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

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There’s no denying that the rise of stand-up comedy in the 1970s and 1980s was a direct result of successful comedy clubs giving comedians a place to hone their craft. And there’s no denying that The Improv was the prototypical comedy club. Before there was a Comedy Store or Catch a Rising Star, there was The Improv.

Founder Budd Friedman and writer Tripp Whetsell take you behind the scenes of the epicenter of the stand-up comedy boom in The Improv, detailing its birth, its long struggle toward profitability, and its role in putting a spotlight on dozens of comedy legends over the years. Budd’s experiences and observations form the frame, but numerous comedians and former Improv employees fill in the gaps with their own anecdotes, stories, and contributions.

This is an oral history of comedy told by those who, to many people, represent the medium better than anyone else: Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Fallon, Judd Apatow, and many more.

Although the book does tend to lend a bit too much time to Budd’s biography, that’s a small quibble when compared to the wealth of great stories and details shared by the comics.


Reviewed By:

Author Budd Friedman • Jay Leno, Foreword • Tripp Whetsell, Contributor
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher BenBella Books
Publish Date 2017-Sep-19
ISBN 9781942952435
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2017
Category Reference
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