A Funny Time to Be Gay

A Funny Time to Be Gay

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by Ed Karvoski Jr.
     
 

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In A Funny Time to Be Gay, Ed Karvoski Jr. traces the evolution of gay and lesbian comedy from the few pioneers in New York’s Greenwich Village in the seventies, to the mavericks who played San Francisco’s famed Valencia Rose in the eighties, to the comics who starred in their own TV specials in the nineties and continue to headline comedy clubs.

Overview

In A Funny Time to Be Gay, Ed Karvoski Jr. traces the evolution of gay and lesbian comedy from the few pioneers in New York’s Greenwich Village in the seventies, to the mavericks who played San Francisco’s famed Valencia Rose in the eighties, to the comics who starred in their own TV specials in the nineties and continue to headline comedy clubs.

Among the more than 30 humorists spotlighted…

· TOM AMMIANO - longtime San Francisco elected official

· JUDY CARTER - three-time author including The Homo Handbook

· KATE CLINTON - three-time author including Don’t Get Me Started

· SABRINA MATTHEWS - star of own Comedy Central special

· BOB SMITH - three-time author including Openly Bob and star of own HBO special

· JASON STUART - frequent TV guest appearances

· ROBIN TYLER - performer, producer and proprietor of a women’s cruise line

· SUZANNE WESTENHOEFER - star of own HBO special

· DANNY WILLIAMS - longtime MC at RSVP Cruises

… and more!

“To the next generation of showbiz hopefuls who are gay or lesbian and choose not to hide it: make a grand entrance onto the comedy-club stages and television and film studios. The closet door has been set ajar. As any of these openly gay and lesbians comics will tell you, ‘A funny thing happened on the way out of the closet!’”
— Ed Karvoski Jr., from author’s introduction

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“There’s not a closet big enough to hold this book! The performers, many of whom I’ve worked with, are here and now. You’ll get to hang out and laugh. Enjoy this!”— Whoopi Goldberg

“The sex may be safe, but the comedy isn’t. This is the kind of funny, bias-bashing book that all of America – gay and straight – should be reading.”—Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher

“You think Ellen DeGeneres had it tough, hiding her homosexuality in the closet all those years until after she hit the big time in television? What about comics long out of the closet who have struggled in relative obscurity in large part because they are openly gay?... Many of their routines are available to a wider audience through a new compilation, A Funny Time to Be Gay, collected by Ed Karvoski Jr.”—Tom Kuntz, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“According to publishers and retailers, this is indeed ‘a funny to be gay’… A Funny Time to Be Gay is among the strong, consistent sellers.”— James A. Martin, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“… a great reference guide to gay and lesbian comics working today, giving you a good sense and a better idea of whose act you’ll want to catch at a venue near you. … This guy [Karvoski] is good at what he does… So come on – put your hands together and give a warm welcome to the past, present and future of queer comedy.”— Julia Willis, LAMBDA BOOK REPORT

“Karvoski manages to cull works that pack an equal punch on the page. Each interview and excerpt seems like a private conversation with the comic, which reflects Karvoski’s own fascination with the topic. … A Funny Time to Be Gay anecdotally includes some of the history of gay and lesbian comedy over three decades, filtered through Karvoski’s own funny perspective.”— Meryl Cohn, FRONTIERS NEWSMAGAZINE (Los Angeles)

"After reading A Funny Time to Be Gay, I passed from being entertained to being inspired." – Brett Butler, comedienne and author of Knee Deep in Paradise

"A Funny Time to Be Gay is as funny as it is fun to read.” – Gregg Shapiro, journalist and Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame inductee

"Ed Karvoski Jr. beats the odds and gathers more than 30 very funny gay and lesbian comics in one volume. ... A really important book, A Funny Time to Be Gay is a history of gay and lesbian comedy, social commentary, public debate and private lives. Check it out." – Andrea L.T. Peterson, GAY PEOPLE'S CHRONICLE (Cleveland)

"The result of Karvoski's passion for gay and lesbian humor is A Funny Time to Be Gay, a collection of comedy routines from legendary and new gay and lesbian comics. ... As any good comedian will tell you, timing is everything. Karvoski's timing was impeccable." – Harriet L. Schwartz, OUT FRONT COLORADO (Denver) & SOUTHERN VOICE (Atlanta)

"A Funny Time to Be Gay chronicles the rise of gay stand-up and gives it historical perspective." – J.S. Hall, BAY WINDOWS (Boston)

"As both a performer and a writer Karvoski has gained an insider's view of the entertainment industry as it affects gay performers. ... The interviews that precede the monologues are not only entertaining, but informative. ... There are no closets in Karvoski's book, just page after page of humor and a very good read." – Lester Strong, WATERMARK (Orlando)

