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Book Nook: Laugh Lines - My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier by Alan Zweibel

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Vick Mickunas' 2020 interview with Alan Zweibel

Alan Zweibel has probably made you laugh. Zweibel has been writing humorous material for many years and even if you don't recognize his name you have probably chuckled at some of his jokes. In his memoir "Laugh Lines - My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier" Zweibel describes how he got his start in the comedy business by selling jokes to comedians for seven dollars apiece. If a comedian used what Zweibel had written and the audience laughed then he got paid. After a while Zweibel had a lot of jokes piling up that he thought were funny but that he had not been able to sell. That was when he started going in to Manhattan from his home on Long Island so that he could perform in comedy clubs and try out the jokes he had not been able to sell to comedians like Rodney Dangerfield.

He recounts how his own efforts at doing stand up comedy garnered mixed reviews. While he might have lacked the persona to become a successful stand up comedian himself the material he was writing started getting him some attention. One day he was approached by a guy named Lorne Michaels. Michaels was assembling writers to work on a new TV program called "Saturday Night Live."

That was Zweibel's big break. He wrote for SNL for the first five seasons as that ground breaking show became a huge hit. Zweibel has gone on to a long career in the humor biz. His memoir is filled with marvelous anecdotes, behind-the-scenes observations, and lots of jokes.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library, Clark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.