The 5 million copy
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Do you talk funny?


Stand out from the crowd by confidently pronouncing on the merits of the greatest performers in stand-up history and hold your own in any discussion about the best gags of all time.


Bruce Dessau

Bruce has been a comedy fan for as long as he can remember and a critic for almost as long. He has seen more stand-up gigs than he has had hot dinners, though that may be because he has missed a lot of hot dinners due to being at stand-up gigs. He has chaired the Edinburgh Comedy Awards panel twice and has regularly served on the judging committee, trawling the Scottish capital every summer in search of new talent. He has talked about comedians on TV and radio and written about them for The Guardian and The Times.

He is currently the comedy critic for the London Evening Standard. He is the editor of comedy website Beyond The Joke and the author of numerous books including biographies of Reeves and Mortimer and Rowan Atkinson. When not reviewing gigs he can usually be found lurking at the back of stand-up clubs for his own amusement. His favourite comedian is publicity-shy genius Daniel Kitson.

"An indispensable guide from a man who has lived and breathed stand-up comedy for longer than most stand-up comedians."

Simon Pegg

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Modern comedy has its roots in ancient pagan rites that some experts believe even predate Liverpudlian legend Ken Dodd telling gags about the Inland Revenue. Learn more about stand-up’s rib-tickling roots.

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