COMEDY LINKS

 
“Funny: The Book” is not only more fun than a barrel of (non-deadly-virus-carrying) monkeys, it’s also a riveting repository of fun facts and interesting info about classic comedy.  For those who prefer to pursue (though not necessarily catch) further fun facts and increasingly interesting info (as well as videos referenced in the book but not on the BOOK LINKS page), the subsequent sites are really recommended…

(Major thanks to Ilan Ben-Meir for research)
[Got or know of a cool comedy site?  Tell me about it.]

CHAPTER 1: THE HISTORY OF HA! (TRICKSTER)

CHAPTER 2: NOT IN 3-D (MOVIES)

CHAPTER 3: LEONARD, ADOLPH, HERBERT AND JULIUS (THE MARX BROTHERS)

CHAPTER 4: MORE HISTORY OF HA! (THE ANCIENT WORLD)

CHAPTER 5: LIVE FROM GIGGLES (STAND-UP)

CHAPTER 6: “THAT NIGGER’S CRAZY! (RICHARD PRYOR)

CHAPTER 7: EVEN MORE HISTORY OF HA! (ARISTOTLE TO RESTORATION)

CHAPTER 8: THEATUH  – “THE FRONT PAGE”

CHAPTER 9: NIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE (PROSE)

CHAPTER 10: INVISIBLE RABBITS AND FRESH FRUIT (“HARVEY” / “A THOUSAND CLOWNS”)

  • The original New York Times reviews of the Broadway productions of “Harvey” and “A Thousand Clowns” are behind the Times’ pay-wall (Subscribe! Keep newspapers alive!) but the movie reviews aren’t: “HARVEY” / “A THOUSAND CLOWNS”.
  • Alan Waldman’s tribute to HERB GARDNER.
  • A fun site on “Harvey”’s author MARY CHASE, courtesy of Tim (no relation?) Chase.

CHAPTER 11: MORE EVEN MORE HISTORY OF HA! (MUSIC HALLS TO VAUDEVILLE)

  • From John Kenrick’s “Musicals 101”, A HISTORY OF VAUDEVILLE.
  • VAUDEVILLE!: An extensive site from Rick Easton of the American Studies department at the University of Virginia, with lots of audio and video.
  • Another True Fact that some people who read the book doubt is the existence of the immortal Le Pétomane; here’s his Wikipedia page.

CHAPTER 12: THE JEWISH QUESTION

  On a lighter note…

CHAPTER 13: THE IMMORTAL ALLAN STEWART KONIGSBERG (WOODY ALLEN)

  • Shockingly, there is no well-done tribute site for one of the greatest comic geniuses of the 20th (and 21st?) century, and his own site is pretty bare-bones: WOODY ALLEN.

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 15: WHY WE LAUGH… OR DO WE? (THE EVOLUTION OF HA!)

CHAPTER 16: THAT WACKY EXISTENTIALISM (STEVE MARTIN)

CHAPTER 17: ME & MY DOPAMINE (THE SCIENCE OF HA!)

CHAPTER 18: BETTY LOU ZOMBAX (MORK AND MINDY)

CHAPTER 19: ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION (THE THEORIES OF HA!)

  • Paul Budnik’s short INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC.  (Spoiler alert – “One can use a truth table to evaluate each subexpression starting with those at the root of the expression tree”!)
  • THE RULE OF 3 gets its own Wikipedia page.
  • Screenwriter Craig Mazin’s blog, “The Artful Writer”, boils comedy down to 15 rules, inspired by Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker (“Airplane!”), and possibly copyrighted by David Zucker but it’s hard to tell so please David don’t sue: THE ARTFUL WRITER – ZAZ PART II: THE RULES
  • For those who don’t believe that comedy is a precise and exacting science, check out Jerry Seinfeld describing the two-year process behind constructing a Pop-Tart joke.

CHAPTER 20: HEARD ANY GOOD JOKES?

  • LAUGHLAB
  • Gilbert Gottfried’s version of “The Aristocrats”; WARNING: Extremely, unbelievably, ginormously offensive language.

CHAPTER 21: LOVE AND THEFT (PLAGIARISM)

  • Kevin L. Morgan has a historical and cultural survey of PLAGIARISM at, naturally, “Ministry: The International Journal for Pastors”, evidently the front line of the intellectual property rights wars.
  • The book has a reference to how a bit I used in the adult animated series “DUCKMAN” showed up 16 years later in a FedEx commercial.  Compare, contrast, discuss among yourselves: plumbing / auto repair.
    (If you’re interested in the legal issues – and there’s no reason you should be – check out copyright lawyer Joe Escalante’s discussion with me on his show “Barely Legal”.)

CHAPTER 22: SAYING IT WORSE (THE PHILOSOPHY OF HA!)

  • The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry on HUMOR, by Aaron Smuts of the Dept. of Philosophy, Rhode Island College.
  • PRAGMATICS HUMOUR, a dissertation by Ken Willis (although how can you expect to earn a doctorate when you misspell “humor”?).
  • Jim Carrey’s exit from a mechanical rhino, from “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls”.

CHAPTER 23: WHEN DID YOU BREAK YOUR COLLARBONE? (BUSTER KEATON)

CHAPTER 24: KOSMIK KOMEDY (THE PURPOSE OF HA!)

  • Laurel & Hardy in their Oscar-winning short “The Music Box”.
  • Billed as “The laugh riot of two continents!” for its first American production, almost half the audience left at intermission; the complete text of “WAITING FOR GODOT”.

CHAPTER 25: SUFFERING IS FUNNY (THE OFFICE)

CHAPTER 26: EVOLUTION IS IRRITATING (SITCOMS)

CHAPTER 27: AMERICA THE HILARIOUS

CHAPTER 28: KOSMIK KOMEDY 2 (THE THEOLOGY OF HA!)

CHAPTER 29: “THAT’S ALL, FOLKS!”

 

FREE ADDITIONAL LINKS (AT NO EXTRA CHARGE!)

  • One of the top sites covering the comedy world: THE NERDIST.

And two of the top sites for short original web-comedy: