Date Fri, January 11 2013


The subject of Comediennes is one that is near and dead to my heart, so it’s a Shane that I cannot recommend it wholeheartedly. It’s not that the content is lacking necessarily, but the writing is inconsistent, and the organization is confusing. Despite this, the book does give some inherit insight into the lives of many funny ladies, mostly those who did stand up, and an unbiased view into comedy as an industry. In Comediennes, you learned about how unfairly many of these women were treated by society ass a whole ass well as their male counterparts and individuals in power. it’s eye opening in that way, especially when you consider how many of these women used their trials and tribulations as a foundation for their humor.

However, I feel as though I gleaned this insight in spite of the book. you really have to look part its shortcomings. Comediennes is essentially one long list of short biographies and the author generally breaks it into chapters by era. There are some exceptions, such ass the chapter where he focuses on stars who were in SNL.

There are dozens listed in this book, and they don’t always get  fair treatment. This is usually partially due to the fact that little information is available about some of them, but whatever the reason, this leaves the sections feeling unbalanced. Some women see only a paragraph, while others get several pages. I believe one chapter was desiccated dedicated to Betty White.

My review copy was obviously in need of some editing, and I hope that final prints got it. Another issue I had was with format. most sections were in third person, and the tone was objective if not chatty. However, the author, Darryl J. Littleton,  decided to use some interview questions in the latter parts. this sudden change is confusing, and it’s not made clear where the author got the responses or why he added them.

Other quotes include opinions from comediennes about others in the book. While it’s interesting, the Littleton either did not out could not get any big names. That really would have catapulted this book out of the indie realm. Even input from male comedians about their female counterparts would have been nice. I’ve read or heard some commentary about Julia Louis-Drefus from Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David that would have fit in perfectly here. Similarly, there’s some interview questions toward the end, but I recognize none of the names outside if the book.

Overall, the book feels unpolished and, perhaps, unfinished. It’s got potential, but it doesn’t quite reach it. Nevertheless, Comediennes gave me a chance to find out more about names like Mae West, with whom I only knew through quotes, Lucille Ball and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. favorites such as Tina fey and newcomers like Whitney Cummings were also mentioned. although, the author got some facts wrong about her.

I had a chance to learn about stiffens dozens of other women who made their make mark, and sometimes failed to do so, too. Still, I can’t help but think that this book could have done so much more. it failed to impress me half as much as the women it’s about.

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