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A gag-packed insight into the inner workings of the comedy world.” – Bruce Dessau, Beyond the Joke

“Utterly indispensable guide for anyone wanting to make a living at comedy” – British Comedy Guide.

Comedian, Perrier nominee in a previous century, founder member of the Comedy Store Players: in the 1980s Dave Cohen was Britain’s Most Averagely Successful Stand-up Comedian. In recent years he has become Britain’s Most Averagely Successful Comedy Writer. He has worked on Have I Got News For You and Not Going Out and wrote most of the lyrics for the award-winning hit BBC Childrens’ Show Horrible Histories. He is one of the most respected teachers of comedy writing in the UK.

“An engrossing entertaining read.” Steve Bennett, Chortle

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About Dave Cohen

Writer, comedian, Edinburgh Festival Perrier Award nominee, founder member of the Comedy Store Players, Dave has been a constant presence on the British comedy scene for more than 35 years.

He – okay let’s drop the pretence that someone else is writing this. It’s me, Dave. I’ve written for some of the most successful TV shows including Have I Got News For You, Spitting Image, BBC sitcoms Not Going Out and My Family, and dozens of radio shows including News Quiz, Dead Ringers, Sunday Format and the award-winning 15 Minute Musical, which I co-created.

Dave Cohen in black & white, smiling

Latest blogs

The loneliness of the long suffering writer

No matter where you are on the career ladder, there’s always someone doing better than you.

I mean even JK Rowling probably sold less books than Dan Brown last year. She must be furious.

Think of a writer who’s more successful than you. Not difficult is it?

Read more


In the latest episode of our podcast, James and I talk about how comedy writing is a bit like life, innit? Plus exciting news about the new season of topical comedy writing, find out how you can sign up for a brand new course here:

Read more

Sitcom geeks 173

Creating compelling characters is hard. But it’s still not enough. You need two or more and they need to relate to each other.

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