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Funny Books - Show Me The Funny

Click pic for Amazon page
Click pic for Amazon page

Show Me The Funny
Peter Desberg, Jeffrey Davis
Sterling 2010
340 pages

Show Me The Funny posits a construct the deconstructive nature of which dissects the E.B. White frog. To sound more erudite, to see how comedy works Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis start with an idea for a situation comedy and ask famous comedy TV and film writers to run with it. This is a very entertaining book for anyone interested in comedy, writing, the creative process, or how things work.

Show Me The Funny is like reading a sitcom in progress, the 22 chapters making for 22 first season episodes. It is the story of Sarah, a somewhat successful twenty-something whose mother moves in with her after the father dies and leaves her without anything to live on.

Each episode or chapter is what another writer or show creator would do with that story. Some turn it into a 90-minute movie with a couple of big-name stars and others make it into a 5 year long situation comedy with a clear idea of what major event anchors each season. The characters even become guys or two women out to take down a Madoff type character.

The process shows the reader how a sitcom or a movie is created. The scary part is even those who say they do not care are concerned with demographics, test audiences, sponsor reaction, and so on. If you've ever wondered why there are so very few good situation comedies on TV these days look no further than how the writers interviewed for this book act and react.

Because of its episodic format, Show Me the Funny is a good night table book for those who like something they can get back to from time to time.

If you ask me and I should get residuals if it happens there is a sitcom in the very idea behind Show Me The Funny: the same premise done differently every week by another set of actors and writers.

The book does contain a couple of clunkers like "This combination has a lot to do with the success of this Peabody and Emmy Award-winning team s amazing success."

Richard Lanoie

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