Ellin Stein has contributed arts features and criticism to publications including the New York Times, The Times (of London), the Guardian, the London Telegraph, and Variety and is a former reporter for People and InStyle magazines. She currently lives in London, where she teaches screenwriting at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
"If you ever picked up an issue of the National Lampoon, or misspent your youth in the sixties and seventies; if you ever wondered about the origins of Saturday Night Live or, in fact, ever had any interest in the course of American humor from the late sixties onward, this is a book to read.... That's Not Funny takes you on a ride through what was, arguably, the heyday of American humor." -- Ellary Eddy - Realize Magazine "Stein leaves no tangent unexplained and no petty grievance unaired as she traces the magazine's evolution and growing fame." -- Publishers Weekly "Stein offer detailed portraits of the people behind the magazine's success in a seminal time when politics and comedy intertwined with incendiary results.... A serious treatment of a funny topic." -- Booklist "It's not much of stretch to call this exceedingly thorough and wildly entertaining history of modern American comedy a bible on the subject. Ellin Stein goes deep and dirty on the topic.... A book that will serve as a cultural reference work for the ages. And a blast from the past to read." -- Weekly Standard "Stein understands not only the value of engaging reportage, but the importance of story. Setting the stage socially and historically, she...follows the Lampoon's many tributaries and side projects without getting too bogged down explicating jokes." -- Matthew Love - Time Out New York "For one thing, the history of the Lampoon is a good story, and Stein may be the first person to devote so much of a book to it who doesn't have her own ax to grind." -- A. V. Club "This rich history of humor, commerce, and backstage conflict is recounted in lively prose and admirable detail by veteran entertainment writer Ellin Stein. Buttressed by dozens of original interviews, as well as access to older ones and to all the yellowing back issues, That's Not Funny, That's Sick captures neatly the eccentric personalities and fiery times that converged to propel radically offensive material to the forefront of the American consciousness." -- Boston Globe "Stein's description...is dazzling." -- Hollywood Reporter "A worthy addition to the comedy library." -- Michael Precker - Dallas Morning News "This idea of a magazine's personality kept coming back to me as I read Ellin Stein's charming and detail-rich new history of the National Lampoon, That's Not Funny, That's Sick, because it is not really a history at all, but a portrait. You can't pick your offspring's personality, and the way a personality develops on its own, involuntarily, through an array of influences of varying importance and salience, echoes the way the Lampoon personality emerges in the pages of Stein's book-through a pastiche of eyewitness recollections, some of them contradictory, many of them fascinating, and all accompanied by the author's breezy running commentary on the cultural storms that swirled in the background." -- The Daily Beast