Wednesday, October 9, 2013

For the Comedy Nerd in Your Life: An Imagined Conversation, in One Part

ISBN-10: 1455526304 ISBN-13: 9781455526307 Published: Grand Central Publishing, 09/10/2013 Pages: 288 Language: English
Person A: "Comedy nerd"? Can such a person even exist? What is this tomfoolery?

Person B: Of course! Where have you been, my straw-man interrogator? Recently, the popularity of social media, comedy podcasts such as WTF with Marc Maron, and alternative comics such as Louis CK, Tig Notaro, and Maria Bamford has had more people obsessing over comedy than ever before. The comedy nerd is ascendant!!!

Person A:  Okay, okay. Ease up on the exclamation marks.

Person B: Sorry... I get excited.

Person A: So what's this book thingy all about?

Person B:  Oh, yeah. Well, the title kind of says it all: Hollywood Said No!: Orphaned Film Scripts, Bastard Scenes, and Abandoned Darlings from the Creators of Mr. Show.  

Person A: Gee whiz, that's a mouthful! What's Mr. Show?

Person B: It was a brilliant and highly influential sketch comedy program on HBO in the nineties. If you've ever seen Monty Python's Flying Circus, Mr. Show is a clear descendant. Co-creators and co-stars David Cross and Bob Odenkirk (now of Better Call Saul! fame) gleefully mixed the high concept and the low, sending up American culture with biting satire while also making room for spectacular amounts of silliness.

Person A: Sounds neat, but why would I want to read a bunch of passed-over film scripts?

Person B: Besides being gut-bustingly hysterical, the film scripts and attendant notes give new insight into the creative process and how it rubs up against the out-of-touch Hollywood establishment. If you're wondering why the blockbuster landscape has been so loud and samey of late, this book might provide a few clues. Plus, there are some nice extras like interviews, storyboards, illustrations, and a few abandoned sketches. For comedy nerds, it's a must-have.

Person A: What about us Average Joes?

Person B: Mr. Show does have a niche, counter-culture sensibility that will not appeal to everyone equally. Still, funny is funny, and tautologies are tautologies. Just buy it.

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