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The Comedians Audiobook

The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy

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Publisher's Summary

In The Comedians, comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff brings to life a century of American comedy with real-life characters, forgotten stars, mainstream heroes, and counterculture iconoclasts. Based on over 200 original interviews and extensive archival research, Nesteroff's groundbreaking work is a narrative exploration of the way comedians have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture over the past 100 years.

Starting with the vaudeville circuit at the turn of the last century, Nesteroff introduces the first stand-up comedian - an emcee who abandoned physical shtick for straight jokes. After the repeal of Prohibition, Mafia-run supper clubs replaced speakeasies, and mobsters replaced vaudeville impresarios as the comedian's primary employer. In the 1950s, the late-night talk show brought stand-up to a wide public, while Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and Jonathan Winters attacked conformity and staged a comedy rebellion in coffeehouses. From comedy's part in the Civil Rights movement and the social upheaval of the late 1960s to the first comedy clubs of the 1970s and the cocaine-fueled comedy boom of the 1980s, The Comedians culminates with a new era of media-driven celebrity in the 21st century.

©2015 Kliph Nesteroff. Some of the material herein is based on Kliph Nesteroff's work with WFMU's Beware of the Blog and Classic Television Showbiz. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (80 )
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4.3 (76 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Dan Booth Cohen 08-10-17

    I know a lot from reading books

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    "From Buster Keaton to Robin Williams and everything in between"

    Thoroughly entertaining and informative. The funniest line is about Red Button's wife. If you don't learn something new about Harry Einstein and his sons, you must be old and a Friar.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cole 06-03-17
    cole 06-03-17 Member Since 2016
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    "good of a fan of comedy"

    Enjoyed it a great deal. Longtime fan of comedy and felt it was a fairly thorough review. Chronologically told.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Gerald McKay 07-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Strangely depressing"
    Would you try another book from Kliph Nesteroff and/or Kliph Nesteroff?

    It would depend entirely on the topic.


    Do you think The Comedians needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. It seemed to cover things pretty completely.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Johnson Tallahassee FL 06-11-17
    Glenn Johnson Tallahassee FL 06-11-17 Member Since 2012
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    "Wonderful account of the last 120 years of comedy"

    k
    Kliph Nesteroff has chronicled the ins and outs of the world of comics and the business of comedy.
    My only complaint about the performance is that Kliph mangles many words that he should - or his editor should - know better how to pronounce. It tended to take me out of the story when it happened.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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