Mark Twain and Aristophanes Walk into a Bar: Comedy Past and Present
2:00 pm - 2:45 pm
Friday, October 29, 2021
Join Mark Haskell Smith and Cappy McGarr for a discussion of two distinct eras of comedy, separated by millennia yet deeply entwined. Haskell Smith’s new book (Rude Talk in Ancient Athens) covers the bawdy plays of fifth-century-BCE Greece and the writers who—through insults and cutting social commentary—originated the art form that still makes us laugh today. McGarr’s newest (The Man Who Made Mark Train Famous) is a tell-all account of how McGarr became co-creator of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, with an insider’s view of prize recipients Carl Reiner, Bob Newhart, Lily Tomlin, Whoopi Goldberg, Tina Fey, Will Ferrell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Dave Chappelle, and many more.
  • Moderator: Owen Egerton
  • Format: This is a live, virtual event on CrowdCast (RSVP link above).
  • Chat: Feel free to use the chat box in CrowdCast to share your thoughts and virtually cheer for and share kudos with the session's participants! Disorderly comments will be removed immediately. Please refer to the code of conduct.
  • Book(s): Click the book cover(s) below to purchase through BookPeople, Texas Book Festival's partner bookseller. Your purchase helps support the author(s), independent bookselling, and the Texas Book Festival. Thank you.
Cappy McGarr, Mark Haskell Smith, The Man Who Made Mark Twain Famous, Rude Talk in Athens: Ancient Rivals, the Birth of Comedy, and a Writer’s Journey through Greece

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