When I started my stand-up comedy career (for the second time after a disastrous first start almost 10 years earlier in my life), I wanted to be as prepared as I could possibly be.
I made what would seem to be a logical assumption -- I would get my hands on every possible stand-up comedy book I could so that I would have the best advantage that I could possibly have as a new comedian.
In retrospect, I can tell you with great certainty that stand-up comedy books are not only lacking, but can actually hold talented people back from getting the laughter results they want when they hit the stage.
But don't take my word for it -- check out this video from another comedian:
Specifics About Stand-up Comedy Books
Let me be more specific about why most, if not all stand-up comedy books fall short when it comes to helping someone develop and deliver a stand-up comedy act that will actually get laughs:
1. Stand-up comedy that works is much more than just words written on paper. Unfortunately, stand-up comedy books focus on "writing" words and sentences.
2. Audiences don't read stand-up comedy material.
3. Most stand-up comedy material that works on stage won't read funny on paper (there are too many other elements missing).
4. Examples of stand-up comedy lines and bits provided in stand-up comedy books are "cherry picked" meaning that they are the relative few lines that can read funny on paper and worked on stage for the comedian who delivered the lines or bits.
5. Examples of another comedian's lines an bits written on paper won't provide as much as a clue as to how someone can produce their own unique stand-up comedy material relative to their own natural expressive comedy traits -- not those of the comedian who delivered the lines being use as examples.
If you want to know why many new comedians struggle needlessly to develop comedy material for a stand-up comedy routine, check out the free lesson in the Killer Stand-up Online Course called Conventional Joke Writing: The Fastest Path To Failure In Stand-up Comedy.
But don't let me discourage you from getting your hands on any of the popular stand-up comedy books. Just don't be surprised if you aren't able to make progress using the information they provide.