Re/Search: Pranks – entertaining, and often inspiring even if the examples don’t apply directly or are… let’s just say unethical.

Only Joking
Only Joking
by Jimmy Carr – If there is a book on comedy theory (that you’d actually want to read) this might be it. Analysis of the history of comedy, different theories about what makes us laugh, and lots of jokes.

Sataristas by Paul Provenza and Dan Dion – First hand interviews with comedians of all kinds. Many valuable insights that, with a little creativity, you can apply to your practice.

 

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Truth in Comedy: The Manual of Improvisation
Truth in Comedy: The Manual of Improvisation
– If you take a class in improv, they’ll probably tell you to read this. Or they should. Covers some key ideas that can be helpful: agreement, building a scene, working at the top of your intelligence, and “truth in comedy” – a grounding in the truth is more conducive to comedy than entirely fabricated material.

Dead Funny: Humor in Hitler’s Germany

 

Dead Funny: Humor in Hitler’s Germany – There were jokes in Hitler’s Germany – Nazi jokes, resister jokes, Jewish jokes. This book provokes us with the question; as many subversive jokes as there were in Nazi Germany, what impact did they have?

George Saunders

 

Anything by George Saunders. Maybe start with Pastoralia or In Persuasion Nation. Or The Braindead Megaphone

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