’s term for those aspects of oneself that are obnoxious to one’s sense of identity but that are nevertheless—like blood, feces, or urine—impossible to jettison once and for all. All of a comedian’s life, Limon asserts, is abject in this sense. Limon begins with stand-up comics in the 1950s and 1960s—Lenny Bruce, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Elaine May—when the norm of the profession was the Jewish, male, heterosexual comedian. He then moves toward the present with analyses of David Letterman, Richard Pryor, Ellen DeGeneres, and Paula Poundstone. Limon incorporates feminist, race, and queer theories to argue that the “comedification” of America—stand-up comedy’s escape from its narrow origins—involves the repossession by black, female, queer, and Protestant comedians of what was black, female, queer, yet suburbanizing in Jewish, male, heterosexual comedy. Limon’s formal definition of stand-up as abject art thus hinges on his claim that the great American comedians of the 1950s and 1960s located their comedy at the place (which would have been conceived in 1960 as a location between New York City or Chicago and their suburbs) where body is thrown off for the mind and materiality is thrown off for abstraction—at the place, that is, where American abjection has always found its home. As the first study of its kind, Stand-Up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America will appeal to a wide audience including those interested in cultural studies, Jewish studies, gender and queer theory.
William Cameron Menzies
Author: James Curtis
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 0375424725
Pages: 416
Year: 2015
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He was the consummate designer of film architecture on a grand scale. He was known for his visual flair and timeless innovation, a man who meticulously preplanned the color and design of each film through a series of continuity sketches that made clear camera angles, lighting, and the actors' positions for each scene, translating dramatic conventions of the stage to the new capabilities of film. Here is the long-awaited book on William Cameron Menzies, Hollywood's first and greatest production designer, a job title David O. Selznick invented for Menzies' extraordinary, all-encompassing, Academy Award-winning work on Gone With the Wind (which he effectively co-directed). It was Menzies--winner of the first-ever Academy Award for Art Direction, and who was as well a director (fourteen pictures) and a producer (twelve pictures)--who changed the way movies were (and still are) made, in a career that spanned four decades, from the 1920s through the 1950s. Now, James Curtis, acclaimed film historian and biographer, writes of Menzies' life and work as the most influential designer in the history of film. Interviewing colleagues, actors, directors, friends, and family, and with full access to the Menzies family collection of artwork and unpublished writing, Curtis gives us the path-finding work of the movies' most daring and dynamic production designer: his evolution as artist, art director, production designer, and director. Here is a portrait of a man in his time that makes clear how the movies were forever transformed by his startling, visionary work.--Adapted from book jacket.
Laughing Mad
Author: Bambi Haggins
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813539854
Pages: 274
Year: 2007
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Prior to the civil rights movement, comedians performed for audiences that were clearly delineated by race. Black comedians performed for black audiences and white comedians performed for whites. Yet during the past forty-five years, black comics have become progressively more central to mainstream culture. In Laughing Mad , Bambi Haggins looks at how this transition occurred in a variety of media and shows how this integration has paved the way for black comedians and their audiences to affect each other. Historically, African American performers have been able to use comedy as a pedagogic tool, interjecting astute observations about race relations while the audience is laughing. And yet, Haggins makes the convincing argument that the potential of African American comedy remains fundamentally unfulfilled as the performance of blackness continues to be made culturally digestible for mass consumption. Rather than presenting biographies of individual performers, Haggins focuses on the ways in which the comic persona is constructed and changes across media, from stand-up, to the small screen, to film. She examines the comic televisual and cinematic personae of Dick Gregory, Bill Cosby, Flip Wilson, and Richard Pryor and considers how these figures set the stage for black comedy in the next four decades. She reads Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock as emblematic of the first and second waves of post-civil rights era African American comedy, and she looks at the socio-cultural politics of Whoopi Goldberg's comic persona through the lens of gender and crossover. Laughing Mad also explores how the comedy of Dave Chappelle speaks to and for the post-soul generation. A rigorous analytic analysis, this book interrogates notions of identity, within both the African American community and mainstream popular culture. Written in engaging and accessible prose, it is also a book that will travel from the seminar room, to the barbershop, to the kitchen table, allowing readers to experience the sketches, stand-up, and film comedies with all the laughter they deserve.
Red and Hot
Author: S. Frederick Starr
Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
ISBN: 0879101806
Pages: 390
Year: 1994
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"...that rare thing, a piece of careful scholarship that is also superby entertaining...Starr, who is president of Oberlin College and has been associated with the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, is also a professional jazz musician, and his knowledgeable affection for the music shines through the text." - Andrea Lee, New York Times Book Review
Go Fish
Author: Mr. Fish
Publisher: Akashic Books
ISBN: 1617750689
Pages: 224
Year: 2011-07-19
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The debut collection of Mr. Fish's searing and hilarious political cartoons, featured in Harper's, truthdig.com, and elsewhere.
We Killed
Author: Yael Kohen
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 0374287236
Pages: 308
Year: 2012-10-16
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Traces the careers and achievements of comediennes and challenges opinions about why women cannot be effective comedic entertainers, with coverage of celebrities, including Joan Rivers, Lily Tomlin, and Tina Fey.
Beyond the Fringe
Author: Alan Bennett
Publisher: Samuel French, Inc.
ISBN: 0573640025
Pages: 80
Year: 1963
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