Made You Laugh!

By Joe Garner, Carl Reiner, Richard Pryor, Joe Garner, Carl Reiner, Richard Pryor

15 ratings - 4* vote

What better way to recognize and honor America's funniest moments and greatest laugh artists than an insightful, anecdote-laden multimedia presentation that allows readers and viewers to fully experience the sharpest comedians throughout broadcast and film history. That's exactly what Made You Laugh! offers, as author Joe Garner applies his magic touch to one of America's What better way to recognize and honor America's funniest moments and greatest laugh artists than an

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Book details

Hardcover, 208 pages
October 28th 2004 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

(first published October 1st 2004)

Original Title
Made You Laugh: The Funniest Moments in Comedy
064173011X (ISBN13: 9780641730115)

Community Reviews

Paul Riches

Made You Laugh! is modern history of the funnies

Growing up, a weekly lesson of the world was provided by listening to the Dr Demento radio show on CHUM FM and CFNY and the Sunday Funnies on CHUM FM. And they did this through playing comedy songs and stand-up routines from all sorts of acts spanning many many decades.

While these shows were funny and entertaining, they also provided a valuable education of history and life and culture, this was especially true of Dr. Demento, who often gave information about the songs and their context.

This education that you did not really know you were getting was invaluable, and thankfully I recently consumed a new school of comedy, an easy breezy hardcover called Made You Laugh! The Funniest Moments In Radio, Television, Stand-Up, and Movie Comedy. It was researched and written by Joe Garner, with a foreword by Richard Pryor, and it comes with a dvd hosted by Carl and Rob Reiner, and it is apparently the first time this father son comedy legends ever worked together. The dvd has hours of clips of comedy acts and interviews with comedians.

Made You Laugh is broken up into three sections, radio and television, stand-up, and movies, and is lavishly filled with tons of pictures of the acts talked about. But for some unknown reason, none of the pictures are labelled with who they are, you have to make educated guesses as to who’s who. Thankfully, they are next to the sections about them, so that is something.

Now each section is even further subdivided into, say, different types of sitcoms, or female comedians, or a look at silent films moguls Mack Sennett and Hal Roach, with everything well organized and easy to navigate.

Tons of information is here, about the life and beginning’s of so many comedy acts or shows or movies, and the later times and controversies that occurred. But you can also tell who Garner’s absolute favourites are, since they get far more ink then others. Buddy Hackett and The In-Laws and Everybody Loves Raymond gets waaaaaay more coverage then they probably should. Garner shines in his looks at acts that I lacked much knowledge of, like Mort Sahl or Will Rogers or Richard Pryor, and the impact their truths had on society.

You can tell Garner thinks highly of Pryor, devoting many pages to him, and showing us his life with all its massive ups and downs and turning points and controversies. I knew most of this, but it was interesting to see all tackled in a mainstream book like this.

Which also brings up a warning, despite its glossy attractive friendly look, Made You Laugh is not for the little ones or sensitive types. Garner goes with being honest and using the R rated language and subject matter when appropriate. So yes, he does print George Carlin’s Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television and quotes some the act, and even nowadays in the era of pay tv cable channels and streaming services, it feels daring. And it is another great look at how we view language in society then and now.

This volume was published in 2004, which is of course noticeable because the Bill Cosby and The Cosby Show sections make no mention of Cosby’s horrific crimes and subsequent convictions. Also, some acts are interviewed in the book and dvd, who have passed away since then, including Jerry Lewis and Tim Conway, but it is still nice to see their thoughts on things, even through I hate Jerry Lewis and think he is full of crud.

But differences of opinions of comedy and how the sausage is made between Garner and myself does not bother me here. I love The Front Page (1931) and Cary Grant, but I can’t stand the remake starring him called My Girl Friday, and I pretty sure I am the only person on Earth who feels this way, but Garner’s write-up about this film almost changed my mind. Almost.

Made You Laugh ends with a section on the crazy insane crazy Marx Brothers, and Garner going on about the famous over crowded room scene in A Night At The Opera.

It is a wonderfully funny chaotic classic bit feels kinda fitting to be the coda here, learning about timing, and to reeeeeealy stretch the analogy, about what services a cruise ship offer.