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Funny Business:
A Professional Guide to Becoming a Comic
By Ken Berryhill
Prentice Hall
127 Pages
ISBN:  0-13-345406-1

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So you want to be the next Eddie Murphy or Joan Rivers! But—what makes people laugh, anyway? How do you know if you're naturally funny or need to develop acting skills? What types of comedy are "in" out there, and where can you perform? The answers to these and other questions can be found right here. Whether you're aspiring to be a standup, join a comedy troupe, or simply broaden your acting skills, this basic handbook gives you friendly advice on climbing the ropes of our most laughable profession.

Written by a comic with a lifetime's experience, Funny Business explains how to develop and perform a smooth, hilarious act, with discussions of:

  • where to find comedy material and how to write original one-liners and monologues
  • the importance of makeup, costumes, props, and music in your performance—and how to choose what's right for you
  • timing: the all-important factor in getting laughs
  • how to deal with stage fright (even famous comedians get it!)
  • how to analyze your audience, tailor material to different groups, interact with them—and fend off hecklers
  • the crucial practical facts: how to get started, where to get work, whether to join a union, get a manager or agent...
  • and much more.

If you want to be funny for money, or for the fun of it, read this book and learn the method to this madness!

Foreword by Phyllis Diller.

  • Ken Berryhill has performed comedy on stage, TV, and radio for most of his life. His experience includes roles as a standup comic, disc jockey, clown, and puppeteer, as well as humor columnist. He teaches a popular course on "How to Be a Comedian/Comedienne" at Memphis State University in Tennessee and makes his "straight" living as an insurance salesman.


Yes, Hillbilly Music. You may perhaps wonder why. You may even snicker. But trust us, soon your feet will start tappin' and before you know it, you'll be comin' back for more...Hillbilly Music.

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