Make 'Em Laugh is to comedy book titles what airplane jokes are to comedy: common. This said, this biography of NYC's The Comic Strip told through the comics who made it and were made by it is quite interesting if you are a hard core stand-up comedy fan.
The book is divided in five sections: The Older Kids being those who were there at the beginning of The Comic Strip, The Younger Kids, Friends of the Family, and the most recent comics to come out of that club. There are also some decent pictures.
Make Em Laugh features interviews with Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Gilbert Gottfried, Lewis Black, Jim Gaffigan, Judah Friedlander, and 27 other comics or people associated with the club. The biggest chunk of the book, The Older Kids, is the largest by far.
The book itself is interesting but the format is somewhat monotonous: earliest memories of The Comic Strip, the first time a comic met owner Richie Tienken or manager Lucien Hold, and the comic's most important memory of the club. After a while, it starts to sound rather similar.
The real exceptions to that are the Gilbert Gottfried section where Gottfried goes out of his way to be different and interesting, and the Jim Gaffigan section where it is obvious no matter how big he gets, Gaffigan will always have a chip on his shoulder about something in comedy.
Make Em Laugh is not a must have book but it is an interesting addition to a comedy library.
Other Jeffrey Gurian Reviews
Comedy Multi Tasker: ex-dentist does everything in the comedy world
Filthy, Funny, and Totally Offensive - Joke Book: Some 400 dirty jokes by 350 different people. Nasty, nasty stuff and great fun.