Category Archives: Humor

I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell by Tucker Max

Beer In Hell coverBack during simpler times, before Tucker Max went from small-time blogger to millionaire media king and I remained a small-time blogger, the two of us had a significant crossover readership.

I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell is Max’s first book: a collection of stories originally published at his blog. Which means they’re probably about getting drunk and hooking up with women. I haven’t read it, but it was a massive best seller and changed the author’s life forever.

I don’t know. It’s supposedly funny, and might very well be something I’d enjoy. But the whole hooking up with women and bragging about it part makes me a little hesitant. The Kindle version is temporarily reduced to $3.99 though, so I thought I’d mention it here. If you’ve been meaning to read this one, now’s the time. Let me know your thoughts!

I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle

Beth Cooper coverI bought the hardcover version of this book when it was a new release. Somebody I trusted suggested it, assuring me it’s my kind of thing. It’s currently upstairs on one of our shelves unread, dusty, and yellowing.

There’s no real reason for this, other than I buy ’em much faster than a read ’em. It’s still something I want to get to, eventually.

And now that I’ve bought a second copy for my Kindle, there’s a better chance of that actually happening. As I type this the novel is priced at $1.99, but who knows how long that will last? Amazon acts in mysterious ways. The Suggestaholic suggests you snag it without delay.

From the book’s description:

Denis Cooverman wanted to say something really important in his high school graduation speech. So, in front of his 512 classmates and their 3,000 relatives, he announced: “I love you, Beth Cooper.”  It would have been such a sweet, romantic moment. Except that Beth, the head cheerleader, has only the vaguest idea who Denis is. And Denis, the captain of the debate team, is so far out of her league he is barely even the same species. And then there’s Kevin, Beth’s remarkably large boyfriend, who’s in town on furlough from the United States Army. Complications ensue.

I’m Dying Up Here: Heartbreak and High-Times in Stand-Up Comedy’s Golden Era by William Knoedelseder

Dying Up Here coverSince I bought my Kindle a few years ago, I’ve read almost no traditional paper-and-ink books. I have hundreds of them lying around the house, but Kindle changed the game for me. It’s just a better experience, in my estimation.

So, I find myself thinking in a pre-Kindle, post-Kindle sort of way. And during the post-Kindle era, I’m Dying Up Here has turned out to be one of my favorites. It’s a history of modern stand-up comedy, focusing mostly on the 1970s, and the folks — legends and also-rans — who worked at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles.

It’s a great story, expertly told. I’m a big comedy fan, and believed I was knowledgeable about such things. But I was wrong. Many of the comics who populate this book were unknown to me, and almost all are fascinating in some crazy way. I loved the stories of Leno and Letterman and Kaufman during the early days of struggle and hard work. But some of the lesser-known names are just as compelling.

I also wasn’t aware that the comics went on strike against the Comedy Store, demanding a small payment for sets performed at the club. This standoff led to decades-long grudges, backstabbing, political jockeying, and one spectacular suicide orchestrated for maximum impact.

If you’re a fan of comedy, I consider this one to be almost a must-read. It’s hard to put down, and wildly entertaining. The Suggestaholic suggests you check it out.

My Seinfeld Year by Fred Stoller

seinfeld coverThis is a Kindle Single, which means it’s short. About 60 pages, to be exact. But it’s a good one, and has a nice price to go along with it: $1.99 as I’m typing.

Fred Stoller is a comedian, actor, and writer — you might recognize him from Everybody Loves Raymond, and a bunch of other TV shows. Back in 1994 he ran into an old acquaintance at a party, someone he knew from his early standup days in NYC: Larry David.

David invited Stoller to submit a spec script to Seinfeld, the show he co-created. That led to a one-year stint as a staff writer on the program — one of the most popular in the country at the time.

This book gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the show, and the personalities involved. I read it several years ago, and really enjoyed it. In fact, I’ve been meaning to re-read it. I’m a huge Seinfeld fan, and this kind of thing fascinates me. Stoller is a good writer, self-deprecating and honest. Grab it, if you’re interested in the inner-workings of sitcoms, the life of a TV writer, or just the great program itself.

People Are Unappealing: Even Me by Sara Barron

Unappealing coverI believe Amazon helped me discover this gem. I think I was looking at some lesser (but more popular) humor book, and this one was suggested to me. I’ve never written a Thank You note to a corporate marketing algorithm before, but in this case it might be warranted. I freaking LOVE this book.

I was unfamiliar with Sara Barron, but instantly liked the title and cover of her memoir. And the description sealed the deal. Here’s part of it: Born the child of a homo and a hypochondriac (Okay, okay. Her dad’s not really a homosexual. He just acts like it. Her mom, however, really is a hypochondriac), Sara Barron never stood a chance of being normal. At age eleven, she starts writing porn (“He humped me wildly with his wiener”). At twelve, she gets mistaken for a trannie. The pre-op sort, no less. By seventeen, she’s featured on the Jerry Springer Show. And that’s all before she hits New York.

Humor is highly subjective, of course, but I loved every minute of this book. For me it was perfection. The stories are the kinds you’d find on a personal blog, and the execution is flawless. There’s nothing PC about it, which I appreciate, and the language is sometimes a little rough. You know, the way regular human beings talk?

This is one of my favorite books of the past few years. Don’t miss it.

Romance For Men: Pandora’s Box by Jack Icefloe Jackson

Icefloe coverIf there was ever a book that fell into the “not for everyone” category, this would be it. A gleefully over-the-top satire of romance novels, Pandora’s Box stars a deplorable human being known as Icefloe Jackson. Short, balding, and crass, Icefloe is every woman’s dream. He only uses four inches of his six-inch penis, because anything more might destroy a woman. He’s a super hero for the average man!

Here’s part of a reader review at Amazon: “OMG. Romance For Men: Pandora’s Box has to be the vilest, crudest, most wildly inappropriate piece of profane filth I’ve ever read. …That said, it’s also the funniest damn thing I’ve read in ages.”

Part of the official book description: Realizing that the end-of-the-world can only be averted by Icefloe’s superior sexual prowess, President Obama calls on him to use his penis to save us all. This carnal mission will take Icefloe from The Hot Nuns of Assisi (hidden beneath the Vatican by the Pope) to The Nazi Babes of the SS in their terrible lair on Fuhrer Island…

This thing is wild and filthy, and runs wide-open from the first page. It’s also written by Dean Lorey (under the Icefloe name) a screenwriter who has worked on Arrested Development, and a bunch of other TV shows and movies. You can see the many celebrity endorsements the book has garnered at Amazon. As I type this, the Kindle version is $2.99. If you like your humor uncut, and aren’t offended by every little thing, I heartily recommend this one.

 

President Me: The America That’s In My Head by Adam Carolla

President Me coverIn this, his third New York Times best seller, comedian Adam Carolla describes how he would fix most of society’s ills. It’s part silliness, part seriousness, and totally profane. The Washington Post hated it, so it’s got that going for it, as well.

Here’s a random quote, to give you a taste of what’s inside: “…we judge smokers more harshly than we judge deadbeat dads in our society. Seriously, how many antismoking PSAs have you seen this week vs. ones saying raise your kids, or don’t have kids if you can’t afford them? And what’s hurting our society more? People need to see that asshole and call him an asshole so maybe other people thinking about being assholes wouldn’t become assholes. We stopped judging people a long time ago because the idiots on the left told us everyone is the same and that we couldn’t do that. We need to bring back judging.”

President Me is available for $1.99 in the Kindle Store today. The opinions are unpredictable, so there’s something to annoy and delight almost everyone. And did I mention that it’s pretty freaking funny? Here’s to judging!