The Ten Commandments of Comedy by Gene Perret (2013)
The Ten Commandments of Comedy
by Gene Perret
Quill Driver Books, 2013
The fifth commandment of comedy, according to author Gene Perret, is, “Thou Shalt Be Concise.” That rule is followed religiously in this brief treatise on the art of comedy. At only 96 pages, Perret forces himself to be concise—to a fault—in The Ten Commandments of Comedy. A cold, analytic approach is taken with each “commandment,” and makes for an overall dry read. There is nothing wrong in what he writes, but there is not much meat to go along with the skeletal chapters.
Perret is an accomplished comedy writer, with a resume that includes work on The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show, Laugh-In, and The Carol Burnett Show. His most prestigious assignment came when he was named Bob Hope’s head writer after working on his staff since the late 1960s. Perret’s other writings are highly revered in the world of comedy; this one, unfortunately, does not live up to his name.