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We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy

March is Women's History Month

March is Women’s History Month and I have decided to honor women in a way that’s a little unconventional – by laughing at them. It’s easy to think of all the great ways in which women have contributed to society through science, politics, and activism, but not much thought is given to the women who struggled to succeed in an area that was very much a men’s club -- comedy. I have recently been reading We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy, which is an excellent oral history of women in American Comedy. It gave me a great introduction to some women that I was not aware of, and made me appreciate those comedians that I have admired for so long, even more. Help celebrate women by taking some time out to enjoy these great laughs from your library today!


Amazon Says: The Carol Burnett Show is one of the most popular and beloved shows in the history of television and it is now available on DVD to all audiences for the very first time. Start more...
Amazon Says: The Carol Burnett Show is one of the most popular and beloved shows in the history of television and it is now available on DVD to all audiences for the very first time. Starting in 1967 and continuing for 11 straight years, The Carol Burnett Show was the ultimate variety show with music, acting, larger-than-life guest stars, and, of course, comedy... sketches, jokes and parodies that are as funny now as they were 40 years ago. All the episodes in the DVD collections were personally chosen by Carol, and all DVDs feature full, unedited episodes as they originally aired on television. less...
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Amazon Says: Henry Graham (Walter Matthau) is a man with a problem: he has run through his entire inheritance and is completely unequipped to provide for himself. His childhood guardian, U more...
Amazon Says: Henry Graham (Walter Matthau) is a man with a problem: he has run through his entire inheritance and is completely unequipped to provide for himself. His childhood guardian, Uncle Harry (a deliciously mean-spirited James Coco), refuses to give him a dime, so Henry devises a plan with the help of his imaginative butler (George Rose) to make his money the old-fashioned way - he can marry it. But he cannot see himself as a happily married man, so he comes up with an even more devious solution... with a temporary loan from his uncle, Henry has six weeks to find a bride and repay the loan; otherwise he must forfeit all his property to his uncle. Henry finally meets his dearly beloved, a clumsy, painfully shy heiress Henrietta Lowell (played by the film's writer/director Elaine May). The answer to his prayers - if only he can overcome the obstacles placed in his path by his uncle and Henrietta's Lawyer (Jack Weston). less...
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Amazon Says: Wanda Sykes has been called "one of the funniest stand up comics" by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America. She won an Emmy in 2003 fo more...
Amazon Says: Wanda Sykes has been called "one of the funniest stand up comics" by her peers and ranks among Entertainment Weekly's 25 Funniest People in America. She won an Emmy in 2003 for her work on Inside the NFL and was showcased for 5 years on HBO's The Chis Rock Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Now catch her hilarious stand up skills in this side-splitting program where she serves up comic truth and turns common sense into thought-provoking humor. less...
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Amazon Says: Unforgettable with her electrified hairdos and outlandish outfits, Phyllis Diller began her career as "the world's worst housewife" and rose to great popularity as she delight more...
Amazon Says: Unforgettable with her electrified hairdos and outlandish outfits, Phyllis Diller began her career as "the world's worst housewife" and rose to great popularity as she delighted in mocking herself and her "husband," Fang. This award-winning film follows Diller's groundbreaking career from its modest beginnings to her extraordinary success and also explores her off-stage life at home, providing a rare glimpse at the real woman behind the image. The film also goes behind the curtain for this intimate look at the last moments before Diller's final stand-up performance as the comedienne prepares to hang up her wigs after 47 incredible years making people laugh. Fellow comedians Roseanne Barr, David Brenner, Red Buttons, Don Rickles, Rip Taylor, Bonnie Hunt, Lily Tomlin and many more reflect on Diller's powerful legacy. less...
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Amazon Says: This 4 DVD box set features the best and funniest comedians to have performed at the iconic Improv Club in Los Angeles including the likes of; Billy Crystal, Howie Mandel, Jim more...
Amazon Says: This 4 DVD box set features the best and funniest comedians to have performed at the iconic Improv Club in Los Angeles including the likes of; Billy Crystal, Howie Mandel, Jim Carrey, Phyllis Diller, Leslie Nielsen, Jackie Mason, and 67 other outstanding comedians. These 12 hours of classic comedy were chosen from the first 52 original hours of the television series called An Evening At The Improv. This Special Edition is the first time this rare original footage has ever been released on DVD. So sit back and be prepared to enjoy this rare collection of your favorite comedians, all in one hilarious and intimate setting. less...
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Amazon Says: Mo'Nique Imes, Sommore, Adele Givens, and Laura Hayes are "The Queens of Comedy" who toured with "The Original Kings of Comedy" to sold out venues across the U.S. Meet the Ro more...
Amazon Says: Mo'Nique Imes, Sommore, Adele Givens, and Laura Hayes are "The Queens of Comedy" who toured with "The Original Kings of Comedy" to sold out venues across the U.S. Meet the Royal Highnesses of Comedy as four hilarious comediennes rock the house with their less...
