Killer Comedy by Jonathan Root 

Killer Comedy

By Jonathan Root 

Self Published, 123 pages, $6.99 

Available on Amazon 

I really wanted this book to be great. I think it’s amazing that a comedy juggler has written a book about comedy writing. Jonathan and his performing partner are fantastic entertainers who have a had a long and succesfull career. It’s my understanding that both Bill and Jonathan constantly strive be better people and performers. Unfortunately, Jonathan’s book doesn’t live up to its claim to be a: “Practical guide to comedy writing”. 

Killer Comedy reads like a blog about a comedy juggling duo. Occasionally it offers some advice about comedy writing but mostly it’s mix of personal anecdotes and pseudo-libertarian rants. I don’t mind the stories and I think they are a great resource for the beginning juggler. They definitely show the progression from pizza boy to full time professional entertainer. A lot of them are fun to read too. If the book had been sold as Killer Comedy: The Unauthorized Story of Juggling’s Badboys I wouldn’t have had a single problem with it (besides the title, which in their defense, I made up). I would have thought it was a great read and I would have been glad for the bits about comedy writing as a glimpse into how Jonathan and Bill made a career out of juggling. 

Jonathan does offer some good, if generic advice (much like this site, which is, I want to point out, not a book). In fact, the whole of his book can be summarized in one chapter. Which he does. Chapter 10: Comedy Tips. Chapter 10 is great, it offers a bunch of clear and actionable advice that is great for any beginning comedy juggler as well as being a good reminder for those of us who have been in the game longer. None of it is new, but it is a condensed and concise collection of practical advice and I think it’s the best part of the book.

I’d recommend reading Killer Comedy if you want to know more about Jonathan Root’ political views, working process, or the history of a juggling team. It’s full of affirming content about the power of laughter, the ability to succede, and one man’s struggle with his mustache. I wouldn’t recommend reading Killer Comedy if you are looking for a book that will help you become a better comedian or more specifically a better comedy juggler. 

4 thoughts on “Killer Comedy by Jonathan Root 

Add yours

    1. Stay tuned! So far there isn’t a book specifically about writing for comedy juggling. Scotty Meltzer has written an excellent series about it for the IJA ezine.
      For more generic comedy writing read anything by Greg Dean and Sol Saks wrote The Craft Of Comedy Writing which is my favorite book on the subject but is now out of print.
      At some point I will write about both of them for the blog in more detail.

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