93 books like The Comedy Writer

By Peter Farrelly,

Here are 93 books that The Comedy Writer fans have personally recommended if you like The Comedy Writer. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Memoirs and Misinformation

Ryan Uytdewilligen Author Of He's No Angel

From my list on satire and parody on Hollywood to make you laugh.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a classic Hollywood fanatic. I can name you every Best Picture Oscar Winner on command. I’ve written screenplays and seen the industry firsthand, but if I had my choice, I’d go live through the Hollywood Golden Age. I've published numerous non-fiction film history books and have a whole lot more classic-film-inspired novels coming. And I do it all simply for the single reason that writing a book is the closest thing to time travel that I can find. Immersing myself in this world with actors that have lived, and even a few that I’ve made up, is pure heaven that transports me back to the days of the silver screen. 

Ryan's book list on satire and parody on Hollywood to make you laugh

Ryan Uytdewilligen Why did Ryan love this book?

Anything to do with Jim Carrey, I’m in. In fact, when teachers would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d reply “Be Jim Carrey.” As a longtime fan, I was excited to learn that he would finally be charting his life in an autobiography. As it turns out, the book was mostly wild fiction. What’s so engaging about this book is how he blends real-life occurrences like his body of film work and relationship with Renee Zellweger with completely off-the-wall fantasy like mentor Rodney Dangerfield returning as a Rhino, Kelsey Grammar leading a cult, and Carrey struggling with his career as his entire essence goes virtual. It’s extremely experimental, but the inclusion of celebrities will leave you grinning.     

By Jim Carrey, Dana Vachon,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Memoirs and Misinformation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • "None of this is real and all of it is true." —Jim Carrey

Meet Jim Carrey. Sure, he's an insanely successful and beloved movie star drowning in wealth and privilege—but he's also lonely. Maybe past his prime. Maybe even ... getting fat? He's tried diets, gurus, and cuddling with his military-grade Israeli guard dogs, but nothing seems to lift the cloud of emptiness and ennui. Even the sage advice of his best friend, actor and dinosaur skull collector Nicolas Cage, isn't enough to pull Carrey out of his slump.

But then Jim meets Georgie: ruthless…


Book cover of Funny Girl

Beth Morrey Author Of Clover Hendry's Day Off

From my list on books set in the world of television.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked in television as a development producer for twenty years, designing game shows, reality shows, formatted documentaries, all sorts of programming. One of the prerequisites of working in telly is to watch a lot of it, and that has always been a joy for me, as I love the medium. Even after I left the profession to become an author, I’ve retained my passion for the small screen and write a regular blog on what I’m watching. So, for me, a combination of books and television is something to be savored and celebrated. 

Beth's book list on books set in the world of television

Beth Morrey Why did Beth love this book?

Nick Hornby is one of my favorite writers, and About a Boy is one of my favorite books of all time.

I love how his prose is pared down but so profound; every sentence, however simple, carries weight, and his characterization is wonderfully human. In this book, Hornby champions mainstream entertainment, something I’m passionate about, as I can’t stand cultural snobbishness.

It’s an homage to a golden age of light entertainment, and, like television comedy, this is a book that "makes us all part of something."

By Nick Hornby,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Funny Girl as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER SOON TO BE A TV SERIES STARRING GEMMA ARTERTON AND RUPERT EVERETT

'Simply unputdownable' Guardian

'Hilarious' Daily Telegraph

'Highly entertaining' Sunday Times
_________________

Make them laugh, and they're yours forever . . .

Barbara Parker is Miss Blackpool of 1964, but she doesn't want to be a beauty queen. She wants to make people laugh.

So she leaves her hometown behind, takes herself to London, and overnight she becomes the lead in a new BBC comedy, Sophie Straw: charming, gorgeous, destined to win the nation's hearts.

Funny Girl is the story of a smash-hit TV show and…


Book cover of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Daniel Weizmann Author Of Cinnamon Girl

From my list on the dark side of show biz.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up blocks from Hollywood Boulevard in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and had something like a front-row seat to the greatest pop culture five-car pile-up in American history. At the Canteen on Hollywood and Vine, where my aunt would take me on summer weekdays for the “Extras for Extras Smorgasbord,” you’d rub shoulders with aging starlets, cowpokes, starry-eyed young hopefuls, and “leading men” in five-and-dime ascots who never had a leading role. Even Billy Barty, always of good cheer, would make the scene—he was so nice to me, and I had no idea he played my hero, Sigmund the Sea Monster!

Daniel's book list on the dark side of show biz

Daniel Weizmann Why did Daniel love this book?

