Read Satiristas: Comedians, Contrarians, Raconteurs & Vulgarians by Paul Provenza Free Online
Book Title: Satiristas: Comedians, Contrarians, Raconteurs & Vulgarians|
The author of the book: Paul Provenza
ISBN 13: 9780061859342
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 628 KB
Edition: It Books
Date of issue: May 11th 2010
Read full description of the books Satiristas: Comedians, Contrarians, Raconteurs & Vulgarians:I found out about "¡Satiristas!" through Paul Provenza's recent appearance on Marc Maron's podcast, with which this collection of interviews shares a similar spirit. These are simple, honest conversations, focused loosely on the subject of comedy and satire as an art form. However, the book's biggest strength - the breadth and variety of social commentators represented within - is, in some ways, also its weakness.
"¡Satiristas!" contains some fifty interviews, all with unarguably important voices on the subjects of comedy and satire, but I can't help but think the book would have been better had it had been slashed to 25 or 30 interviews, with each one granted a little more time and depth. As is, each interview is only given around six pages, and many of the conversations fail to evolve to their full potential. Provenza has arranged the book very well so that each interview leads comfortably into the next, but because these conversations are so short, and because they all focus on similar subject matter, the book can become repetitive after awhile.
That being said, the good in "¡Satiristas!" far outweighs the bad. Even these brief conversations yield a number of good stories and poignant nuggets of wisdom. Robin Williams is smart and disarmingly honest talking about George W. Bush and the Iraq War; Randy Newman offers interesting insights on his songs "Rednecks" and "Short People"; Greg Giraldo's interview is oddly poignant and almost impossible not to read differently in light of his recent demise; David Cross and Bill Maher spare none of their usual vitriol in discussing American culture; finally, the interview with George Carlin, the last ever given by the standup legend ends the book on a perfect note.
Dan Dion's photography also provides a terrific accompaniment to Provenza's interviews. In addition to black-and-white portraits of all those interviewed, "¡Satiristas!" contains a glossy insert with color photographs of a number of other prominent entertainers. These portraits are worth a book in and of themselves, and I spent a long time just looking through them when I first sat down with the book.
"¡Satiristas!" isn't perfect. It's too broad and not as deep as I'd like, but it's clear that it was lovingly and carefully compiled, and there's enough wisdom and insight within to appeal to any comedy fan.
Read information about the authorPaul Provenza is an actor, comedian and filmmaker. Provenza grew up in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx and graduated in 1975 from the Bronx High School of Science. Whilst in high school, he started performing stand-up comedy, and at just 17 made his stage debut at the original Improvisation in Manhattan. Provenza continued performing while attending the Ivy League's University of Pennsylvania, taking a year's leave of absence to study in London at the renowned Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. While at R.A.D.A., he joined a classical repertory theater company, becoming one of few Americans to perform the role of "Romeo" on the London stage. He then graduated in 1979 from the University of Pennsylvania, with the first Theatre Arts degree ever awarded by that Ivy League school. At Penn, he wrote for the Pennsylvania Punch Bowl and was a cast member of The Mask and Wig Club. He has returned numerous times to perform with Mask and Wig in their annual Intercollegiate Comedy Festival.
Provenza spent decades traveling the world as a stand up whilst also working in both theatre and television, appearing on TV shows including Northern Exposure and Empty Nest. He received critical acclaim for his work on stage, with his performance in the hit Off-Broadway play Only Kidding! nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Actor and winning the Theater World Award for Best Actor in a Play. He was honored with a caricature by the legendary Al Hirschfeld.
After decades as a stand-up comic and actor, Paul Provenza found a new calling as an interviewer of other stand-ups. His passion for the craft was evidenced in his 2005 directorial debut The Aristocrats (made with Penn Jilette) revered by many comedy fans "not merely for its unspeakable and hilarious filth but also for the truly magical way in which it captured the wonder and creativity of the world’s funniest comics."
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