Brian McKim p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. This issue features Brian McKim who is a standup comedian who lives and performs in Las Vegas. Mr McKim gives some good insights into how he creates gags. He also gives some good book tips, including a biography of a comedy great, and an autobiography of a comedy actor turned tv executive...

Brian McKim has performed in the comedy industry for more than 30 years. He and his wife standup comedian Traci Skene wrote The Comedy Bible, which is a great book for anyone wanting to learn about standup, sketches and sitcoms. It covers topics like the premise or idea, which is then developed into a joke; stage personas; and much more. It has a cult following and the authors are thinking of republishing it as an ebook.
He and Traci Skene also have an excellent comedy podcast, The SHECKYmagazine Podcast. This can be heard on brianmckimcomedy.com. Their latest podcast was on old comedy albums, and covers a lot of the history of standup comedy. In their podcasts, they discuss issues relevant to comedy today, and crack jokes along the way.
Check out some of Brian McKim’s standup on youtube.

READERSVOICE.COM: In the chapter on script writing in The Comedy Bible, you and Traci Skene recommend reading biographies and other showbusiness book to see how the industry works. Can you recommend a few biographies or autobiographies of comedians, or other non fiction books on showbiz, that you’ve liked over the years?

BRIAN McKIM: I recall two in particular: How Sweet It Is, The Jackie Gleason Story by James Bacon is tremendous as it details Gleason’s life and subsequent rise to the top of the television heap. I picked it up in a thrift shop. I also picked up, on a different trip, Dwayne Hickman’s autobiography, the name of which escapes me [Forever Dobie]. I read it on an airplane trip and left it behind– intentionally, creating a lending library in the sky! I wish I had it back!
Hickman was sort of a contemporary of Gleason’s– The Lives of Dobie Gillis was on TV from ’58 to ’63; Gleason’s show was #1 a few years earlier. After his TV career dwindled, he became a “suit” for one of the networks. His account of those days is fascinating and provides insight into how TV is made. Not a pretty picture!

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