Peter Desberg: Now That's Funny!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 5:00pm

The Drama Book Shop is pleased to welcome author Peter Desberg to celebrate the publication of his book on Wednesday, October 4th at 5:00pm. Desberg will discuss Now That's Funny! The Art & Craft of Writing Comedy, which he co-authored with Jeffrey DavisCopies of the book will be available for purchase, and the discussion will be followed by a signing. Admission is free and open to the public. 

Comedy writers don’t see the world quite the way the rest of us do. Take Charlie Peters (Three Men and A Little Lady). He was pitching a project to the head of Paramount Studios. The first question the executive asked was, “What do you think the opening weekend will be?” Most of us would make a guess about how the movie would do at the box office. Charlie met the question with: “Probably be cloudy, maybe like 60, 65 degrees.”

All comedy writers are blessed with a special gene in their DNA. They see the world a little to the left. In Now That’s Funny!, published by Square One Publishers, authors Peter Desberg and Jeffrey Davis provide an intimate look into the minds of twenty-four of Hollywood’s funniest comedy writers from movies and TV shows like: Saturday Night Live; Frasier; The Simpsons; Everybody Loves Raymond; Monk; Modern Family; The Honeymooners; Cheers; Home Improvement; and many more. For those millions of people who have enjoyed watching the work of comedy writers, Now That’s Funny! is a fresh and enjoyable opportunity to go behind the scenes and watch comedy as it’s being created in real time.

The authors presented each writer with the same generic comedy premise. The writers were asked to develop this premise, giving us a window into their writing process. There were no rules, no boundaries, and no limits. Because the writers started with the same premise, you’ll see how some writers jumped in and began creating, while others asked questions or talked about how to create three-dimensional characters. Some writers stuck closely to the premise, while others turned it on its head. What emerges is an entertaining look—illuminating and hilarious—at the creative process behind hit TV shows and movies.

Peter Desberg is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the area of stage fright, working with many top standup comedians who are regularly confronted with massive cases of flopsweat. After receiving his PhD from the University of Southern California, he began moonlighting as a university professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He has done extensive research on the psychology of humor and is a frequent consultant to business presenters on how to use humor persuasively. In the areas of humor and stage fright, he has done many radio and television interviews and is frequently quoted in national publications including The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Psychology Today, and Cosmopolitan. For a decade he hosted a cable TV show about technology. Peter’s extensive academic research on the psychology of humor has significantly reduced the number of party invitations he has received over the years. In addition, he has authored six joke books along with sixteen other non-humorous titles. 

The Drama Book Shop is located at 250 West 40th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. A Tony Honoree for Excellence in Theatre, the historic shop is currently celebrating its 100th Annivesary Year. Events are free and open to the public. To learn more, or browse the shop's online bookshelves, visit

Event date: 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 5:00pm

Event address: 

The Drama Book Shop, Inc
250 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018-1511
Now That's Funny!: The Art and Craft of Writing Comedy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780757004452
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square One Publishers - June 1st, 2017