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

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It 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 It 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 with confidence.


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It 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 It 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 with confidence.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bram Stoops

    After reading a bunch of books about how to become a comedian, I decided to steer away from books that claim to teach people how to become funny. Those books always end up being more like a collection of improvisation exercises than have any real substance about what makes something funny. Also, I really got tired of reading about the "rule of three". This book however focuses on the practical parts of being a comedy writer more. Rather than claiming it'll make you funny, or somehow find the hidden After reading a bunch of books about how to become a comedian, I decided to steer away from books that claim to teach people how to become funny. Those books always end up being more like a collection of improvisation exercises than have any real substance about what makes something funny. Also, I really got tired of reading about the "rule of three". This book however focuses on the practical parts of being a comedy writer more. Rather than claiming it'll make you funny, or somehow find the hidden funny part within you, it gives you directions on how to handle the practical and some insight on the business. The interviews are great as well. I haven't finished it, but unless the last chapter claims to turn me into Richard Pryor, I'm happy to recommend this to other aspiring comedians.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Barb Best

    Excellent. Updated info. Clearly presented.

  3. 5 out of 5

    David Liver

    I've read the book for other purposes than standard comedy applications. If you are in the business, in writing or screenwriting, most of its content will sound obvious. But it's still a very enjoyable reading and a good sum and reminder of all the rules, the structures, the tips, the steps, and routines one needs to know about pro comedy and art in general. The book features a whole lot of interviews that warm up the reader. I've read the book for other purposes than standard comedy applications. If you are in the business, in writing or screenwriting, most of its content will sound obvious. But it's still a very enjoyable reading and a good sum and reminder of all the rules, the structures, the tips, the steps, and routines one needs to know about pro comedy and art in general. The book features a whole lot of interviews that warm up the reader.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gaby Méndez

    I really enjoyed this book. It has a lot of useful information about the business of comedy and how everything works. Im pretty sure I might read some of the chapters again as I go forward in my film studies.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Text Mess

    Not the book I was looking for. I was aiming for comedy writing advice, not comedy career advice. But, if you are wanting to learn about the broad comedy market, this is certainly the book for you. If you want advice on writing laugh-out-loud comedy, this is not it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Merry Clark

    Have to remember to check back to certain pages of this book before tech changes again. Like his style and material is quite comprehensive. Also realistic and gives the 411 on what to expect and what not to expect.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt Gosney

    It was good, not as funny as I thought it was going to be but it still had that sardonic sense of humour etched into what is a really fundamental breakdown of developing a comedic career.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Deanna Beaton

    Short. Easy. Basic introduction to a LOT of things you need to know. Exactly what I wanted. Thank you.

  9. 4 out of 5

    于伟栋º

    采访

  10. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Aromando

    A neat look into all the ways one can be successful in comedy with a lot of good tidbits, advice, and interviews.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matty Hupp

    This book covers many, many topics. I highly enjoyed it and read it cover to cover. Seems to be a fantastic guide, then again...I’ve never made a joke before, so what do I know?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Mihachik

    One of my favorites. There's something in here for everybody, unless you hate humor One of my favorites. There's something in here for everybody, unless you hate humor

  13. 5 out of 5

    Galadriel

    3.5/5

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dan Burt

    3.8 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Great! Perspective... I read this as an aspiring standup. I got tons from the more general chapters and skimming the rest. Great!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    808.7 R189 2015

  17. 4 out of 5

    mavromou

    This is a great book to know in general all the possibilities of development that has a person who wants to work in comedy. It describes the contexts of the most popular media to develop the genre, cinema, TV, graphic, internet, stand up, and others. It is an enjoyable reading based on the author's own experience, full of recommendations and interviews with referents on the issues he is dealing with. Recommended for people who want to get started in the genre of comedy and do not know how and for This is a great book to know in general all the possibilities of development that has a person who wants to work in comedy. It describes the contexts of the most popular media to develop the genre, cinema, TV, graphic, internet, stand up, and others. It is an enjoyable reading based on the author's own experience, full of recommendations and interviews with referents on the issues he is dealing with. Recommended for people who want to get started in the genre of comedy and do not know how and for the curious about the subject. Este es un gran libro para conocer de modo general todas las posibilidades de desarrollo que tiene una persona que quiere trabajar en la comedia. Describe los contextos de los medios mas populares para desarrollar el genero, cine, TV, grafico, internet, stand up, y otros. Es una lectura amena basada en la experiencia propia del autor, llena de recomendaciones y entrevistas a referentes sobre los temas que trata. Recomendable para las personas que quieren iniciarse en el genero de la comedia y no saben como y para los curiosos sobre el tema.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Written Melodies

    When I requested an advanced reader copy of this book, I thought it was a comedy career guide for teens. Upon receiving it, I clearly discovered I was mistaken. Despite my blunder, I dove in. Randazzo provides great advice for aspiring comedians...for writers in general. My favorite lines are on page one of chapter one. "I have felt within my heart the most severe hopelessness while sitting in front of a computer screen, writing. I am not overstating this, and if you've ever tried to write Some When I requested an advanced reader copy of this book, I thought it was a comedy career guide for teens. Upon receiving it, I clearly discovered I was mistaken. Despite my blunder, I dove in. Randazzo provides great advice for aspiring comedians...for writers in general. My favorite lines are on page one of chapter one. "I have felt within my heart the most severe hopelessness while sitting in front of a computer screen, writing. I am not overstating this, and if you've ever tried to write Something Really Great, you know that I am telling the truth. Writing is sad and it is hard, because when you set out to write, something in you has to die. The part of you that interacts with the outside world, distracted by every little click and hiss and urge and blog, bouncing on the contours of life--that you has to be murdered. Your task as a writer is to siphon out what is in your brain and shape it into something that can be understood by others, and to do that you have to concentrate really, really hard. You have to conjure from thin air objects, people, and actions, make them interact, and give them form, and you have to do it all alone." After 45 pages, I abandoned the book since I'm not interested in comedy writing. I highly recommend this book to anyone aspiring to write comedy. ARC complimentary of the publisher. Quote taken from ARC.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tom Donaghey

