The Laugh-Makers: Stand-Up Comedy as Art, Business, and Life-Style

by Robert A. Stebbins

McGill-Queen's University Press | February 1, 1990 | Hardcover

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Stebbins begins with a history of stand-up comedy, giving vital background about the industry as it emerged and flourished in the United States and subsequently developed into a popular form of entertainment in Canada. He deals with the nature of comic performance in comedy rooms - cabarets designed specifically for stand-up comedy - and examines the career of the comic: how people become interested in comedy, how they progress as amateurs, how they survive on the road and how, sometimes, they become headliners and later writers for film and television. He also discusses the business of comedy: booking agents, comedy chains such as Yuk-Yuk''s, room managers, and the comics themselves as entrepreneurs. As the first comprehensive study of a growing phenomenon, The Laugh-Makers will interest sociologists of humour and sociologists of occupations and will contribute to our understanding of Canadian popular culture.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 176 pages, 3.65 × 2.57 × 0.29 in

Published: February 1, 1990

Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0773507353

ISBN - 13: 9780773507357

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– More About This Product –

The Laugh-Makers: Stand-Up Comedy as Art, Business, and Life-Style

by Robert A. Stebbins

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 176 pages, 3.65 × 2.57 × 0.29 in

Published: February 1, 1990

Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0773507353

ISBN - 13: 9780773507357

About the Book

The Laugh-Makers is an intensive sociological field study of the drive to become a successful stand-up comic in Canada. Robert Stebbins interviewed fifty-seven practising stand-up comedians and fifteen booking agents, show organizers, personal managers, and club managers and owners. He also observed the performances of approximately 140 amateurs and professionals from Vancouver to Halifax. Televised comedy - especially important in French Canada - and informal discussions with some twenty additional comics were also a valuable component of his research.

From the Publisher

Stebbins begins with a history of stand-up comedy, giving vital background about the industry as it emerged and flourished in the United States and subsequently developed into a popular form of entertainment in Canada. He deals with the nature of comic performance in comedy rooms - cabarets designed specifically for stand-up comedy - and examines the career of the comic: how people become interested in comedy, how they progress as amateurs, how they survive on the road and how, sometimes, they become headliners and later writers for film and television. He also discusses the business of comedy: booking agents, comedy chains such as Yuk-Yuk''s, room managers, and the comics themselves as entrepreneurs. As the first comprehensive study of a growing phenomenon, The Laugh-Makers will interest sociologists of humour and sociologists of occupations and will contribute to our understanding of Canadian popular culture.

About the Author

Robert A. Stebbins is a Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Calgary."

Editorial Reviews

"Stand-up comedy is a new occupation; and this book is, so far as I know, the only contribution to the field! It is also a useful contribution to the sociology of occupations." Anthony Synnott, Department of Sociology, Concordia University. "There is nothing else so meticulously researched in Canada, nor, probably, anywhere else ... the documentation is so good and so unique ... [This] book has the unusual potential of being both an academic book and a popular one." I. Davies, Department of Sociology, York University.
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