Truth in comedy: a manual for improvisation, a book review

A book review written by: Lee Sonogan

(1994) Non-fiction, humour, education


“Improv is much closer to ping pong than it is to chess. Actors create an improv scene in the same spontaneous way.”

Improvisation is an interesting topic. In groups this book breaks down everything. From the Harold to the methods of coming up with ideas on the spot in groups. It teaches comedy while giving similar facts to acting and writing. Some say this book is the bible to a lot of stand up comedians out there.

This book has influenced many people. Names you may have heard of have learnt from one of the writers of this book. John Belushi, Bill Murray, John candy, Mike Myers and much more. Full of quotes this book tells you many perspectives from different people.

Each chapter goes through a lot of methods and exercises. Each method is a group exercise where all members are working together. Together they build the scene depending how the improv is being played out to the audience. Some good rules are never ask questions and never make a joke without any connections. Making connections develops the scene and naturally becomes more entertaining.

The ending sums up of what the Harold method really is. It has clever and informative information about the topic improvisation. Finishing it, it made me want to write fiction in groups with people. Once you read this book you will understand why people have interest in this book for a reason. I recommend this book to people who want to learn comedy in groups and methods in developing or showing ideas.


“You should always assume that the audience is one step ahead of you.”

One thought on “Truth in comedy: a manual for improvisation, a book review

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.