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Amazon Says: No matter how many times female comedians buck the conventional wisdom, people continue to ask: “Are women funny?” The question has been nagging at women off and on (mostl more...
Amazon Says: No matter how many times female comedians buck the conventional wisdom, people continue to ask: “Are women funny?” The question has been nagging at women off and on (mostly on) for the past sixty years. It’s incendiary, much discussed, and, as proven in Yael Kohen’s fascinating oral history, totally wrongheaded.In We Killed, Kohen pieces together the revolution that happened to (and by) women in American comedy, gathering the country’s most prominent comediennes and the writers, producers, nightclub owners, and colleagues who revolved around them. She starts in the 1950s, when comic success meant ridiculing and desexualizing yourself; when Joan Rivers and Phyllis Diller emerged as America’s favorite frustrated ladies; when the joke was always on them. Kohen brings us into the sixties and seventies, when the appearance of smart, edgy comedians (Elaine May, Lily Tomlin) and the women’s movement brought a new wave of radicals: the women of SNL, tough-ass stand-ups, and a more independent breed on TV (Mary Tyler Moore and her sisters). There were battles to fight and preconceptions to shake before we could arrive in a world in which women like Chelsea Handler, Sarah Silverman, and Tina Fey can be smart, attractive, sexually confident—and, most of all, flat-out funny.As the more than 150 people interviewed for this riveting oral history make clear, women have always been funny. It’s just that every success has been called an exception and every failure an example of the rule. And as each generation of women has developed its own style of comedy, the coups of the previous era are washed away and a new set of challenges arises. But the result is the same: They kill. A chorus of creative voices and hilarious storytelling, We Killed is essential cultural and social history, and—as it should be!—great entertainment. less...
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I'm the One That I Want by Margaret Cho
Amazon Says: Comedian. Icon. TV star. Hollywood casualty. Role model. Trash talker. Fag hag. Gypsy. Tramp. Thief. Margaret Cho is the only living human being to be all these things without more...
Amazon Says: Comedian. Icon. TV star. Hollywood casualty. Role model. Trash talker. Fag hag. Gypsy. Tramp. Thief. Margaret Cho is the only living human being to be all these things without having multiple personality disorder and she displays them all in this funny, fierce, and honest memoir. At age sixteen Margaret dropped out of school and began touring as a standup comedian. By twenty-three she was the star of her own sitcom, "All-American Girl", the groundbreaking show featuring television’s first Asian American family. But the road to fame wasn’t smooth, and when the sitcom crashed and burned, so did Margaret. Without ever losing her trademark humor, Margaret tells her astonishing tale of dieting her way into the hospital, drinking her way into oblivion, then rising from the ashes in her smash-hit one-woman show and record-breaking concert film. As one of the country’s most visible Asian Americans, she has a unique perspective on identity and acceptance. As one of the country’s funniest and most quoted personalities, she takes no prisoners. And as a warm and wise woman who has seen the highs and lows of life, she has words of encouragement for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. I’m the One That I Want is filled with dead-on insights about the experience of being a woman with attitude. In her own wicked style, Margaret Cho has written a book every bit as funny, shocking, and irreverent as she is. less...
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Amazon Says: Are you lacking direction in how to whip up a swanky soiree for lumberjacks?  A dinner party for white-collar workers?  A festive gathering for the grieving?  Don't despair more...
Amazon Says: Are you lacking direction in how to whip up a swanky soiree for lumberjacks?  A dinner party for white-collar workers?  A festive gathering for the grieving?  Don't despair.  Take a cue from entertaining expert Amy Sedaris and host an unforgettable fete that will have your guests raving.  No matter the style or size of the gathering-from the straightforward to the bizarre-I LIKE YOU provides jackpot recipes and solid advice laced with Amy's blisteringly funny take on entertaining, plus four-color photos and enlightening sidebars on everything it takes to pull off a party with extraordinary flair.  You don't even need to be a host or hostess to benefit-Amy offers tips for guests, too!  (Number one:  don't be fifteen minutes early.)  Readers will discover unique dishes to serve alcoholics (Broiled Frozen Chicken Wings with Applesauce), the secret to a successful children's party (a half-hour time limit, games included), plus a whole appendix chock-full of arts and crafts ideas (from a mini-pantyhose plant-hanger to a do-it-yourself calf stretcher), and much, much more! less...
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Amazon Says: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” —Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1850 “How do I hate thee? How much time do you have?”—Joan Rivers, today, more...
Amazon Says: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” —Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1850 “How do I hate thee? How much time do you have?”—Joan Rivers, today, about two-ish Joan Rivers is a groundbreaking, award-winning, internationally renowned entertainment goddess. She’s also opinionated—especially when it comes to people she hates. Like people who think giving birth is a unique achievement. Or well-adjusted, a.k.a. boring, ex-child stars who don’t even have a decent addiction. With all of her diverse experiences, it stands to reason that Joan has seen, done, said, and heard a lot of hateful things. Thank god, she took notes. Here—uncensored and totally uninhibited—she give the best of her worst to First Ladies, closet cases, hypocrites, Hollywood, feminists, and overrated historical figures. And even when letting herself have it, Joan doesn’t hold back in this honest, unabashedly hilarious love letter to the hater in all of us. less...
