TODAY   |  October 25, 2013

Photographer’s hilarious shots of funny stars

Matt Hoyle gives TODAY’s Carson Daly a look at some of his shots of funny stars, from Steve Martin to Tiny Fey and Eddie Murphy. The net proceeds of his new book “Comic Genius: Portraits of Funny People,” go to charity

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> all right. we are back now at 8:42 and some of the funniest comedians in the world have come together for an interesting project where they don't speak a word. it's all thanks to matt hoyle who has a new book out called comic genius, portraits of funny people. this is great. there's so many photos in it. where did the idea start from?

>> i'm a celebrity photographer and i do familiar faces but the funny ones stood out to me. if i could get as many in front of my camera as possible, that's what i was going to do.

>> it was like if i could just get mel brooks , if you could land somebody everybody else would come to the table. did it work like that? yeah, a lot of people go who is going to be in this book? how many people do you you have? once we had him in it everybody said we can do it. it got easier.

>> how do you work? did you come up with about a dozen ideas and go to the comedians and say here's what i'm thinking or did they come to you and say this is what i'd like to do?

>> i actually did present them ideas and people said you're presenting comedians how to be funny. what are you doing? but i got lucky and presented them with ten ideas. we collaborated and got one or two ideas we thought would be good to depict the humor we wanted for the book.

>> who was at the top of the list?

>> the cover of the book, steve martin .

>> right.

>> throughout my life, from mork and mindy, robin williams and jonathan winters . i was lucky enough to get the last shoot with him and spend a morning with him and it was magic. this is a who's who of who made me laugh.

>> what did you say to steve martin ? what was the creative pitch there.

>> i knew he was an art collector and i said i want to do something surreal and he agreed.

>> carol burnett was known on tugging on her ear. you had fun with that.

>> that was her idea. she said i had my ear measured after we did the show and she said it's actually a little bit bigger. what if we extended it a little bit more and i thought okay, let's do it. that's the photo.

>> some got two pictures and some got one. tina fey got two pictures. good timing. she will be hosting the golden globe with amy.

>> right. it was just looking at what idea works. sometimes they only had time for one but it wasn't to do with any sort of importance or whatever.

>> tell me more about the morning with jonathan winters . what was that like?

>> well, he basically went through his entire life story before he, you know, let us take the photo which was pretty magical and, you know, to hear him retell it and his facial expressions. it was an experience that, you know, that doing this book allowed me. it was magic.

>> are you going to do it again?

>> more funny people.

>> creative genius. i want to shoot people that inspire us and do the biggest book of its kind.

>> it's great. great pictures and great thought behind it.

>> thank you.

>> the book is called comic genius. thank you.

>> thank you.