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Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf

Our list of some of the best Comedy Writing books & series in recent years. Get inspired by one or more of the following books.

1. Comedy Writing for Late-Night TV: How to Write Monologue Jokes, Desk Pieces, Sketches, Parodies, Audience Pieces, Remotes, and Other Short-Form Comedy (2014)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your BookshelfHe has written and produced comedy/talk shows for over fifteen years. Now four-time Emmy winner Joe Toplyn reveals his proven methods of writing for late-night television in this one-of-a-kind insider’s guide. Toplyn analyzes each type of comedy piece in the late-night TV playbook and takes you step-by-step through the process of writing it. His detailed tips, techniques, and rules include: • 6 characteristics every good monologue joke topic must have • 6 specific ways to generate punch lines • 12 tools for making your jokes their funniest • 7 types of desk pieces and how to create them • 9 steps to writing parodies and…
Author(s): Joe Toplyn

2. Comedy Writing Secrets: The Best-Selling Guide to Writing Funny and Getting Paid for It (2016)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThe Must-Have Guide to Humor Writing Bring on the funny! With Comedy Writing Secrets 3rd Edition, you can discover the secrets of humor writing that will keep your readers rolling in their seats. Learn the basics of joke construction, as well as in-depth comedy-writing techniques that you can apply to a variety of print and online markets. If your aim is to make 'em laugh–and make a career in comedy writing–then look no further. In this completely revised and refreshed edition, you'll discover: For more than twenty years, Comedy Writing Secrets…
Author(s): Mark Shatz, Mel Helitzer

3. Comedy Writing Self-Taught Workbook: More than 100 Practical Writing Exercises to Develop Your Comedy Writing Skills (2015)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf“Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?””Practice, practice, practice.”That’s more than a joke; it’s solid advice. Consider world-class performers in any field — golf, figure skating, music, whatever. One thing you can safely say about each is that they achieved their level of skill through practice. To excel in any endeavor, you must work on and perfect your technique.Comedy writing is no exception. In this book, Emmy-winning TV writer and producer Gene Perret and professional writer Linda Perret have compiled a collection of over 100 comedy writing workouts that will challenge your joke writing skills…
Author(s): Gene Perret, Linda Perret

4. The Hidden Tools of Comedy: The Serious Business of Being Funny (2013)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your BookshelfWhile other books give you tips on how to “write funny,” this book offers a paradigm shift in understanding the mechanics and art of comedy, and the proven, practical tools that help writers translate that understanding into successful, commercial scripts. The Hidden Tools of Comedy unlocks the unique secrets and techniques of writing comedy. Kaplan deconstructs sequences in popular films and TV that work and don’t work, and explains what tools were used (or should have been used). #124,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #181 in Comedy (Books) #2259 in Movies (Books) #2086…
Author(s): Steve Kaplan

5. Mastering Stand-Up (2017)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThis entertaining and sharply written guide—for both beginners breaking into comedy and professionals seeking to improve their sets and advance their careers—examines the work of great comedians such as Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld, Eddie Izzard, Moms Mabley, Hannibal Buress, Sarah Silverman, Richard Pryor, and more as a means of illustrating the most important techniques of performing and writing stand-up.Here, Stephen Rosenfield lays out a clear plan for achieving success, candidly explaining what works, what doesn’t, and why. Including a 12-item “Successful Comedian’s To-Do List,”…
Author(s): Stephen Rosenfield

6. Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers (2014)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your BookshelfAmy Poehler, Mel Brooks, Adam McKay, George Saunders, Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt, and many more take us deep inside the mysterious world of comedy in this fascinating, laugh-out-loud-funny book. Packed with behind-the-scenes stories—from a day in the writers’ room at The Onion to why a sketch does or doesn’t make it onto Saturday Night Live to how the BBC nearly erased the entire first season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus—Poking a Dead Frog is a must-read for comedy buffs, writers and pop culture junkies alike. #53,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #78 in Comedy (Books) #826…
Author(s): Mike Sacks

7. How To Write Funny: Your Serious, Step-By-Step Blueprint For Creating Incredibly, Irresistibly, Successfully Hilarious Writing (2014)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your BookshelfLearn comedy writing and how to write a joke with a simple comedy-writing and joke-writing formula you can use right now to write your own jokes. See why Amazon reviewers call How to Write Funny "one of the best books on humor writing."Author Scott Dikkers will show you how to write jokes. He's a master joke writer, founder of the world's most popular humor site TheOnion.com, #1 New York Times and #1 Amazon best-selling humor author, and successful cartoonist. Scott created and leads the "Writing with The Onion"…
Author(s): Scott Dikkers

