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Comedy

“Just The Funny Parts”: One Woman’s Distinct Mark on TV Comedy

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A woman walks into a room. She’s the only female comedy writer there. She leans in, writes a funny book, and has the last laugh. Lots of laughs. Just the Funny Parts (Dey Street Books) is Nell Scovell’s story of how she went from wise-cracking kid to writing for David Letterman to Hollywood, where she put funny words in the mouths of Homer Simpson, Bob Newhart, Kermit the Frog, Coach, Murphy Brown, Lily Tomlin Stephen Colbert, and even Barak Obama for a White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Millions have laughed at her jokes, including, probably, you. Who can forget the hilarious, heartbreaking moment when Miss Piggy, on the Red Carpet, has a wardrobe malfunction and her tail pops out. “I’m a lady, and…

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Ten’s Gretchen McNeil: How to Make Serial Killers Fun

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Gretchen McNeil is not only an incredibly talented author, she’s also a professionally trained opera singer, a natural performer, and one of the nicest people we’ve ever met. The hit YA author is probably best known for her book Ten, which won numerous awards before being turned into a Lifetime original movie. Then, just to cement her place in our hearts as the reigning queen of YA horror, she came out with with the two book Don’t Get Mad series, with Get Even being released in 2014, and the follow-up Get Dirty in 2015. Now, she’s back with a new YA horror novel, #MurderTrending. But this one’s doing something new, which is showcasing McNeil’s natural affinity for comedy. While we all know that comedy and horror together can…

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Why NBC’s ‘The Good Place’ is Our New Fave Show

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Guys, I’m obsessed. Which, admittedly, isn’t news: as a true TV lover, I tend to find myself getting obsessed with a new show almost every week. But this time it’s different, I swear. Because I literally cannot stop watching NBC’s The Good Place. When it first aired last year, I thought the NBC comedy was cute and funny, but probably wasn’t going to last. I mean, a high concept comedy about the afterlife? It sounds like the kind of thing that almost always dies on network television. But the more I kept watching, the more I was charmed by both the writing and the performances. And, oh man, are the performances good. The show stars Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, a…

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BookTrib Fictional Bookshelf: Diabolically Funny Reads for Michael of ‘The Good Place’

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Uncommonly good and diabolically funny, The Good Place is filled with more twists and turns than we can see coming. Based on the idea that sometimes, Hell really is other people, Michael, played to perfection by Ted Danson, is the standout character who is enjoying every second of not only his life, but the lives (or afterlives) of the people around him. After last season’s shock finale, we can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve next. The Good Place returned to NBC this fall for it’s second season, and is already living up to everything we loved about the first season. Smart, funny, and kind of evil, Michael is one of the most humorous and twisted characters to ever hit…

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Tasty Food and Book Pairings for Every Literary Genre

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There are food and wine pairings, book and wine pairings, and even book and coffee pairings but no one knows what to eat with a book! What should you munch on while reading Mockingjay? Or nibble while reading New Moon? Well, lick your lips and attack a snack, because here are five foods pairings to go with every literary genre: Romance Ah, yes, the red wine and bubble bath classic. And what goes better with red wine than some nice dark chocolate? As you probably know, chocolate is the food of love. Turns out, there’s actually a chemical found in chocolate that can release serotonin, which can make you feel like you’ve gone down Lover’s Lane, never to return. But…

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BOOK NEWS ROUNDUP: A Jumanji First-Look; Ghost Rider on Agents of SHIELD; Bruce Springsteen’s New Memoir

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Time for a mid-week book news roundup! Each week BookTrib is bringing you quick commentary regarding news from across the web, from TV to comics to books galore, if it has a literary twist– it’s on our radar. Take a look at this week’s book-related picks: Jumanji is happening folks, deal with it. Chris Van Allsburg’s 1981 children’s picture book sure has had an exciting run, and it’s still inspiring new works 36 years later. The 1995 film starring the late Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt and a young Kirsten Dunst, became an instant classic; one I wish they never touched—but still, a continuation is underway. The newest film will star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and everyone’s (OK, my)…

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Comedian Amber Tozer Answers One Question about Her Memoir ‘Sober Stick Figure’

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Truman Capote once said about drinking, “I drink because it’s the only time I can stand it!” Along with being a quick-witted sassafras and a fabulously talented writer, Capote was a notorious alcoholic. Drinking stifled his creativity and eventually contributed to his death at the age of 59. In the beginning, drinking can open windows of thought and possibility, but too often people rely on it to get them through the day, i.e. Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Patricia Highsmith, Tennessee Williams, need I go on? Stand-up comedian Amber Tozer gives us her story about a life-long affinity for alcohol in the sharply honest memoir Sober Stick Figure (Running Press, May 31, 2016). Having been an alcoholic since her teenage years (but…

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Jump for Joy Giveaways!

