It’s a whole new week, which means we have a brand new video for Women’s Comedic Monologues That Are Actually Funny! Here is Jessica Glassberg reminiscing about the traumatic days of adolescence in her monologue “Always Awkward.”
To see more from Jessica, check out her website.
And don’t forget to follow her on twitter!
Below is the cover of the new book Comediennes: Laugh Be a Lady by Darryl and Tuezdae Littleton (Applause Books). We are going to give one free copy of this book to the person who can name the most comediennes on the front cover by commenting on this blog. DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT SO WE CAN LET YOU KNOW IF YOU WON. All you have to do is name the people in order (left to right, then top to bottom). Don’t worry if you can’t name them all. You just have to name more than everyone else in order to win. The answers are in the back of the book, so we’re trusting that if you’re trying to win the book, you don’t already have it. We trust you guys. No cheating! We’ll pick a winner at the end of the week.
Below is an excerpt from Comediennes to celebrate Whoopi Goldberg’s birthday.
Another comedienne pulling the Renaissance routine burst upon the scene in a one-woman show she created, entitled The Spook Show. Famed director Mike Nichols took it to Broadway, and the artist who could do so many funny characters ruled the town.
“I remember when she first did her one-woman show. She was crazy in that. It was way in the beginning when stand-up was different and she puts on this one-woman show doing all these characters. It was remarkable.”
Caryn Elaine Johnson, later known as Whoopi Goldberg, was then cast as Celie in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, directed by Steven Spielberg, and in 1985, became a household name. From there Whoopi was making plenty. Besides film, Goldberg had her own NBC sitcom and a late-night talk show. She co-produced the popular game show The Hollywood Squares , wrote books, produced plays on Broadway, did voice-overs in classic cartoons (Lion King and Toy Story), cofounded Comic Relief, was the first black female to host the Academy Awards, and co-hosted the morning gabfest The View. By the way, did I mention she won an Oscar (for Ghost ), making her the first African American stand-up comedienne to receive the award?
“I auditioned for a great movie. They were looking for an unknown actress. The movie was called Ghost. I went to the casting director, then to the director, the writer—they were absolutely amazed. The writer said this is who I saw when I was writing the script. This is it! We wanted an unknown and she’s perfect. They sent me paperwork to be in that movie. And then Whoopi Goldberg decided she wanted that part. It was taken away from me. I had been on a high from the moment I got to Los Angeles. My little bubble popped really hard. I was back to being a comic again.”
More about Whoopi Goldberg and other influential comediennes of today and yesteryear in Comediennes: Laugh Be a Lady.
Here is a video of Whoopi Goldberg at the launch party for one of our books called Mr. Broadway earlier this year:
Onstage and Backstage podcast from Hal Leonard is available on iTunes and Libsyn. Each episode authors and their guests have a chat about the topics of their books. Today, authors of Comediennes: Laugh Be a Lady, Darryl and Tuezdae Littleton, interview 5 comediennes about the biz.
Comediennes: Laugh Be a Lady chronicles the evolution of the humor through the research of Darryl and Tuezdae Littleton and the scores of interviews they conducted with veteran female performers from all mediums, as well as Tuezdae’s own experiences as a comedienne. Startling facts are revealed and tributes are paid to the icons of yesteryear by the titans of today in their own words and sentiments. Women have always made us laugh, from their outrageous characters, pratfall humor, cutting barbs, clever wit and unforgettable side-splitting moments. Their “herstory” has only just begun.
Funny: The Book is by David Misch
“FUNNY: THE STANDUPS”
— Richard, from the greatest standup performance ever filmed.
— Lenny is maybe more provocative today than ever before.
— Perhaps if it had been carefully explained that “Who” was the man’s actual name, all that confusion could have been avoided.
— Steve Martin brings existentialism to standup.
— Woody was probably the smartest comic in history; this joke made Carson collapse.
— Mel and Carl’s improvised routines made literal and figurative history.
Funny: The Book is an entertaining look at the art of comedy, from its historical roots to the latest scientific findings, with diversions into the worlds of movies (Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers), television (The Office), prose (Woody Allen, Robert Benchley), theater (The Front Page), jokes and stand-up comedy (Richard Pryor, Steve Martin), as well as personal reminiscences from the author’s experiences on such TV programs as Mork and Mindy.