Sam Wasson discusses and signs Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art

At the height of the McCarthy era, an experimental theater troupe set up shop in a bar near the University of Chicago. Via word-of-mouth, astonished crowds packed the ad-hoc venue to see its unscripted, interactive, consciousness-raising style. From this unlikely seed grew the Second City, the massively influential comedy theater troupe, and its offshoots--the Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade, SNL, and a slew of others.   Sam Wasson charts the meteoric rise of improv in this richly reported, scene-driven narrative that, like its subject, moves fast and digs deep. He shows us the chance meeting at a train station between Mike Nichols and Elaine May. We hang out at the after-hours bar Dan Aykroyd opened so that friends like John Belushi, Bill Murray, and Gilda Radner would always have a home. We go behind the scenes of landmark entertainments from The Graduate to Caddyshack, The Forty-Year Old Virgin to The Colbert Report. Along the way, we commune with a host of pioneers--Mike Nichols and Harold Ramis, Dustin Hoffman, Chevy Chase, Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Alan Arkin, Tina Fey, Judd Apatow, and many more. With signature verve and nuance, Wasson shows why improv deserves to be considered the great American art form of the last half-century--and the most influential one today.  (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

 

 

Event date: 
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Book Soup
8818 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Improv Nation: How We Made a Great American Art Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780544557208
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - December 5th, 2017

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780061774164
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - August 30th, 2011

Fosse Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780544334618
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Eamon Dolan/Mariner Books - November 4th, 2014