by Garry Berman
The Funniest Decade: American Comedy in the 1930s will be a celebration of the single greatest laugh-producing decade of the 20th century. The book will demonstrate how the entire decade of the ‘30s was the true “Golden Age” or “Golden Decade” of American comedy. Film titans such as Laurel & Hardy, the Marx Brothers, and W.C. Fields all reached their creative peaks in the ‘30s, as did Mae West, Our Gang (a.k.a. The Little Rascals), the Three Stooges, and less-remembered teams such as Wheeler & Woolsey, Clark & McCullough, and the Ritz Brothers. On radio, the airwaves brought us Jack Benny, Burns & Allen, Eddie Cantor, Ed Wynn, Fred Allen, Edgar Bergen, Bob Hope, and still more. Stage stars included Bert Lahr, Fannie Brice, Jimmy Durante, and Beatrice Lillie.
All of these hilarious performers are given their due credit on the pages of The Funniest Decade, which will devote a chapter to each year of the 1930s, to create a chronological, almost month-by-month look at this jam-packed decade of laughter, courtesy of the greatest comedians who ever lived.
“It is a thorough and fascinating study, filled with interesting details.” – James Neibaur, author of Arbuckle & Keaton and The Charley Chase Talkies.
“I was thrilled to discover that The Funniest Decade offers a great deal of information about the film performances of Thelma Todd. With her career given short-shrift in many other film books, it makes a refreshing change to see the actress celebrated in this book. Garry Berman has done a stellar job.” – Michelle Morgan, author of The Ice Cream Blonde: The Whirlwind Life and Mysterious Death of Screwball Comedienne Thelma Todd.