Whenever a book comes out that I'm interested in I have to wait for it to come out on tape. You don't really expect me to take all that time to read it, do you? I mean, come on.
Comedy by the Numbers, written by Eric Hoffman, a writer for Mr. Show and Gary Ruderman from the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago, was released by McSweeney's in 2007 as a list of comedy characters, bits, scenarios, sketches, skits, shtick, and more that can help you be funny. "As we all know," the writers claim, "true creativity comes from simple formulas and the memorization of data." There are 169 formulas in all that can help you be funny in any situation that you find yourself including "Contact With Something That Isn't Dry," "Blind Dates," "People Who Don't Speak Our Language," "Rubber Legs / Limbs" and a lot more.
The book is now a book-on-tape CD released by A Special Thing and available at online retailers of live readings by the some of the biggest names in comedy. David Cross tackles "#24 Cursing", Paul F. Tompkins reads several numbers including "#5 Barbs, Retorts, Come-backs, Sassiness, Zingers & Cappers", and Sarah Silverman goes over "#119 Self-deprecation" to name a few (tracklist here).
Finally you, yes you, can become a hit at parties, wakes or wherever comedy is seen as acceptable. And you don't even have to know how to read!