Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America's Top Comics

If I've got my show biz/standup comedy terminology down, then the title of this book ought to start I Died instead of I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America's Top Comics. Because this thing died on stage. And apparently lay there for a week or two before anybody noticed. Definitely no belly laughs here, maybe a brief flicker of a smile or two. Maybe. But overall this is not a funny book. I refuse to tag it as humor on Goodreads. It would seem that Ritch Shydner and Mark Schiff, our comic hosts for this little tour, think that four letter words and sex with waitresses, strippers, and whoever else might have been available to lonely comics on the road (and the four letter word for sex) are the funniest things their fellow comedians could tell us and a close runner up is how ineptly and/or forcefully said comedians dealt with hecklers and horrendous gigs.

I chose this book primarily because it helped me with Clue #3 in my Super Book Password Challenge. But I also sincerely thought I would enjoy it. With promises of stories from the likes of Jay Leno, Mike Myers, Jeff Foxworthy, Drew Carey, Tim Allen, Joan Rivers, and others, I expected better...and funnier. I was sorely disappointed. Not recommended. is, I think, generous and I only give it one star in honor of the few funny bits--nearly all of which were by or in reference to older comedians (Bob Hope, Red Buttons, Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters....).


fredamans said...

I'm disappointed that it wasn't any good. As soon as I saw the title and cover my hopes went up.
Great, honest review!

J F Norris said...

Joan Rivers was having sex with waitresses and strippers? Now that's funny! OK, all kidding aside I couldn't imagine anything more dull that reading about life on the road with the most insecure of all performers. How do you know anything was true? Stand up comics are infamous for rarely telling the truth (or more often grossly embellishing facts) about themselves. Sorry you suffered through it. I know your rule about finishing every book you start, but I would've tossed it aside had it been this bad.

Bev Hankins said...

John: I think it was a male stripper for Joan....or one of the female comics anyway. Actually--I no longer hold myself to the "must finish" rule. Most books I give it about 100 pages (give or take). If I'm not feeling it and it's for my Mount TBR Challenge (or one of my own), then I mark it DNF and count it anyway. If it's for somebody else's challenge, then I skim the rest and read the last chapter or so--just so I can do a decent review of sorts.

Bev Hankins said...

Oh....and, John. I suspect the stories are true (that's why they're so pathetic). If they had been making things up I think the book would have been funnier.