Woody made fun of movie novelizations in Manhattan, but they have a special charm, especially when written by the director.* Tarantino’s gripping novel captures the changing of the guard in Hollywood ’69 as only a native son could, with special attention paid to Manson’s floppo music career.

The book also features some intense scenes that aren’t in the flick. For instance, in one chapter, Manson Family acolyte “Pussycat” creepy crawls into an elderly couple’s home at midnight and strips naked in their bedroom while they sleep and then…yeah, well, try not turning the pages, I dare ya. 

*(Another fine example is The Last Days of Disco, With Cocktails at Petrossian Afterward by Whit Stillman.)

By Quentin Tarantino,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE DELUXE HARDBACK EDITION FEATURING NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN PHOTOS, BONUS MATERIAL & AN EXCLUSIVE BOUNTY LAW SCRIPT BY QUENTIN TARANTINO

Quentin Tarantino's long-awaited first work of fiction - at once hilarious, delicious, and brutal - is the always surprising, sometimes shocking new novel based on his Academy Award-winning film.

The sunlit studio back lots and the dark watering holes of Hollywood are the setting for this audacious, hilarious, disturbing novel about life in the movie colony, circa 1969.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tells the story of washed-up actor Rick Dalton. Once Rick had his own television series, a famous western…


Book cover of Somebody's Darling

Ryan Uytdewilligen Author Of He's No Angel

From my list on satire and parody on Hollywood to make you laugh.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a classic Hollywood fanatic. I can name you every Best Picture Oscar Winner on command. I’ve written screenplays and seen the industry firsthand, but if I had my choice, I’d go live through the Hollywood Golden Age. I've published numerous non-fiction film history books and have a whole lot more classic-film-inspired novels coming. And I do it all simply for the single reason that writing a book is the closest thing to time travel that I can find. Immersing myself in this world with actors that have lived, and even a few that I’ve made up, is pure heaven that transports me back to the days of the silver screen. 

Ryan's book list on satire and parody on Hollywood to make you laugh

Ryan Uytdewilligen Why did Ryan love this book?

Did you remember when Jill Peel won an Oscar in 1950s Hollywood, and then destroyed her career by standing up to sexist producers? Then past her prime, she attempted a creative comeback by embarking on her directorial debut? Of course not! It’s all fiction, of course. But with McMurtry at the helm, you can’t help but mistake it for real life. One of my all-time favorite writers, the talented Texan manages to capture Hollywood, sexism, and complex people in an honest way. If you’re a fan of the everyday situational humor exuding in his works like Terms of Endearment and The Last Picture Show, you’ll thoroughly enjoy this still very relevant look at aging and gender in the motion picture industry. 

By Larry McMurtry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Somebody's Darling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Forty years ago, Larry McMurtry journeyed from the sprawling ranches of his early work to the provocative Sunset Strip, creating a Hollywood fable that is both immediate and relevant in today's dynamic cultural climate. One would never guess that Jill Peel is still on the verge of stardom. Jill won an Oscar shortly after her fresh-faced arrival in 1950s Hollywood, then for the next twenty years batted away every Tinseltown producer who tried to hire her and get her into bed. Now middle-aged, she's determined to create more movie magic by directing a cast of raunchy eccentrics, including Joe Percy,…


Book cover of Groucho Marx, Master Detective

Michael Bradley Author Of Dead Air: A Novel of Suspense

From my list on first in a suspense or mystery series.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell in love with the mystery genre at a young age, starting with Donald J. Sobol's Encyclopedia Brown series. It didn't take long to graduate to the likes of Sherlock Holmes, particularly once PBS began broadcasting the series with Jeremy Brett in the titular role. Over the years, my passion for mystery and suspense stories has branched out into numerous sub-genres and a variety of classics from such superb authors like Agatha Christie, Leslie Charteris, P. D. James, and Charles Todd. As much as I enjoy individual mystery and suspense novels, I enjoy even more a series with a cast of characters that I can follow from book to book. 

Michael's book list on first in a suspense or mystery series

Michael Bradley Why did Michael love this book?

I've been a huge fan of the Marx Brothers for many years. So, when I found a book that featured Groucho Marx as an amateur detective, I jumped on it. This, the first in a six-book series, is a treat to anyone who is a fan of the golden age of Hollywood. It is a cavalcade of famous names from the era of black and white films. Goulart does a tremendous job balancing a mysterious plotline with the lighthearted fun that you'd expect from a novel featuring Groucho Marx. And I'm happy to report that Goulart captures the essence of Groucho perfectly. The book, as well as the series, is a terrific tribute to one of Hollywood comedy geniuses. And it's a damn good mystery as well.

