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5 Comedy Writing Books

Comedy Books

BitComedy’s Top 5 Books for Writing Comedy (2 of them aren’t even about comedy)

Do you want to learn to write comedy and can’t make up your mind which book to buy? Most books about comedy writing won’t teach you much. They may have the odd exercise that works but in the main they are a waste of money. This selection works. The important thing to note about the other 2 books is they teach you how to be a writer.

Most Useful for all Comedy Writing

New Comedy Writing Step by Step

By Gene Perret

This is the Daddy of comedy writing. Perret was a top writer in the golden age of US TV comedy and wrote for the likes of Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller. There are sections covering everything from topical to sitcom humour. It’s out of print but there’s usually a copy floating around Amazon Marketplace.

Devour this book and use it as a reference for gag-writing, pacing and generally learning the craft of comedy writing.

Have a look at New Comedy Writing Step by Step

Best for Learning The Process of Comedy Writing

Comedy Writing Workbook

By Gene Perret

This is comedy writing heaven. A book full of exercises that works you hard and if you put the effort in, well…

The book is currently out of print but I got mine on Amazon Marketplace.

Have a look at Comedy Writing Workbook

Great to have in reserve.

The Comic Toolbox: How to be Funny Even If You’re Not

By John Vorhaus

This is full of different ways of changing your thinking. Well worth dipping into to get another starting point or just for the fun of new ways of approaching writing.

Have a look at The Comic Toolbox: How to be Funny Even If You’re Not

Comedy Writing Books Comment

You will pick up tips from the majority of Comedy Writing Books but you really only need two or three. Write your own stuff and write and write till you’re sick of it. Learn to be your own medicine. What works for one writer is not always going to work for you.


Becoming a Writer

By Dorothea Brand

Do you understand what it takes to write? Do you want to learn? Would you like to learn to write when you want to write?

Dorothea Brand’s book was first published in the 1930s and it is the only book for those who want to become a writer.

I used it to learn to write on demand.

Have a look at Becoming a Writer

Writing Down The Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

By Natalie Goldberg

This is a collection of short essays and writing exercises. You won’t find anything to do with writing comedy but you will find plenty to think about and put into action.

Have a look at Writing Down The Bones: Freeing the Writer Within