I just don’t want to be in there with all those other guys. Who are all those guys? I don’t consider them in the same league. They didn’t do it. I never do the group stuff. I have a policy of not being included. It dilutes what I do. I don’t fare well with those people. You should write a book about me!

Mort Sahl, near the end of the 45 pages of introduction to SERIOUSLY FUNNY: The Rebel Comedians of the 1950s and 1960s by Gerald Nachman.

Sometimes in an introduction, the author does the reader a favour, making clear this is all the historical overview of the era we will get, that the rest of the book will be short feature-like biographies coming out of interviews he conducted with not as many people one might expect (Mel Brooks, Sid Caesar, Bill Cosby, and Carl Reiner all refused, in addition to Sahl), that he’s never watched THE DAILY SHOW or SOUTH PARK (or just doesn’t understand that both are the new generation of satire), and that Nachman probably should have taken Mort Sahl’s advice and written that book about him instead.

It’s good to know these things before committing myself to a 625-page book that also, I see now, doesn’t have a concluding chapter.