8. The Comedy Bible: From Stand-up to Sitcom–The Comedy Writer’s Ultimate “How To” Guide (2001)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your BookshelfJudy Carter, guru to aspiring comedy writers and stand-up comics, tells all about the biz of being funny and writing funny in this bright, entertaining, and totally practical guide on how to draw humor from your life and turn it into a career.Do you think you’re funny? Do you want to turn your sense of humor into a career? If the answer is yes, then Judy Carter’s The Comedy Bible is for you. The guru to aspiring stand-up comics provides the complete scoop on being—and writing—funny for money. If you’ve got a sense of humor, you can learn to make a career out of comedy,…
Author(s): Judy Carter

9. The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You’re Not (1994)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your BookshelfA workbook approach to comedy writing as creative problem-solving. It offers tools of the trade such as Clash of Context, Tension and Release, The Law of Comic Opposites, The Wildly Inappropriate Response, and The Myth of the Last Great Idea to writers, comics, and anyone else who wants to be funny. #31,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #592 in Movies (Books) #474 in Performing Arts (Books) #186 in Fiction Writing Reference (Books) Would you like to ?If you are a seller for this product, would you like to ?…
Author(s): John Vorhaus

10. Writing the Romantic Comedy (2001)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf“Writing the Romantic Comedy is so much fun to read it could pop a champagne cork.”—Alexa Junge, writer and producer of FriendsRevised and expanded to celebrate a new generation of romantic comedies, Billy Mernit’s insightful look into the mechanics of writing Hollywood’s most enduring genre features case studies that reveal the screenwriting secrets behind classics new and old.Whether you’re a first-time screenwriter, an intermediate marooned in the rewriting process, or a professional wanting to explore the latest genre trends, this thoroughly charming and insightful guide…
Author(s): Billy Mernit

11. Funny on Purpose: The Definitive Guide to an Unpredictable Career in Comedy: Standup + Improv + Sketch + TV + Writing + Directing + YouTube (2015)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your BookshelfIt takes guts to be a comedian, and it takes smarts to make a living off it. In this insider’s guide, former Onion editor Joe Randazzo delivers a funny and insightful blueprint for those looking to turn their sense of humor into a vocation. Explaining how it works and how to break in, Joe provides tips and guidance, outlines successful career paths, and solicits advice and stories from the likes of Judd Apatow, Jack Handey, Joan Rivers, Tim & Eric, and more. From writing for TV to doing standup or developing a successful YouTube channel, Funny on Purpose gives readers the knowledge and inspiration to launch a career in comedy…
Author(s): Joe Randazzo, John Hodgman

12. The Eight Characters of Comedy: Guide to Sitcom Acting And Writing (2014)

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your BookshelfThe Eight Characters of Comedy is the “How-To” guide for actors and writers who want to break into the world of sitcoms. It has become a staple in acting classes, writers’ rooms, casting offices and production sets around the world. Now, in it’s exciting SECOND EDITION, renowned acting coach and bestselling author Scott Sedita gives you even MORE advice and exercises for breaking down comedy scripts, writing jokes and delivering them with comedic precision. Plus, you’ll find in-depth sections on Sitcom History, The Three Pillars of…
Author(s): Scott Sedita

Best Comedy Writing Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some comedy writing books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Comedy Writing Secrets: The Best-Selling Guide to Writing Funny and Getting Paid for It

Author(s): Mark Shatz, Mel Helitzer
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books, Year: 2016, Size: 353 Kb, Download: epub
ID: 2143451

Writing the Comedy Movie

Author(s): Marc Blake
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic, Year: 2016, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2307556

Writing & Selling Romantic Comedy Screenplays

Author(s): Craig Batty, Helen Jacey
Publisher: Oldcastle Books, Year: 2015, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1323250

Funny on Purpose: The Definitive Guide to an Unpredictable Career in Comedy: Standup + Improv + Sketch + TV + Writing + Directing + YouTube

Author(s): Joe Randazzo, John Hodgman
Publisher: Chronicle Books, Year: 2015, Size: 3 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1412816

Tapping Your Comedy Muse: How to Master Creative Flow to Revolutionize Your Comedy Writing

Author(s): Jared Volle
Publisher: , Year: 2015, Size: 454 Kb, Download: pdf
ID: 2390912

The 30-Second Commute: A Non-Fiction Comedy about Writing and Working From Home

Author(s): Stephanie Dickison
Publisher: Ecw Press, Year: 2009, Size: 1 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 386677

Comedy Writing Secrets: The Best-Selling Book on How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny, And Get Paid For It, 2nd Edition

Author(s): Mel Helitzer, Mark Shatz
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books, Year: 2005, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 227880

Comedy Writing Secrets: The Best-Selling Book on How to Think Funny, Write Funny, Act Funny, And Get Paid For It,

Author(s): Mel Helitzer, Mark Shatz
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books, Year: 2005, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 383769

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Comedy Writing

Author(s): James Mendrinos
Publisher: , Year: 2004, Size: 6 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 416996

Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are absolutely hot items according to The New York Times, others are written by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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