Posts tagged improv books

If you’re like us and still haven’t finished – or, um, started – your holiday shopping, here are some suggestions for the funny ones on your list. (No, we haven’t made a list yet, either.)

Saint Celebrity Prayer Candles

Holy crapola! How cool are these? If you don’t see something you like, you can request a custom order of your favourite Comedy Gods. Saints Odenkirk, Poehler, and Colbert, please!

Artwork © Saint Celebrity

Artwork © Saint Celebrity

Top Tomes

We’re big fans of learning from different theatres and instructors, and the same goes for improv books. While the points of view vary, each of these titles is written by authors who know their shit. For anyone looking to expand their knowledge of long form and comedy, one (or more) of these would make a great gift.


Improvising Better: A Guide for the Working Improviser by Liz Allen and Jimmy Carrane

Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual by Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Matt Walsh

Long Form Improvisation and American Comedy: The Harold by Fotis, Matt (2014) Hardcover by Matt Fotis

Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ and Dave Book by TJ Jagodowski & David Pasquesi with Pam Victor

Improvise: Scene from the Inside Out by Mick Napier (now updated and expanded with a foreword by Stephen Colbert)

Improvising Now by Rob Norman

Truth in Comedy by Del Close, Charna Halpern and Kim “Howard” Johnson

Comedy Writing Secrets: The Best-Selling Guide to Writing Funny and Getting Paid for It by Mel Helitzer and Mark Shatz

The Comic Toolbox: How to Be Funny Even If You’re Not by John Vorhaus

And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers–The New Unexpurgated Version!by Mike Sacks

Trust Us, This Is All Made Up 

Like A Charlie Brown Christmas, TJ and Dave’s documentary is a timeless classic. Featuring behind-the-scenes footage and a fully-improvised, 50-minute performance at the Barrow Street Theatre, it’s a must-see for all improvisers.

Improv Tees, Clocks, Mugs & More

From spiffy new logo Tees to our Improviser’s Clock, you’ll find goodies galore in our online store. Happy hols!Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 3.43.52 PM

When we came across the bookshelfies tumblr, we were smitten.

Here’s our improv-related section. Like a good Harold, it’s got a bit of this and a bit of that, but somehow everything’s connected. (See below for links.) What’s on yours?


The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right – Al Franken

Final Cut: Art, Money, and Ego in the Making of Heaven’s Gate, the Film that Sank United Artists – Steven Bach

Zen and the Art of Stand-Up Comedy – Jay Sankey

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose – Eckhart Tolle

On Writing– Stephen King

The Right to Write – Julia Cameron

The Actor’s Art and Craft – William Esper and Damon DiMarco

Comedy Writing Secrets – Mel Helitzer and Mark Shatz

And Here’s the Kicker: Conversations with 21 Top Humor Writers – Mike Sacks

You’re Not Doing It Right– Michael Ian Black

American Theatre Book of Monologues for Men (Vol 1) – Stephanie Coen

Taking the Leap – Pema Chodron

The Glass Teat – Harlan Ellison

Magical Thinking – Augusten Burroughs

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

Born Standing Up – Steve Martin

Truth in Comedy – Charna Halpern, Del Close and Kim Johnson

The Basketball Diaries – Jim Carroll

Improvising Better: A Guide for the Working Improviser – Jimmy Carrane and Liz Allen

Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual– Matt Besser, Ian Roberts and Ian Walsh

The Art And Craft Of Storytelling – Nancy Lamb

Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story – Jennifer Grisanti

The Art of Non-Conformity – Chris Guillebeau

Improvise: Scene from the Inside Out – Mick Napier

Play – Stuart Brown

Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great – William M. Akers

The Elements of Style – Strunk and White

The Office: The Scripts – Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant

The Zoo Story and The Sandbox – Edward Albee

Look Back in Anger – John Osborne

A Practical Handbook for the Actor – Melissa Bruder, Lee Michael Cohn, Madeline Olnek, Nathaniel Pollack, Robert Previtio, Scott Zigler and David Mamet