A former Alton area author is spreading some “NYU-ks” with his new project about the New York-born comedy troupe The State.
“The Union of The State,” by Corey Stulce, is the untold, uncensored story of the most influential and prolific comedy troupe of the last 25 years…and a unique tale in the history of show business. It will be released May 3 in print, Kindle and ebook formats.
“My time as a reporter and editor in the Riverbend got me ready for this book,” Stulce, who has been writing about comedians for more than 20 years, said. “I’ve spent hundreds of hours over the last four-plus years readying the story of comedy troupe The State.”
The group is made up of 11 of the funniest people alive, but it took another 20 or so people to tell their full story, including folks you may know like Paul Rudd and Janeane Garofalo.
The book is an oral history of the troupe’s creation, dissolution, reinvention and reunion, told by all members of the group, including Kevin Allison, Michael Ian Black, Thomas Lennon and Michael Showalter. It also includes commentary from collaborators including Paul Rudd, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Meloni and Janeane Garofalo. It follows the members of The State from their time as classmates at New York University in the late 1980s to their quick ascent to fame via their three-season, sketch-comedy TV series on MTV and through their post-MTV projects, including “Wet Hot American Summer,” “Reno 911!” and “Stella.”
“I have to tip my cap to The State because when I was in graduate school, they were what I watched,” Keegan-Michael Key says. “They were the thing.”
Rare photos and illustrations from the troupe’s history are included, appealing not only to the extensive fan base but also to comedy aficionados, showbiz biography fans and those who love an underdog success tale.
“I am anxious to hear what (people) think of this little tome. Okay, it’s not little; it’s 598 pages,” Stulce said, laughing.
A book signing featuring both Stulce and The State comedian Kevin Allison will be at 4 p.m. on June 25 at Planet Score Records, 7421 Manchester Road, Maplewood, Mo. For more information, go to bit.ly/planetscore, contact Kate Esquivel at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow Stulce on Facebook at coreystulce.