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Amazon Says: Warning from publisher to reader: At HarperCollins, we are committed to customer satisfaction. Before proceeding with your purchase, please take the following questionnai more...
Amazon Says: Warning from publisher to reader: At HarperCollins, we are committed to customer satisfaction. Before proceeding with your purchase, please take the following questionnaire to determine your likelihood of enjoying this book: 1. Which of the following do you appreciate? (a) Women with somewhat horse-ish facial features. (b) Women who, while not super Jew-y, are more identifiably Jewish than, say, Natalie Portman. (c) Frequent discussion of unwanted body hair. 2. Are you offended by the following behavior? (a) Instructing one's grandmother to place baked goods in her rectal cavity. (b) Stripping naked in public—eleven times in a row. (c) Stabbing one's boss in the head with a writing implement. 3. The best way to treat an emotionally fragile young girl is: (a) Murder the main course of her Thanksgiving dinner before her very eyes. (b) Tell her that her older sister is prettier than she, and then immediately die. (c) Prevent her suicide by recommending she stay away from open windows. If you read the above questions without getting nauseous or forming a hate Web site, you are ready to buy this book! Please proceed to the cashier. less...
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Don't Get Me Started by Kate Clinton
Amazon Says: Let's get one thing straight. I'm not. And yes, my brother is Bill Clinton. But not the Bill Clinton. These two guys are very different. For one, whenever I hear President Bil more...
Amazon Says: Let's get one thing straight. I'm not. And yes, my brother is Bill Clinton. But not the Bill Clinton. These two guys are very different. For one, whenever I hear President Bill speak--on gays in the military, healthcare reform--I hear that sound trucks make when they're backing up. I was born on the cusp of Title IX, at a time when the sports pages claimed only men played sports. When people ask where I got my comedy training, I tell them teaching high school English. I began performing stand-up in 1981, the same year Ronald Reagan began his comedy. I never got used to saying President Ronald Reagan. It was like saying President Merv Griffin. Reagan wasn't so much a president as the host. He was having such a good time playing president and going on vacation that he decided to run again. I'm out and proud. When I'm out and it's raining I carry an umbrella. I used to be in but I hate the smell of moth balls. My closet was huge, complete with a foyer, turnstile, a few locks, dead bolts, and a burglar alarm that had to be deactivated before I could even touch the door handle. And then there was the storm door. It wasn't until I had lived and slept with a woman for a year that it occurred to me to ask, "Do you think were lesbians?" By the way, never come out to your father in a moving vehicle. Now I've written a book. It's not as easy as it looks. One night, I was working late on my computer when a little message came up on the screen, "You are almost out of memory." Here are my thoughts and observations on everything from gay marriage (Mad Vow Disease) to my morbid fear of mascots (with the exception of the San Diego Chicken). Thats all I'm going to say because I don't want to spoil it for you. That's a job for Jesse Helms. I'll leave you with one last anecdote: Once when my Dad was visiting, he sat through an evening of gay politics, gay theory, gay gossip, and toward the end of the discussion, my partner turned to him and asked, "Well, Mr. Clinton, what do you think we as gay people can do to make more bridges to straight people?" My Dad did one of his patented, exquisitely timed pauses and replied, "Keep talking." less...
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Amazon Says: The author of North pays tribute to the late comedienne, capturing his extraordinary relationship with the late Gilda Radner, from their first hilarious encounter to her tra more...
Amazon Says: The author of North pays tribute to the late comedienne, capturing his extraordinary relationship with the late Gilda Radner, from their first hilarious encounter to her tragic death from cancer. 25,000 first printing. less...
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Amazon Says: In this side-splitting memoir, the former Saturday Night Live star recounts the hilarious adventures and unexpected joy of dating and becoming a mother when she least expec more...
Amazon Says: In this side-splitting memoir, the former Saturday Night Live star recounts the hilarious adventures and unexpected joy of dating and becoming a mother when she least expected it-at the age of forty-four. Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered roles as "Lesbians. Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians."Her career at a low point, Dratch suddenly had time for yoga, dog- sitting, learning Spanish-and dating. After all, what did a forty- something single woman living in New York have to lose? Resigned to childlessness but still hoping for romance, Dratch was out for drinks with a friend when she met John.Handsome and funny, after only six months of dating long-distance, he became the inadvertent father of her wholly unplanned, undreamed-of child, and moved to New York to be a dad. With riotous humor, Dratch recounts breaking the news to her bewildered parents, the awe of her single friends, and the awkwardness of a baby-care class where the instructor kept tossing out the f-word.Filled with great behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Dratch's time on SNL, Girl Walks into a Bar... is a refreshing version of the "happily ever after" story that proves female comics-like bestsellers Tina Fey and Chelsea Handler-are truly having their moment. less...
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Amazon Says: Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer more...
Amazon Says: Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”   Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!   In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka. less...
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