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Funny Business    by Helaine Becker & Claudia Dávila order for
Funny Business
by Helaine Becker
Order:  USA  Can
Maple Tree, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Are you a budding comic or clown, do you like making people laugh, or are you simply interested in learning jokes, tricks and cartoon drawing techniques? Then have a look at Funny Business. In it, the authors of Boredom Blasters cover 'Clowning Around, Practical Jokes, Cool Comedy, Cartooning, and More ...'

It starts with the Lowdown on Laughter, including the fact that kids laugh way more than adults do, and that laughter is good for us. There's a detailed anatomy of a laugh, a joke is dissected, and types of humor explained (with examples). Stand-Up Comedy has tips on timing, body lingo, shtick, props, putting it all together, and (occasionally) bombing. Next comes a series of games for Improvization practice (they make great party games too!)

Ready to try Clowning Around? Find out your clown type (Auguste, Pierrot, Character), and take Clown Fashion 101 (don't forget to make a secret pocket). Then learn how to make an entrance, to fall (a lot), and practice individual and paired routines. Next come Practical Jokes including how to prepare Spooky Pranks like a Corpse's Finger. Finally, come tricks of the trade for drawing Comic Strips and Cartoons, including visual language shortcuts, how to create the gag, and flipbook animation.

You can have all kinds of fun with Funny Business. Explore your comic intelligence, try out gags and routines on friends, create a cartoon strip, and make all kinds of tasty recipes like Ghoulish Goblin Eyeballs and Moose Droppings.

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