REVIEW: Jay Mohr: Gasping for Airtime: Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live

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Jay GaspingIn 2004 Jay Mohr wrote his first book, it was on what seems to be one of his favorite subjects, Saturday Night Live. Or more specifically the two years he was working on Saturday Night Live. Personally I’ve always liked Jay Mohr, I guess that would be obvious since I read (or more specifically listened to) his book. I had the audio book version, it was pretty short, it only took an hour or two to get through, from my looking on Amazon it seems the actual book version is around three hundred pages, so I guess that makes Jay a quick reader. It’s a pretty insightful and entertaining book; it goes from right before he started in SNL, to working on the show and finally getting out of it. As much as I like SNL and I’m pretty sure Jay Mohr does too, it does seem like a fucking awful place to work. There appears to be a lot of politics and corporate bullshit that comes with the job, but still, who wouldn’t jump at the chance to work on Saturday Night Live, even if it has become a shell of its former self. My only real problem with the book isn’t actually a problem more of an observation I guess is I felt like I’d already heard/read this book. As a fan of Jay Mohr I listen to his podcast Mohr Stories and it seems like he’s told every story in the book on the show, not that I can blame him, the book is eight years old now and they’re good stories. So anyone who wants some insight into the world of Saturday Night Live, or is simply a fan of Jay Mohr or comedy in general will probably enjoy this one. But be warned, if you listen to his podcast on the regular, chances are you’ll hear a lot of repeat information.

Get Gasping for Airtime: Two Years In the Trenches of Saturday Night Live from Amazon HERE

I Drink for a Reason

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idrinkforareasonIn 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.

Get I Drink for a Reason from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: 3 X Carlin: An Orgy of George

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The late, amazingly great, George Carlin wrote some books during his long career. Three of these books are here all in one big aptly titled, Orgy of George. We’ve got ‘Brain Droppings’, ‘Napalm+Silly Putty’, and ‘When Will Jesus Bring The Portchops’ plus more brand spankin new stuff. Clocking in at a hefty 896 pages these are full of a lot of stuff George talked about in his act. Ideas on how to improve the word or society in general, general odd observations about things ranging from TV to sports to people getting sick, and random ideas on how to entertain yourself. I think my personal favorite part in these books, or this book depending on how you want to look at it is the there are pages and pages of totally random things it seems he just wrote down as he went along, like “fuck soccer moms”, no explanation. This is one of the better comedy books I’ve read, it’s a must for a George Carlin fan and not a bad way to spend a few weeks (or months depending on how fast you read).

Get Three Times Carlin: An Orgy of George from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: Nothing’s Sacred

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Lewis Black is a great comic, his standup is great, his points of views are generally great, when he’s on a TV show or in a movie he brings something great to it. His book “Nothing’s Sacred” is good, but not great. The main problem with the book is it is a semi-bio book that seems to be a catalyst for his normal standup material. As I said before Lewis Black’s standup is great, so I greatly enjoyed the book, the main downfall was I’ve seen his standup many many times so this presented nothing new for me. If by chance you haven’t seen his stuff before you may get more enjoyment out of this book, but even if you have it’s not a bad pickup, I just wouldn’t go shelling out twenty-five bucks or anything for it. Written by Mr. Lewis Black himself, 256 pages.

Get Nothing’s Sacred from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: Rickles’ Book

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ricklesbook

(stolen from the first page)
Two guys meet on the street.
“You read Rickles’ Book?” asks the first guy.
“What’s the title?” asks the second.
“Rickles’ Book.”
“You told me. But what does he call it?”
“He calls it Rickles’ Book.”
“Why?”
“He Couldn’t think of a title – that’s why.”

I fucking love Don Rickles, a lot of people feel the same way, a lot of people disagree. His jokes are mean and bitter and that’s why I love it, he’s just mean to everyone across the board. And while I’m on the subject of his jokes, a lot of people say Don Rickles is racist, I disagree. I’ll admit a lot of his jokes are racist, but the man himself doesn’t seem to have a genuine mean bone in his body. Plus I’m not sure how much you can call a guy a racist when he’s giving it to everybody equally. But enough about Don’s act, onward to the book. It’s not the longest book I’ve ever read, 239 pages, but I’ll take a short Don Rickles’ book over no Don Rickles’ book any day. Written by the man himself and David Ritz it actually covers a lot of ground in a short amount of time without seeming like it skips a lot. Don tells how he started out in comedy and climbed the ladder through the years making friends and playing clubs. You not only get incite to his career but you really get a sense of who Don Rickles is here, he truly seems like a good guy all around, the kind of dude that will do anything for a friend. The book brings the laughs too, by page three I was laughing out loud. If you like Don Rickles at all you should own this book, if you like comedy you should own this book, and if you just like to hear about how things were in the 50′s in Vegas you should own this book.

(stolen from the book jacket)
Why you need to buy RICKLES’ BOOK immediately:

RICKLES’ BOOK will help you win friends and influence people.
RICKLES’ BOOK will introduce you to all of his famous friends, from Frank Sinatra to Johnny Carson.
RICKLES’ BOOK will help you lose weight.
RICKLES’ BOOK will help you gain weight.
RICKLES’ BOOK will improve your love life.
RICKLES’ BOOK will make you cry. (If your love life doesn’t improve.)
RICKLES’ BOOK will make you laugh. (If your love life doesn’t improve.)
RICKLES’ BOOK will make you love one of the great Americans of our time, Don Rickles.
RICKLES’ BOOK will give you something to talk about at parties. (If you’re ever invited to parties.)
RICKLES’ BOOK, along with the Bible and War and Peace, will grace your bookshelf and upgrade your literary status.
RICKLES’ BOOK will keep you up at night.
RICKLES’ BOOK will put you to sleep at night.
RICKLES’ BOOK will make you rich (If you treasure great humor.)

Get Rickles’ Book: A Memoir from Amazon HERE

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