Looking for the best comedy books? I’ve got you covered.
This list mostly contains books written by the greatest comedians, usually about their craft, life, and rise to stardom.
1. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
In Born a Crime, Trevor Noah relates his childhood stories with all the humor and intellect that feature predominantly in his comedy.
Born to a Swiss father and a Black mother, Trevor’s unlikely rise from apartheid South Africa to The Daily Show was fueled by dogged persistence and a desire to flee poverty and abuse.
What’s in it for you: a touching, funny portrait of the childhood of one of the best comedians of our time
2. Bossypants by Tina Fey
In Bossypants, Tina Fey tells her life story through a series of hilarious essays.
From her youthful days to her Saturday Night Live days, Tina reveals all and proves that being called bossy is a big deal.
What’s in it for you: laugh-out-loud essays from a comedy writer and Emmy Award-winning actress
3. Yours Cruelly, Elvira by Cassandra Peterson
Candid, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking, Yours Cruelly, Elvira is the story of Cassandra Peterson’s rise from a farm girl to become the world’s sassiest Halloween queen.
What’s in it for you: an unforgettably wild autobiography
4. Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama by Bob Odenkirk
In Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama, Bob Odenkirk tries to explain his inexplicable career, from a comedy writer to an actor to reinventing himself as an action film star at age fifty.
What’s in it for you: a classic showbiz tale that will both confuse you and completely make sense in a funny, unexplainable way
5. Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin
In this riveting memoir, Steve Martin explains why he did stand-up comedy and why he quit so abruptly in 1981 at the peak of his career.
Candid, amusing, and superbly written, Born Standing Up is the story of his coming of age in stand-up, his dedication to excellence and originality, and the sacrifice and discipline that made him an icon.
What’s in it for you: the life story of one of the greatest comedians of all time
6. Is This Anything? by Jerry Seinfeld
Is This Anything? is a compilation of Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite material, saved from 45 years of his comedy career and organized by decade.
This collection of hilarious one-liners will give you an inside look into Jerry’s evolution as a comedian and offer insights into the unsparing art of stand-up comedy.
What’s in it for you: Seinfeld’s best comedy material across five decades
7. Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon
Hello, Molly! narrates Molly Shannon’s childhood filled with tragic loss and grief and her journey into the wider world of show business as an adult.
Molly reveals behind-the-scenes stories from her time on Saturday Night Live, featuring celebrities like Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Fallon, and Adam Sandler.
What’s in it for you: a candid, thrilling, and hilarious memoir of heartbreak, resilience, and redemption
8. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling offers her hilarious take on several topics, like what makes a great best friend, the perfect amount of fame, and a great guy.
What’s in it for you: a laugh-out-loud instant classic
9. Playing with Myself by Randy Rainbow
Playing with Myself will take you through the highs and lows of the life of Emmy-nominated comedian Randy Rainbow, who became an internet sensation with his pair of pink glasses.
What’s in it for you: a lighthearted, funny memoir by a viral sensation
10. The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson
The Bassoon King narrates Rainn Wilson’s journey from a nerd to a drama geek, his struggles as an inexperienced actor in New York, his adventures on the sitcom The Office, and his attainment of success.
Rainn tells his story to explain how he discovered his perspective on life and his unique sense of humor.
What’s in it for you: a hilarious memoir about growing up geeky
11. Ayoade on Ayoade by Richard Ayoade
Written as a conversation with himself, Ayoade on Ayoade examines the author’s life without mercy, exploring his unique methodology, talent, and perspective.
What’s in it for you: a vain, pompous, angry, and very funny memoir
12. So, Anyway… by John Cleese
In So, Anyway…, John Cleese explores his rise in show business.
He recounts his humble beginnings, young comedic days, the troupe that helped him to become a worldwide success, and various other important events throughout his life.
What’s in it for you: shocking stories and amusing digressions
13. Live From New York by Tom Shales & James Andrew Miller
Live from New York narrates the history of Saturday Night Live.
The book reveals the rough decades of on-camera and off-camera antics and escapades that characterized the entertainment show.
What’s in it for you: iconic stars, controversies, and surprises
14. Sick in the Head by Judd Apatow
Sick in the Head is a collection of funny conversations with the greatest comedy stars in the past three decades, like Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, Mel Brooks, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Lena Dunham, and Harold Ramis.
What’s in it for you: an amusing, revelatory read
15. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
In Yes Please, Amy Poehler offers a juicy mélange of personal stories and funny takes on friendship, love, sex, and parenthood.
She also gives useful (maybe not so much) advice like when to be serious or funny.
What’s in it for you: a book that will make you think as much as laugh