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This week we have some great books, from LOL hilarious to deep and insightful, we’ve got you covered for all your reading pleasures. Comment for a chance to win one of these exciting titles. Can I Sit on Your Lap While You’re Pooping? by Matthew Carroll As a single dad, Matthew Carroll didn’t always have someone to share in his frequent laughter and incredulity at the various things his daughter, Morgan, said. Hoping to docu­ment some of her best commentary, Carroll took to recording her choicest quotes on his iPhone when she was between the ages of three and five. He then compiled them chronologically in a small homemade volume for friends and family who, compelled by the hilarious and…

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These 3 British Comedies Will Tap into Your Emotional Side

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I love American television, but I’ll admit it: the Brits have figured out a magic television formula that we’ve never been able to quite match. It’s a combination of wry humor mixed with heartfelt moments that destroy you. My favorite British shows are the comedies; the ones you think won’t break you with emotions. But of course you’d be wrong. Here are three British shows—and one book!—to binge watch for the next time you want to laugh/cry your way through a rainy fall afternoon: Skins Skins is a teen show that switched up its cast every two years, creating all-new dynamics, issues, relationship, and teenage drama. It’s also one of the best high school shows ever made, delving deep into…

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Must Watch: ABC Family and its Lineup of Underrated TV Shows

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When did ABC Family (soon to be Freeform) become the go-to channel for cutting-edge dramas? From pregnancies to foster families to abandoned kids, every show seems to be pushing as many boundaries as it can. But somehow the channel still seems to fly under the radar. Sure, they have a few shows that became overly popular—like Pretty Little Liars, or The Secret Life of the American Teenager—but most of their programs never really hit it big in mainstream media. Which is a shame, as they have some of the best, most heartfelt programs on TV. In order to raise awareness, here are three underrated ABC Family gems (and one book!) that you should definitely be binging: The Fosters   If you…

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Christopher Moore Talks about Death, Demons and Secondhand Souls

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When it comes to the comically absurd, Christopher Moore wrote the book. Several of them, in fact. From his first novel, Practical Demonkeeping (1992), to his most recent, Secondhand Souls (William Morrow, August 25), Moore has spun tales featuring vampires, lust-lizards, a talking fruit bat, stupid angels, Shakespearean fools and Jesus Christ himself—all of which are not only played for plenty of laughs, but loads of social commentary, as well.               In Secondhand Souls, a sequel to Moore’s 2006 novel A Dirty Job, the stakes are nothing less than life and Death itself. In the new book, people are dying in San Francisco (hey, that’s life, right?), but their souls aren’t being collected as…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with Diona Reasonover, star of the TBS sitcom Clipped

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MEET DIONA REASONOVER She can be seen on the TBS series Clipped, which centers around a group of barbershop coworkers who all went to high school together but ran in very different crowds. Now they find themselves working together at Buzzy’s. Reasonover is a scene-stealer as Charmaine, one of the hairstylists whose dry humor, sharp personality and observant mannerisms radiate throughout the barbershop. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Reasonover grew up in a blended neighborhood – with pockets of rough areas mixed with middle class housing. She had a keen interest in the arts as a child, participating in the Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit. She attended Oberlin College, where she received her Undergraduate Degree in Theater and Dance, and went on to attend the prestigious California…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with Comedian, Singer/Songwriter, and Actor Bo Burnham

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ABOUT EGGHEAD A strange and charming collection of hilariously absurd poetry, writing, and illustration from one of today’s most popular young comedians… EGGHEAD: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone Bo Burnham was a precocious teenager living in his parents’ attic when he started posting material on YouTube. 100 million people viewed those videos, turning Bo into an online sensation with a huge and dedicated following. Bo taped his first of two Comedy Central specials four days after his 18th birthday, making him the youngest to do so in the channel’s history. Now Bo is a rising star in the comedy world, revered for his utterly original and intelligent voice. And, he can SIIIIIIIIING! In EGGHEAD, Bo brings his brand of…

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Patton Oswalt writes about life as a Silver Screen Fiend

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Patton Oswalt may not exactly be a household name—not yet, anyway. But if you watch late-night TV, or Comedy Central, or Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (in which he plays Agent Billy Koenig—or is it Sam? Or Eric?), or if you’re active on Twitter (where he has more than 1.8 million followers), you know that Oswalt is one of the keenest minds in show business today. (Don’t believe us? Check out his eight-minute “Star Wars Filibuster”—totally ad-libbed—on TV’s Parks and Rec.) Now, Oswalt is the author of a second book, Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life from an Addiction to Film (Scribner, Jan. 6, 2015), in which he recounts his early days as a performer and writer. In what Oswalt calls…

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Joan Rivers: The tart-tongued trailblazer was also a bestselling author

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Joan Rivers was bawdy, obnoxious, loud, sometimes crude, and always irreverent. Love her or hate her, no one can deny she was a true original. With her acerbic wit and signature New Yawker raspy voice, she pushed the boundaries of comedy like no other female comic before her or since, and opened doors for others like Roseanne Barr, Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Silverman and Kathy Griffin. The iconic comedienne, actress, writer, director and talk show host, who was also a bestselling author, passed away on September 4 in New York City at the age of 81. From her first appearance in 1965 on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, to her last stand-up gig the night before she went into cardiac…

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Behind the wheel with Jimmy Failla, NYC cabbie turned comedian and dad

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Sure, your dad did a lot for you. But new dad Jimmy Failla has gone above and beyond the call of duty in terms of providing for his child. By day, Failla dodges traffic as a New York City cab driver. By night, he wrangles hecklers as an up-and coming stand-up comic. And all along he’s soaked up advice from his customers about what it means to be a grownup—and a father. That advice—along with everything you need to know about being a cab-driving comedian with a child on the way—is laid out in Fallia’s new book, Follow That Car! A Cabbie’s Guide to Conquering Fears, Achieving Dreams, and Finding a Public Restroom, available in bookstores now. Recently, Failla talked…

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