Just a quick note before you continue: If you are looking for some solid, detailed (and free) information about becoming a comedian, you may want to check out the Stand-up Comedy Secrets For Beginners downloadable audio series.
Before I jump into a discussion on what may or may not be the best stand-up comedy books available on the market today, keep this in mind:
I am NOT a fan of the information that the vast majority of books on stand-up comedy offer.
As you read this article, you will find out exactly why I say that. But before you get to that part…
Here are some questions to consider:
- Is it natural comedy talent that has prompted you to consider becoming a comedian or are you under the impression that given the right knowledge that you can “write” your way to being funny on stage?
- Do you have a burning desire to excel as a comedian or do you just want to learn about it from an academic stand point?
- How long are you willing to struggle before you are able to generate decent laughs as a comedian? Is it a month? Is it 6 months? Is it a year or more?
With that said, here’s what you need to know about what many consider the best stand-up comedy books have to offer:
- You are going to find academic definitions for stand-up comedy joke structure.
- You are going to find academic definitions for joke formulas – specifically, the different types of jokes that a comedian might use in their stand-up comedy material.
- You are going to find examples of joke formulas and stand-up comedy material used by other comedians to get laughs.
- You will be taught that producing powerful stand-up comedy material is all about writing jokes using “writing” techniques.
- You will be led to believe that anyone can write their way to being funny on stage as a comedian given the right “writing” techniques.
At first glance, one could easily assume that what I have just presented should be enough to be able to produce stand-up comedy material that works.
And if that sort of information meets your expectations, you can find the most popular books on stand-up comedy on this page (Hint: You can get most of those books used for a fraction of the cost of new books).
Just don’t come back and say that the information provided in any of those books didn’t work to help you to develop a stand-up comedy routine that gets big laughs on stage.
I can say that because the vast majority of the information in stand-up comedy books is academic, not actionable on an individual by individual basis.
There’s a huge difference between academic information and actionable information. Academic information is worthless without actionable information that shows you how to do what you need to do as it relates specifically to you and your comedy talent.
And there’s a huge difference between trying to “write” your way to being funny on stage and developing stand-up comedy material that works for you, your unique sense of humor and point of view.
Here’s just a taste of some of the critical information that new comedians must know that you won’t find in the best stand-up comedy books:
- You won’t find information on how to identify what makes you funny in everyday life or how to apply that talent in the development of your stand-up comedy material.
- You won’t discover the 3 attributes all stand-up comedy material must have in order to generate laughs.
- You won’t find information on how to structure your stand-up comedy material to get 4-6+ laughs per minute.
- You won’t find details on how to apply your unique sense of humor to the process of developing stand-up comedy material.
- You won’t find information on delivering stand-up comedy material as it applies to your already developed natural expressive comedy traits.
- You won’t find any information on line length and how it affects punchline frequency.
- You won’t find any actionable information on how to produce punchlines relative to your unique sense of humor or point of view.
- You won’t find much usable information on how to improve your laughter generation ability from one performance to the next.
Again, that’s just a small taste of what you won’t find in what many people consider to be the “best” books on stand-up comedy.
Here’s a comment from an email I received from a customer:
But don’t let me discourage you from getting your hands on every book on stand-up comedy that you can if you believe that they will help you reach your stand-up comedy goals.
Just look at those questions again at the top of this page, then here’s what I recommend that you do if you are so inclined:
Before you invest in what you believe are the “best stand-up comedy books”, take some time and review the 5 free stand-up comedy lessons that are available in the Killer Stand-up Comedy Online Course.
That way, you will at least know that there is a proven, alternative approach available to you in case those books on stand-up comedy don’t seem to work out in helping you reach your stand-up comedy goals.