This cover picture, published by Knopf, shows “Inside Comedy: The Soul, Wit, and Bite of Comedy and Comedians of the Last Five Decades” by David Steinberg.


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From MOLLY SPRAYREGEN Associated Press

“Inside Comedy” by David Steinberg (button)

The legendary David Steinberg was one of the most famous comedians of the late 60s and 70s. His acclaimed stand-up career included 140 appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, four comedy albums, and two Grammy nominations. He has directed episodes of “Friends,” “Mad About You,” “Seinfeld,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and more.

And if you can think of a famous comedian, Steinberg probably worked with them.

His new book, Inside Comedy, takes readers through the decades of working with dozens of icons, including Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin, Chris Rock and the late Robin Williams.

Steinberg offers a glimpse behind the scenes of comedy life through personal stories. We’re on stage with him and Williams. We sit next to him while he interviews Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. We experience the rush to appear by his side in Second City and in comedy clubs.

Steinberg paints deep and intimate portraits of the comedians we know and love. He tells us their life stories, how they got into comedy and gives us an insight into who they really are. He also guides us through the development of comedy over the last few decades.

The stories Steinberg tells are sometimes a bit long, but a real treat. He’s fun, warm, and welcoming when telling about life in an industry that it is clear he loves very much. He speaks of his fellow comedians with infinite admiration and respect, which makes it impossible not to fall in love with each of them. Comedy lovers are sure to love this behind-the-scenes adventure.

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