Tom Kuntz
You think Ellen DeGeneres had it tough, hiding her homosexuality in the closet all those years until she hit the big time in television? What about comics out of the closet who have struggled in relative obscurity in large part because they are openly gay?... Many of their routines are now available to a wider audience through a new compilation, 'A Funny Time to Be Gay,' collected by Ed Karvoski Jr.
The New York Times
Julia Willis
...a great reference guide to gay and lesbian comics working today, giving you a good sense and a better idea of whose act you'll want to catch at a venue near you. ... This guy [Karvoski] is good at what he does. ... So come on — put your hands together and give a warm welcome to the past, present and future of queer comedy.
Lambda Book Report
Meryl Cohn
Karvoski manages to cull works that pack an equal punch on the page. Each interview and excerpt seems like a private conversation with the comic, which reflects Karvoski's own fascination with the topic. .. 'A Funny Time to Be Gay' anecdotally includes some of the history of gay and lesbian comedy over three decades, filtered through Karvoski's own funny perspective.
Frontiers Newsmagazine (Los Angeles)
Library Journal
Stand-up comedian and writer Karvoski points out that the proliferation of gay and lesbian comedy on cable-and occasionally broadcast-television and at comedy clubs is an important development in the entertainment industry. His goal here is to document this development, though his enjoyable compilation is more a selective overview than a thorough documentation (e.g., why isn't Lea Delaria included?). He serves up very brief interviews with 32 openly gay and lesbian comics to accompany longer examples of their material. Some of the pieces are hysterical and very biting, but many of the routines fall flat on the printed page. The book is well organized by place and time, covering the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, mostly from the obvious locales of San Francisco and New York, and contact and booking information for selected comedians is provided. A good complement to Growing Up Gay (Hyperion, 1995) and Out, Loud and Laughing (Anchor, 1995), both of which include only contemporary works, this book will benefit curious readers and those without cable television or comedy club access. For public libraries with popular gay and lesbian collections.-Christopher Lee Cochran, Acad. for Educational Development Lib., Washington, D.C.
About.com
“You’ll be the one laughing out loud on the plane as you read!” -- “Favorite Books for Summer 2011” by Kathy Belge, Lesbian Life at About.com

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684818962
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
01/20/1997
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
0.58(w) x 5.50(h) x 8.50(d)

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

Andrea L.T. Peterson
Ed Karvoski Jr. beats the odds and gathers more than 30 very funny gay and lesbian comics in one volume. ... A really important book, A Funny Time to Be Gay is a history of gay and lesbian comedy, social commentary, public debate and private lives. Check it out. (Andrea L.T. Peterson, Gay People's Chronicle (Cleveland))
Lester Strong
As both a performer and a writer Karvoski has gained an insider's view of the entertainment industry as it affects gay performers. ... The interviews that precede the monologues are not only entertaining, but informative. ... There are no closets in Karvoski's book, just page after page of humor and a very good read. (Lester Strong, Watermark (Orlando))
Bill Maher
The sex may be safe, but the comedy isn't. This is the kind of funny, bias-bashing book that all of America — gay and straight — should be reading.--(Bill Maher)
Brett Butler
After reading A Funny Time to Be Gay, I passed from being entertained to being inspired. (Brett Butler, comedienne and author of Knee Deep in Paradise)
J.S. Hall
A Funny Time to Be Gay chronicles the rise of gay stand-up and gives it historical perspective. (J.S. Hall, Bay Windows (Boston))
Gregg Shapiro
A Funny Time to Be Gay is as funny as it is fun to read. (Gregg Shapiro, journalist and Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame inductee)
Whoopi Goldberg
There's not a closet big enough to hold this book! The performers, many of whom I've worked with, are here and now. You'll get to hang out and laugh. Enjoy this!--(Whoopi Goldberg)
Harriet L. Schwartz
The result of Karvoski's passion for gay and lesbian humor is A Funny Time to Be Gay, a collection of comedy routines from legendary and new gay and lesbian comics. ... As any good comedian will tell you, timing is everything. Karvoski's timing was impeccable. (Harriet L. Schwartz, Out Front Colorado (Denver) & Southern Voice (Atlanta))

Meet the Author

Ed Karvoski Jr. has worked in various aspects of the entertainment and publishing industries for over 30 years. He's the author of five books, including the bestseller A Funny Time to Be Gay, Award-Winning Men, and The Movie Queen Quiz Book. Karvoski and his books have been featured in The New York Times, USA Weekend, Publishers Weekly, The Advocate, and Out. Additionally, The Village Voice called him "an insatiable vacuum cleaner in the showbiz closet!"

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