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I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America's Top Comics

I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America's Top Comics
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Ritch Shydner & Mark Schiff
Foreword by: Jerry Seinfeld
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 262
Pub. Date: 2006
ISBN-10: 030738229X
ISBN-13: 9780307382290

About the Book:

The biggest names in standup comedy reveal the howlingly funny, completely shocking, and disturbingly bizarre moments they've experienced on the road.

Even funnier and far more bizarre than the stories stand-up comedians tell onstage are the road stories they tell each other: of being attacked by homicidal audiences, ingesting mass quantities of alcohol and narcotics, and staving off loneliness through dizzying sexual excess. Cumulatively, these road stories throw open a hilarious and often shocking — window onto the real nature of telling jokes for a living. Yet, until now, the off-stage life of the stand-up comedian was a world hidden from the public, accessible only to comics who'd paid heavy dues.

In what is truly a landmark publication, I Killed presents the never-before-published recollections of America's comedy pantheon: an awesomely talented lineup that ranges from hip urban comics such as Lewis Black, Paul Rodriguez, and Carlos Mencia to blue-collar belly-laughers Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, and Ron White.

Particularly well represented are television and motion-picture comedy stars from the past four decades: personalities as various as Red Buttons, Brett Butler, Jonathan Winters, Dick Martin, Paula Poundstone, Dennis Miller, Tom Arnold, Bill Maher, Larry David, Phyllis Diller, Tim Allen, Drew Carey, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Rita Rudner, Chris Rock, and Mike Myers.

And making their own posthumous cameos are such legends as Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, Sam Kinison, Milton Berle, Johnny Carson, and Andy Kaufman.

All told, over 200 practitioners of the comic arts came clean for this shockingly revealing and surprisingly insightful book. Some of the most memorable tales are offered up by comedians whose names will be unfamiliar, rising stars for whom modern-day comedy has become an extreme sport. Most of us suspect that our own job is not quite as, well, interesting as it could be. I Killed proves that, man, we had no idea.

What people say:

"Mark and Ritch are two of the funniest comedians to ever live and I Killed is one of the funniest books I've ever read. I laughed, I cried, I had an abortion." — Chris Rock

"Schiff and Shydner have done it. They've not only written a great book, but have managed to accomplish it without actually doing any writing. The last person to pull that off was Moses when he received the Ten Commandments. As a comedian and former holder of 'The Laziest Man in the World' title, I salute them." — Larry David

"If this book proves nothing else, it's that comics are sick, disgusting and many are in need of some sort of mental health treatment. That being said, there's laugh out loud stuff here, and the laugh, as this book shows, is all that really matters." — Jeff Foxworthy

"If you want to understand society, don't look at where people work or even what they buy. Look at how they behave at night, as revealed in these fascinatingly varied stories of laughter offered and denied. From Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to East Lansing, Michigan, from Raleigh, North Carolina to Phoenix, Arizona and everywhere in between, here is the real America with all the insecurity and bluster, weirdos, hucksters, and just plain regular folk who make us who we are." — Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class

"This oratorio of humiliation and chagrin, performance anxiety and sneaky triumph, is a riveting reading experience. It shows that there is nothing funnier than the collision of two conflicting and unappeasable sets of human need." — Phillip Lopate, author of The Art of the Personal Essay