Tina Fey is a comedic genius. There’s no way around it she just is. She’s a great comedy writer and I love to see her in front of the camera too. As soon as I heard she was writing a book I knew I’d be reading it. The book is pretty great, recently I’ve been reading a fair amount of comedian’s books and this is definitely the best of the bunch that I’ve read this year. It’s a great biography that dips into a lot of back end of the comedy writer’s life. I tore through this book pretty quickly. It covers her getting into comedy, her time on Saturday Night Live and on 30 Rock and everything in-between. This is a clear must read for any Tina Fey fan.
In 2009 David Cross wrote a book, it’s not a memoir or biography, though I wouldn’t say it’s a book just filled with bits either. It’s kind of a pseudo biography mixed with his thoughts on things and some things that he’s written in the past for various magazines. The problem most books written like this have is they tend to be random and don’t flow together very well, fortunately ‘I Drink for a Reason’ does not have this problem, the book is a great read (or listen) everything goes together well it doesn’t just seem like random ideas thrown together. There’s an audio book version, it’s got some guest appearances by H. Jon Benjamin and Kristen Schaal and the bands Les Savy Fav and Yo La Tengo. The spot with H. Jon Benjamin is particularly great. The book overall though isn’t super great. It’s good some good bits in it but there are some that are just alright. Though it does contain his open letter to Larry the Cable Guy which I’ve always found great, so it’s worth it just for that. People who are David Cross fans will probably dig this a lot, though if you’re not familiar with David already this might not be a great starting point.
Personally I’m a fan of Sarah Silverman so I was pretty excited to read this book, and I came in a little unprepared. The first part of the book is pretty fucking depressing, though it is leading up to her long bout with depression so I guess that makes sense but I didn’t really see that coming. But it’s not all downers there’s a lot of great things in this book, in fact most of it is pretty great. It covers her stand up, shows, movies, controversy she gets involved with. You get a pretty good idea of what it must feel like to hang out with Sarah for a bit. The book also has some hate mail that she’s gotten over the years, I’m glad she included this because some of the stupid ignorant shit that people have said to her over the years is so mind boggling that you can’t do anything but laugh at it. It clocks in at around two hundred and fifty pages so it’s a pretty decent read, while the book might not be for everyone it’s a must for Sarah Silverman fans and I think most fans of stand-up comedy will find a lot of this pretty interesting.
Informative, funny, depressing. This book is all these things and more. Personally I’m a big fan of biographies and comedians, and one of those comedians happens to be Artie Lange, so it’s no surprise I enjoyed this book a lot. It’s pretty much a biography; it starts off with Artie as a little kid and goes all the way to the end of making ‘Beer League’. It has its ups and it’s very low downs. It gives a lot of insight on movies, TV, and unfortunately drugs. Like I said before I like Artie Lange but it’s amazing that he’s still around with all the falls that he takes in here. There are some really great things in the book, the stories he tells about going to World Series games with his father, and the stuff during the making of dirty work had me laughing pretty hard. Unfortunately the swing goes the other way too and you hear really in depth about Artie’s drug problems from a cocaine problem to pain killers to heroin, it’s pretty fucking scary. If there’s any positive thing about that side of the story it’s that maybe it’ll keep some kid off that shit, it seems like a life destroyer, and fast. I dug this so much I’ve got both the hard copy of the book and the audio book. The book is about 320 pages, the audio book I think came in around seven hours, both are very enjoyable. Though much like the story it tells the audio book has some down sides. A few chapters in Artie comes in and announces he won’t be finishing it because of heroin withdraw and that some friends will take over the rest of the reading. The chapters with Artie are by far the best, I don’t think anything really compares the author reading the book but the guys that filled in did a pretty good job for the most part. Fans of comedy, biographies or just good stories should be checking out Too Fat To Fish.
You may know him as Mr. Wick from the Drew Carey Show, you may know him as the host of the Late Late Show, and if you’re really hip you may know his standup, some bands he’s been in or various other roles. The man in question is Craig Ferguson, and he’s here with a biography which will lead you from his home in Scotland to a late night talk show host. Personally I’m a big fan of biography books but it’s been a while since I’ve read a good one, American On Purpose really fills that void. It’s a great book and it doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of the man or if you’re not entirely sure who he is. A good biography book will suck you in and make you not want to put it down, a better one will make you feel like you know the person after you’re done reading it, this does both of them plus makes me want to hang out with Craig, because he really seems like an awesome guy. This covers everything from him growing up in Scotland, his fascination with America, his various marriages, and various jobs including a bouncer, a construction worker, a drummer and of course, and actor. Going into the book I didn’t know a lot about the man, I basically knew him as the guy that was on The Drew Carey show and the dude that hosts the Late Late show, but this book does an amazing job of fleshing out everything. I was surprised to find out he was into punk, the book has about a chapter devoted to that, and it was awesome. I was also unaware he was an alcoholic; a large portion of the book covers this. I really cannot recommend this book enough, I thoroughly enjoyed this. I really can’t think of anyone that I wouldn’t recommend this too; it may be the best book I’ve read all year. Clocking in at 268 pages so it’s enough to be a good read without overwhelming you.