By Ron Goulart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Groucho Marx, Master Detective as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To stay busy between movies, Groucho Marx agrees to act in a radio serial, but before the first episode can even be aired, his beautiful co-star is found dead, and he becomes determined to find her killer.


Book cover of He

Andrew Hook Author Of Candescent Blooms

From my list on fictional stories featuring real life people.

Why am I passionate about this?

The central themes in my own writing have always encompassed those of identity, the nature of reality, and variations on immortality. The lives of ‘celebrities’ touch upon all those themes, albeit through a distorted kaleidoscope where their own lives and the public’s perceptions of their lives intersect and are amplified and a third ‘character’ – that of the composite person, is then brought into existence. I find it fascinating how we can all be myriad people dependent upon who we interact with, and this is heightened when layered over the notion of ‘celebrity’ and fame by association. The books I've chosen act as mirrors to celebrity, but also work as great storytelling.

Andrew's book list on fictional stories featuring real life people

Andrew Hook Why did Andrew love this book?

He is a fictionalized account of the comedian Stan Laurel's life. Being a massive fan of Laurel & Hardy, whose films remain irrepressibly funny to this day, and having read several factual books about Stan and his sidekick, it was a no-brainer to pick this up and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Whilst at times it feels like a ‘tick box’ situation regarding some of the events that an aficionado of Laurel would expect to be covered, at other times it provides an acute insight into the man behind the films. The similarity of the process on show here is so close to Blonde that a comparison is inevitable, and whilst he doesn’t provide the same emotional impact and is quite clinical in the telling, it nevertheless remains an important work in its own right and therefore is highly recommended.

By John Connolly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked He as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An extraordinary recreation of one of the most enduring and beloved partnerships in cinema history: Laurel & Hardy.

Winner of the 2017 Ryan Tubridy Show Listener's Choice Award at the Irish Book Awards.

John Connolly recreates the golden age of Hollywood for an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity and the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists.

An extraordinary reimagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who loved, and was loved in turn; who betrayed,…


Book cover of Get Shorty

Marjorie McCown Author Of Final Cut

From my list on crime about Hollywood.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been hooked on the magic of storytelling since childhood, always eager to go wherever imagination can take me. I think that early fascination led me to become a costume designer because costume design is about using clothing to help tell a story. I spent 27 years working on the costume design teams for films like Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Angels & Demons, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When I decided to take what felt like a logical creative step, to write my own stories, I knew I wanted to write murder mysteries. And I thought the world behind the scenes of a movie would make the perfect setting.   

Marjorie's book list on crime about Hollywood

Marjorie McCown Why did Marjorie love this book?

Elmore Leonard knew the vagaries of the movie business back to front, and he serves them up on a platter of delicious satire in this story about an East Coast loan shark, Chili Palmer, who comes to Los Angeles chasing a deadbeat debtor and winds up in his own fractured fairy tale version of the Hollywood dream.

Chili’s an endearing character, street smart with a unique blend of humility and self-confidence. When his collection job throws him into company with a group of movie people, he sees them and their milieu with clear-eyed objectivity.

Talking to an underworld associate, he says, “The movie business, you can do anything you want because there’s nobody in charge.” Leonard’s mastery of dialogue and character, along with his wit and sly affection for the industry he’s skewering combine to make this book a complete delight. 

By Elmore Leonard,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Get Shorty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A thriller filled with Leonard's signatures - scathing wit, crackling dialogue, twisted plot, mad scams - and set in the drug sodden world of Hollywood.


Book cover of Becoming Richard Pryor

John Corcelli Author Of Outside Looking In: The Seriously Funny Life and Work of George Carlin

From my list on the most creative artists of our time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a student of biography. Artists, musicians, and comedians are what I read about. I crave to know what makes a great artist tick, how their ideas develop, and why they choose to pursue their craft at huge personal expense. I’m motivated to write more of my own. These biographies are informative, entertaining, and engaging reads, well worth your time. It’s a challenging and frustrating process to tell an artist’s story. Yet their roots, their influences, and how they shake up popular culture make for greater insight into our humanity. Artists take risks and I’m always impressed by the boldness of their vision.

John's book list on the most creative artists of our time

John Corcelli Why did John love this book?

