What is it to be a stand-up comedian? To be funny, solo? You have no character-role, no double-act partner, and nowhere to look but out into the darkness, with just a microphone, an audience and your imagination.
This is a job without an annual appraisal; a job where you are publicly appraised every ten seconds. The results are harsh and obvious: if the audience isn't laughing, you 'died'; if they can't stop, you 'killed'.
Deborah Frances-White and Marsha Shandur unpack the inner-workings of the minds of comics, sharing their secrets, insecurities and successes; their bêtes noires and their biggest fears. Featuring interviews with a host of comedians including Eddie Izzard, Moshe Kasher, Sarah Millican, Jim Jeffries, Stewart Lee, Lewis Black, Jenny Eclair, Todd Barry, Richard Herring, Marc Maron, Stephen K Amos, Rich Hall, Zoe Lyons, Marcus Brigstocke, Phill Jupitus, Gary Delaney, Mark Watson, Greg Davies and many more, this excellent book lets you in to the hearts and minds of celebrated comedians, away from the stage and off the mic.
'The result is fascinating – part textbook, part therapist's notebook - as comedians open up on their process and chosen career with characteristic honesty and introspection. It is, says Frances-White, 'for anyone who loves comedy and for anyone who would like to try it.' The Independent
'A brilliant, in-depth and timely look at the creative process of one of the fastest growing performing arts.' Phill Jupitus