Fresh air with Terry Gross Just for Laughs : interviews with 18 stars of comedy.

I really enjoy learning about the art of comedy. It has always been an admirable skill to make someone laugh especially when life is not so funny. When I found this audio download available through my library, I was very happy. This 3-hour audio contains 10-15 minute snippets of past Fresh Air interviews. There is a nice variety of comedians old and new, working in a variety of genres, giving the listener a wide variety of experiences. The compilation includes the following interviewees: Aziz Ansari, Mike Judge, Trey Parker & Matt Stone, Sarah Silverman, Will Ferrell, Denis Leary, Sacha Baron Cohen, Stephen Colbert, Mort Sahl, George Carlin, Don Rickles, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Joan Rivers, Steve Martin, Billy West and Woody Allen.

Terry Gross, recipient of the 2003 Edward R. Murrow award, is a fantastic interviewer. The interviews are a very casual experience. I never get the impression that she crams for the interview but draws from her own knowledge as a fan and asks questions that are important and interesting to the listener. She is completely engaging and most importantly, not afraid to laugh.

Although there are many laughs, there are also things to ponder. I love to hear about all the work that goes into being a seemingly effortlessly funny and successful comedian in a chosen genre. Much of what makes people laugh can be controversial. This discussion of controversy was most intriguing and thought provoking. Comedy to me is very raw and sometimes not pretty whether the comedian is taking from his/her own life experiences or holding a mirror up to society.

Also, it is interesting to see comedians out of their element. Guess what? They are people just like you and me. They are not always a laugh-riot which is even more proof that comedy is an art requiring hard work. So if you need a laugh AND like to think, check out this downloable audio book.

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