Jon Stewart once proclaimed that Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, and George Carlin were the “Holy Trinity” of stand-up comedy. After reading Scott Saul’s first-rate biography of Richard Pryor, I was transformed by the detailed writing and Saul’s portrait of an artist who struggled to find his voice. Saul’s premise was not to write a full biography but to examine the life and times of Pryor from his birth to his mid-life successes in 1980. I could not have written a book about George Carlin, Pryor’s contemporary, without Saul’s deeply researched tome. It’s a great read.

By Scott Saul,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming Richard Pryor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A major biography-intimate, gripping, revelatory-of an artist who revolutionized American comedy. Richard Pryor may have been the most unlikely star in Hollywood history. Raised in his family's brothels, he grew up an outsider to privilege. He took to the stage, originally, to escape the hard-bitten realities of his childhood, but later came to a reverberating discovery: that by plunging into the depths of his experience, he could make stand-up comedy as exhilarating and harrowing as the life he'd known. He brought that trembling vitality to Hollywood, where his movie career-Blazing Saddles, the buddy comedies with Gene Wilder, Blue Collar-flowed directly…


Book cover of You'll Grow Out of It

Renée Sentilles Author Of American Tomboys, 1850-1915

From my list on tomboys by a historian of tomboys.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a young girl, I thought I was a tomboy—or I wanted to be one, because the image of a “normal” girl was far too pink and frothy and shallow for my tastes. For me, being a tomboy was less about being boy-like than being unable to claim the markers of femininity. As a historian of women and girls, I wondered how young women saw their futures in this modernizing America, with its True Women and New Women and the opening of advanced education. Did tomboys grow into the rebels who changed the world? Or, like the tomboys in so many fictional stories, did they renounce their assertive sense of self upon marriage and motherhood?

Renée's book list on tomboys by a historian of tomboys

Renée Sentilles Why did Renée love this book?

Comedian Jessi Klein explores the nexus of American femininity and female masculinity in this hilarious memoir. I particularly love her pithy statements on how commercial culture sells a somewhat toxic form of femininity that can make even the most female-identified person reconsider their gender. She cuts to the heart of the tensions of growing up in a culture that places gender on a spectrum but continues to market it as an extreme binary.

By Jessi Klein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You'll Grow Out of It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jessi Klein is not a girl's girl, or a woman's woman. Raised in Greenwich Village by parents who didn't notice if she wore the same pair of pants for months on end, she later learned that there were some essential lessons in femininity she'd been missing: how to get your butt to look like two round tennis balls (barre class); how to wait patiently for an engagement (get drunk by yourself at Logan Airport); and how to get over an ex in the age of Google (use the World Wide Web to discover everything about his new girlfriend). In this…


Book cover of Last Man Standing: Mort Sahl and the Birth of Modern Comedy

John Corcelli Author Of Outside Looking In: The Seriously Funny Life and Work of George Carlin

From my list on the most creative artists of our time.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a student of biography. Artists, musicians, and comedians are what I read about. I crave to know what makes a great artist tick, how their ideas develop, and why they choose to pursue their craft at huge personal expense. I’m motivated to write more of my own. These biographies are informative, entertaining, and engaging reads, well worth your time. It’s a challenging and frustrating process to tell an artist’s story. Yet their roots, their influences, and how they shake up popular culture make for greater insight into our humanity. Artists take risks and I’m always impressed by the boldness of their vision.

John's book list on the most creative artists of our time

John Corcelli Why did John love this book?

Interested in learning more about the life and times of Mort Sahl? Then look no further! Curtis does a remarkable job of putting Sahl’s life and work into historical context, a key to understanding the evolution of stand-up comedy after 1950. The story of Sahl is the story of every comedian who wanted to speak truth to power in a funny way. Sahl shaped the style of George Carlin, Woody Allen, and David Steinberg. Curtis pays tribute to the comedian and the artistic legacy he left us. It was an important resource for my study of George Carlin.

By James Curtis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Man Standing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On December 22, 1953, Mort Sahl (b. 1927) took the stage at San Francisco's hungry i and changed comedy forever. Before him, standup was about everything but hard news and politics. In his wake, a new generation of smart comics emerged-Shelley Berman, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Lenny Bruce, Bob Newhart, Dick Gregory, Woody Allen, and the Smothers Brothers. He opened up jazz-inflected satire to a loose network of clubs, cut the first modern comedy album, and appeared on the cover of Time surrounded by caricatures of some of his frequent targets such as Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Adlai Stevenson,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in comedians, Los Angeles, and satire?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about comedians, Los Angeles, and satire.

Comedians Explore 36 books about comedians
Los Angeles Explore 335 books about Los Angeles
Satire Explore 150 books about satire