Flying Funny combines the unusual gravity-defying first act of improvisational theater’s founding father and the fun of storytelling with the wry insights and observations of growing up in show business.
Dudley Riggs shares many highs and lows while describing circus life and the evolution of America’s popular entertainment during the twentieth century. From his early life in circus and vaudeville to his creation of the Brave New Workshop, we see how his show business experience and instincts helped him create in Minneapolis what became the “next wave” in American entertainment—improvisation.
“Dudley Riggs not only brought comedy to thousands of people, he paved and provided a safe environment for artists to stretch the boundaries beyond the norm. He made people think, but mostly he made them laugh their asses off. He’s an American institution, a Minnesota treasure, and my earliest mentor and friend. If you love show biz, comedy, the circus, or just want to laugh your ass off, you’ll get his book Flying Funny!” —Louie Anderson
Dudley Riggs is a fifth-generation member of a distinguished show business family. He has worked in circus and vaudeville as aerialist, clown, movie actor, comedian, writer, stage director, and producer. Since the early 1960s, Riggs’s Brave New Workshop—where he is artistic director emeritus—has produced topical and political satirical shows and regular improvisational performances for enthusiastic audiences and for entities such as NPR’s All Things Considered, International USO shows, and colleges.