The Improv: An Oral History of the Comedy Club That Revolutionized Stand-Up

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Product Details

Price
$26.95  $24.79
Publisher
Benbella Books
Publish Date
Pages
400
Dimensions
6.3 X 9.1 X 1.5 inches | 1.3 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781942952435

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About the Author

Budd Friedman, the man who could well be called the father of the modern comedy club, was born in Norwich, Connecticut, moved to New York, fought in Korea and returned to Manhattan, where he obtained a degree in Advertising and Marketing from New York University. Less than enthralled with advertising, he hit upon the idea that was to become the Improvisation. The rest, as they say, is history. Ever the entrepreneur, Budd produced a political/satirical theatrical revue in New York entitled What's a Nice Country Like You Doing in a State Like This? He became Jay Leno and Bette Midler's first manager, and in 1975 he opened a West Coast branch of the Improv on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

Budd auditioned for and won the coveted role of Budd Friedman in Man on the Moon, the biopic about Andy Kaufman starring Jim Carrey and Danny DeVito. In 2002, he hosted and executive produced a one-hour primetime special for NBC celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Improv. He also co-created and executive produced National Lampoon's Funny Money for the Game Show Network. More recently, he reprised his role of Budd Friedman in Judd Aptow's Funny People. He continues to bring stand-up into the hearts and minds of everyone in the United States. As of 2015, there were 22 Improv comedy clubs in 12 states.

Tripp Whetsell is a New York-based author, entertainment journalist and critic specializing in comedy, television, film, music and pop culture history. His work has appeared both in print and online for such publications as VanityFair.com, TV Guide, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The New York Times, New York Magazine, New York Daily News, Closer Weekly, The Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter. This is his third book.

Reviews

The Improv was a cauldron of talent. Whetsell writes about it wonderfully and with respect for its importance to comedy.
--Robert Klein

They used to say that if you made it New York you could make it anywhere. Maybe so, but if you didn't make it at the Improv, it was time to pack your bags and move to 'anywhere.'
--Richard Lewis

This book is a great walk down memory lane for me. All hail the Improv and all the laugh-filled times and wonderful nights that happened in front of those brick walls.
--Bill Maher

The Improv played a vital part in my early stand-up days as it did in the careers of the dazzling array of stars, eccentrics, and colorful characters whose stories adorn this bright and greatly entertaining book. Get at least two copies, in case you lose one.
--Dick Cavett

Here's a book I'll probably never finish, because for years to come I'll be picking it up again and again and rereading parts over and over, whenever I need perking up. It's the history of an art form, though that sounds way too stuffy, and of an institution--the great American comedy club, especially the Improvs of New York and LA.
--Tom Shales, Pulitzer Prize-winning former television critic for The Washington Post and #1 bestselling coauthor of Live from New York and These Guys Have All the Fun

An entertaining ride through the glory years--the people, the stories, the feuds, the laughs--of the club that started the stand-up comedy boom in America.
--Richard Zoglin, author of Hope: Entertainer of the Century and Comedy at the Edge: How Comedy in the 1970s Changed America

The Godfather of the comedy club is finally called to testify . . . and he sings like a canary.
--Bill Knoedelsder, author of I'm Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High-Times in Stand-Up Comedy's Golden Era
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