Why Not?: Lessons on Comedy, Courage, and Chutzpah

(Author) (Foreword by)

Product Details

$26.99  $25.10
Apollo Publishers
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.2 inches | 1.01 pounds

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About the Author

Mark Schiff is a stand-up comedian who has headlined at comedy clubs nationwide, including all the major casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and toured worldwide with Jerry Seinfeld for fifteen years. Mark has specials on HBO and Showtime, has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Late Night with David Letterman, is featured in Seinfeld's Netflix special Jerry Before Seinfeld and Live from the Laugh Factory with Dom Irrera, and has been the featured act at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. He coedited I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America's Top Comics with Ritch Shydner, is the playwright of Married People, cowritten with Steve Shaffer, which played to sold-out audiences in Los Angeles in 2019, and The Comic, which ran in Los Angeles for ten months as well as at the Aspen Comedy Festival, a regular contributor to LA's Jewish Journal, and the host of the podcast You Don't Know Schiff. Mark lives in Los Angeles with his first wife, his fifth dog, and photos of his three sons who have all moved out and have good jobs, yet still manage to call and ask for money.

Jerry Seinfeld is an actor and comedian best-known as the creator of the TV show Seinfeld. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Is This Anything? and SeinLanguage, which reached #1 on the list. He lives in New York City and Los Angeles.


"Comedy fans will come for the behind-the-scenes anecdotes and stay for the heart." --Publishers Weekly

"Mark Schiff is one of the funniest, the brightest, the best stage comics I have ever seen." --Jerry Seinfeld, comedian, actor, and creator of Seinfeld, author of Is This Anything? and SeinLanguage

"Starting out in stand-up comedy with Mark Schiff was a blast, and the humor he brought to the stage back then is now between the pages of this book, plus the wisdom you get when you add time." --Bill Maher, comedian, actor, and host of Real Time with Bill Maher

"Mark's book is funny, philosophical, and gentle.* And it makes sense because so is Mark. *Not gentile, gentle." --Colin Quinn, comedian and actor, Saturday Night Live and Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn

"Mark Schiff knows how to tell a story and Mark Schiff knows how to write a book. I hope this is also an audiobook because nothing lulls me off to sleep more than Mark Schiff reading hilarious stories." --Kevin Nealon, comedian and actor, Saturday Night Live and Weeds

"We've known for a long time that Mark Schiff is funny. Now we know that he's also thoughtful, empathic, and a great Jew. Why Not? is an insightful look at the human condition. Poignant, bravely self-examining, and psychologically acute. Also funny." --Jonathan Kellerman, New York Times best-selling author of the Alex Delaware series

"Mark Schiff is one of the funniest comedians I know. We came up together in the New York comedy club scene and he is endlessly entertaining and creative. This book will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you glad you bought it." --Carol Leifer, comedian, writer, and producer

"Mark and I started in comedy together at the exact same time, and year after year he's just gotten better and funnier, which irritates me to no end. And as you'll see in this funny and uplifting book, he's a great writer too. I'm just so annoyed. But you will love this book." --Paul Reiser, comedian, actor, and creator of Mad About You

"I've always loved Schiff's comedy and really love who he is as a person, especially his kindness. . . . His wonderful book of essays . . . makes you laugh, think, and cry a little, that's actually something we should all do every day. Reading it made me miss him and appreciate him. I'm calling him right now. Get this book." --Louie Anderson, comedian and actor, Baskets

"The word 'genius' is overused, so I won't use it here. But Mark Schiff's unique and honest insights on parenthood, childhood, husbandhood, and pet ownerhood are hilarious without being mean-spirited and sentimental without being mawkish." --Jeff Astrof, writer, showrunner, and producer, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Veronica's Closet, and Trial & Error

"Heart, comedy, soul, insight--a treasure chest of wonderful moments await all who open these pages." --David Sacks, writer and producer, The Simpsons, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Murphy Brown

"Is there nothing better than a book that is funny and sensitive? That's what Mark Schiff has created: a book that'll make you laugh and warm your heart." --Steve Bluestein, comedian and cofounder of the Groundlings comedy troupe and school

"Mark Schiff is a great comic, a one-of-a-kind singular voice in comedy. Everyone in our generation of the stand-up world can rattle off Mark's best bits. This book perfectly captures and showcases his ghoulish, childish, Jewish, foolish, and hilarious style. The book reads fast and funny. It's just like Mark. Once you've read it and loved it, it'll be very hard to get it out of your house." --Mike Binder, director and writer, The Mind of the Married Man, Reign Over Me, and The Comedy Store

"If laughter is the best medicine, then Mark Schiff is a doctor. As a stand-up comedian, Mark has been dispensing laughter for decades. In his new book, Why Not?, instead of going to a comedy club, you get to take his wit, wisdom, and lots of laughs home with you. The best part is there is no two-drink minimum." --Michael Platt, producer and writer, Grace and Frankie and Weeds

"Add 'outstanding author' to Mark Schiff's previous credits of hilarious stand-up and quality notary public!" --Jon Hayman, writer and producer, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Chris Rock Show

"Mark Schiff writes irresistibly about friendship, family, faith, and the business of being funny, sprinkling his stories with wisdom and killer laugh lines. Oh, and he's also a genius and handsome to boot. There, Mark, I said it." --Judy Gruen, author of The Skeptic and the Rabbi

"Schiff may be known as a stand-up comic, but he's also a stand-up guy who really knows how to tell stories." --David Suissa, editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal

"Mark Schiff's comedy always seemed effortless to me. We met at The Improv in the '80s and his act is always funny, but nobody gets hurt, just like a pro bank robber. That he's from the Bronx makes that fact all the more amazing. The stories in his book Why Not? are also very funny, yet show his deep humanity, and they're a joy to read." --Mark Brazill, writer and producer, In Living Color, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and That '70s Show

"Mark Schiff's stories of childhood and beyond make us feel as if they are happening to us in real time. The interweaving of wonder, confusion, rebelliousness, angst, strangeness, and humor speak to something deep within all of us. Unpretentious, insightful, and bristling with humanity, Schiff takes us on an unpredictable rollercoaster, tempered with resilience and compassion." --Bob Nickman, writer and producer, Freaks and Geeks, Mad About You, and The Drew Carey Show

"Mark and I spent a lot of time together in our formative years in New York. He was always funny. Always kind. Always Jewish." --Rita Rudner, comedian, writer, and TV personality

"I loved reading this book. Schiff gives us a funny and inspiring look at his life. Part memoir, part Judaism guide, and part self-help book. Plus, most importantly, Seinfeld wrote the foreword." --Wayne Federman, comedian and author of The History of Stand-Up

"Mark Schiff is one of those legendary comedians we all looked up to, and now that he's grown old and decrepit we can finally look down to him. But he's still hilarious as always. He is a stellar comedian who's consistently at the top of his game, as you can see when he's on stage and in his writing. The best part of reading this book is that you get all of Mark's comedic genius, and you don't have to stare at his stupid face."--Elon Gold, comedian and actor, Stacked and Chosen and Taken

"Mark's humor combines a keen sense of observation with the wisdom he's gained while making his way from one end of life to the other. He's a really good guy. Read this wonderful collection and you'll agree." --Alan Zweibel, comedian, original Saturday Night Live writer, and author of The Other Schulman