    Funny on Purpose: The Definitive Guide to an Unpredictable Career in Comedy: Standup + Improv + Sketch + TV + Writing + Directing + YouTube by Joe Randazzo is exactly what it says it is meant to be. First, Joe Randazzo was an editor for THE ONION so he has comedy chops galore. And he has gone through most of the things comedians have gone through to achieve any level of success. While the book is funny in and of itself, it is also a very detailed guide to writing, performing, understanding and Funny on Purpose: The Definitive Guide to an Unpredictable Career in Comedy: Standup + Improv + Sketch + TV + Writing + Directing + YouTube by Joe Randazzo is exactly what it says it is meant to be. First, Joe Randazzo was an editor for THE ONION so he has comedy chops galore. And he has gone through most of the things comedians have gone through to achieve any level of success. While the book is funny in and of itself, it is also a very detailed guide to writing, performing, understanding and ultimately producing funny results. Essentially he says write funny things, or at least things you like. Perform these things to anybody who won’t throw you down the stairs. Make comedy movies, explore the Internet and write skits, jokes and entire movies, whatever, just start doing it. But most of all he explains in several hundred interesting pages the business of comedy and what you need to do to get anywhere within that business. Well thought out and designed with individual chapters dealing with everything from stand-up to sitcom to animation and web movies, this book has it all. Finally! If you are thinking about a comedy career or just want to explore behind the scenes, this is the book for you. I won this book through Goodreads.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Smith-Connelly

    I received an Early Reviewer copy of Joe Randazzo's Funny on Purpose from LibraryThing, and I'm glad I did because it's a very helpful book that's full of great advice for anyone who's interested in a comedy career. No matter what medium of comedy you want to go into, there's probably a chapter about it in this book...Randazzo covers writing (for TV, books, sketch comedy, movies, and the internet) , performing (standup, improv, music, etc.), illustration and animation, YouTube, podcasts, and soc I received an Early Reviewer copy of Joe Randazzo's Funny on Purpose from LibraryThing, and I'm glad I did because it's a very helpful book that's full of great advice for anyone who's interested in a comedy career. No matter what medium of comedy you want to go into, there's probably a chapter about it in this book...Randazzo covers writing (for TV, books, sketch comedy, movies, and the internet) , performing (standup, improv, music, etc.), illustration and animation, YouTube, podcasts, and social networks. Since I write comedy, I found the comedy-writing section the most interesting...especially the "Writing for the Web," "Writing for TV, and "Writing Books" chapters. I really enjoyed Funny on Purpose. Randazzo explains everything in a way that's interesting and easy to understand, and the book includes interviews with several funny people, like "Weird Al" Yankovic, Pete Holmes, Paul F. Tompkins, and Judd Apatow. If you're like me and want to spend your life making people laugh, Funny on Purpose will give you lots of great information about how to do it for a living.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kirk Hanley

    A really great overview of the entire comedy industry landscape, covered in a blunt, humorous style. From stand-up, sketch, and improv, to YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr, through movies, television, and audio, Joe Randazzo leaves no stone unturned in his overview of making a living by making comedy. Although I would have liked him to drill down a little deeper on some of the topics, I can't really complain. I have never read a book that covered this career so thoroughly and I appreciate the work t A really great overview of the entire comedy industry landscape, covered in a blunt, humorous style. From stand-up, sketch, and improv, to YouTube, Twitter, and Tumblr, through movies, television, and audio, Joe Randazzo leaves no stone unturned in his overview of making a living by making comedy. Although I would have liked him to drill down a little deeper on some of the topics, I can't really complain. I have never read a book that covered this career so thoroughly and I appreciate the work that went into this comprehensive guide. Recommended.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andy

    Informative, encouraging focused and practical. I'm not sure I feel prepared to go and conquer solely from this book but I feel enlightened and inspired. I like joe. He writes like he really cares about my success as a total stranger he doesn't even know exists. Unless he reads these reviews. In that case, thanks Joe! Informative, encouraging focused and practical. I'm not sure I feel prepared to go and conquer solely from this book but I feel enlightened and inspired. I like joe. He writes like he really cares about my success as a total stranger he doesn't even know exists. Unless he reads these reviews. In that case, thanks Joe!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Douglas

    Even if you're not a comedian in the making, this is a fun, informative book with lots of insider information. In this day of never-ending Twitter wise cracks (what I call the democratization of humor) the author also totally incorporates the online world of YouTube, Twitters, podcasts, etc. Enjoy. Even if you're not a comedian in the making, this is a fun, informative book with lots of insider information. In this day of never-ending Twitter wise cracks (what I call the democratization of humor) the author also totally incorporates the online world of YouTube, Twitters, podcasts, etc. Enjoy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Gambell

    Great, inspiring read - left me wanting to try my hand at as much as I can!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tristan Williams

    Been awhile since I read a book through in a sitting. Makes you think.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Funny and informative.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Blow

    mega-informative and a terrific read for anyone seeking any type of career at any level in comedy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adam Maid

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  30. 5 out of 5

    Terry Shreve

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