WEDNESDAY, MAY 25th at 7:30 pm @ Larry Edmunds Bookshop
Kliph Nesteroff & television legend George Schlatter!
Author Kliph Nesteroff has brought together over a hundred years of hilarity in his great read, “The Comedians”. Kliph & I were talking about some of his interviews & I mentioned what an amazingly funny storyteller George Schlatter was at an event I saw him speak at.
Kliph said, “You don’t say…”
Ladies & gentleman, the legendary George Schlatter is going to join us here at the LARE!
It is going to be a special night as Kliph signs his book, “The Comedians” & interviews televison legend George Sclatter!
We are also going to have a special screening of footage from the Schlatter vault too! It will be a surprise.
Don’t miss out on this one of a kind cornucopia of comedic coolness!
Here’s more about the book & our guests:
THE COMEDIANS Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy By Kliph Nesteroff
“Kliph Nesteroff and this book are devoted to what I truly love—the art of comedy.”—Mel Brooks
“Both pop culture enthusiasts and entertainment scholars will relish this important history of American comedy.” —Library Journal (STARRED review)
THE COMEDIANS: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy is an expansive and endlessly entertaining history of comedy, spanning more than a century from vaudeville, through radio, television, the counterculture, the comedy club boom, to the present. Based on over two hundred original interviews, from major stars like Mel Brooks and Steve Martin to forgotten nobodies, and extensive archival research, this book offers the first ever comprehensive history of standup, a quintessential American art form. While the jokes change from generation to generation, the experience of the comedian transcends the ages: the drive, jealousy, heartbreak, and triumph.
From the Marx Brothers to Milton Berle to Joan Rivers to Eddie Murphy to Louis CK—Nesteroff, a leading authority on the history of comedy and vintage show business, brings to life a century of fascinating rebels, groundbreakers, mainstream heroes, counterculture iconoclasts, and forgotten stars in this essential history. Beginning with the nationwide vaudeville circuits that dominated at turn of the twentieth century, Nesteroff describes the rise of the first true stand-up comedian—a variety show emcee named Frank Fay who made the unorthodox choice to abandon physical shtick for straight jokes. After the repeal of Prohibition, Mafia-run supper clubs replaced speakeasies, and mobsters replaced vaudeville impresarios as the comedian’s primary employer. Those were the days of the Copacabana, tuxedos, and smoking cigars onstage, when insulting the boss could result in a hit man at your door and obscenity charges could land you in jail. Beginning in the 1930s the golden age of radio lured vaudeville stars to the airwaves and made millionaires out of comedians like Jack Benny and later Bob Hope. And the combination of two major standup circuits, the “Borscht Belt” in the Catskill Mountains, and the predominantly black nightclubs dubbed the “Chitlin Circuit,” furnished more jobs and money for comedians than ever before.
For the first half of the 20th Century comedians performed without referencing their personal lives onstage—jokes would be about “a fella” or “a guy,” but in the mid-1950s, comedians started using “I” and drawing on their personal lives. The fifties also saw the rise of late-night television, which cemented the status of the comedy establishment with immensely popular and long running shows like CBS’s Ed Sullivan Show and NBC’s Tonight Show. Meanwhile young comics rebelled from the mainstream, arriving on the beatnik coffeehouse scene with cerebral jokes and social angst. They soon found their own way to fame through comedy records that vied with top musicians for Billboard spots. Then came the comedy clubs of the coke-fueled 1970s and 80s, Saturday Night Live and cable TV. The internet has brought about a whole new generation of YouTube stars, podcast personalities, and Twitterati. Through the decades, Nesteroff reveals the contradictions between comedians’ public and private personas and illuminates the often-seedy underbelly of an industry built on laughs. In looking at one hundred years of comedy THE COMEDIANS explores the ways that comics have reflected, shaped, and changed American culture. While mediums and audience sensibilities continue to shift through the generations, perhaps the only constant is comedy’s unfailing popularity. As Phyllis Diller once said, “There will never be enough comedy. Comedy is at a premium always.”
“Comedy buffs and social historians will forever be in Kliph Nesteroff’s debt for this book. A heady mixture of show-business anecdotes, gossip, and in-depth research on everything from vaudeville to podcasting. What’s more, it’s a great read: I couldn’t put it down.”—Leonard Maltin
About the Author: Kliph Nesteroff is a former stand-up comic turned writer. A longtime contributor to WFMU, writing about the history of comedy, Nesteroff’s latest project is hosting the Classic Showbiz Talk Show, a live series in Los Angeles that has welcomed comedy luminaries like Mel Brooks, Fred Willard and Laugh-In creator George Schlatter.
Throughout his long and successful career as a producer, director and writer, George Schlatter has been responsible for hundreds of hours of television series and specials. He changed the face of television when he created and produced such breakthrough series as Laugh-In and Real People. Over the years, George has received numerous honors and awards including: 25 Emmy Award nominations, three Emmys, three Image Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Television Critics Awards, Directors Guild Award, Producers Guild “Man of The Year,” and many others. On its 25th Anniversary, the Television Academy honored him for his outstanding contribution to television. In 1989, he was awarded a star on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame.
Mr. Schlatter is a veteran of over 50 years in network television. He produced the first 5 years of the Grammy Awards plus series and specials starring Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Eddie Murphy, Cher, Elton John, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Liza Minnelli, Michael Jackson, Doris Day, Jonathan Winters, Richard Pryor, Shirley MacLaine, Bill Cosby, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, Diana Ross, Lena Horne, Dinah Shore, Nat King Cole, Placido Domingo and scores of others.