Comics on Comics: What Could be Funnier?
Edited by Garry Berman
Bear Manor Media, $14.95, 130 pages
This small yet funny and interesting book is loaded with quotes by one comedian about another comedian. Many are complementary, but not all. Below are some more interesting observations included in the book.
“George Burns: Vaudeville didn’t just drop dead; it faded slowly, like applause after a second encore.”
Harpo Marx on Chaplin: “Charlie Chaplin was my idea of a comic genius. I would watch a Chaplin picture four, five, or six times over. What an artist!” Mae West on W.C. Fields: “I think that under the grotesque ruin of a clown Bill Fields was tragically aware of the wreck he had made of himself.” W.C. Fields on Mae West: “A plumber’s idea of Cleopatra.” Orson Wells on W.C. Fields: “If you can believe such a thing, [he] was even funnier on the stage. Bill Fields only had to cross the room, you know, and I’d be retching with laughter.”
It is interesting to read what these old time comics, most of who have passed on now, thought about each other. Here are a couple more quotes:
Mel Brooks on everybody: “I thought Chaplin was wonderful. Liked Laurel and Hardy even more. Keaton was the great master of physical comedy. Fields was a genius at skit construction. And Fred Allen showed me new kinds of irony.” Jerry Seinfeld on Abbott & Costello: “They were a seminal influence in my life. They made me fall in love with the idea of being funny. I love them more than anything.”
If you enjoy learning about the old time comedic masters, as this reviewer does, then you will thoroughly enjoy this book.
Reviewed By Brian Taylor