Monday, January 9, 2017

Eh: Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be by Joel McHale

I'm not adverse to reading comedy books, in fact I consider it one of my hobby genres, I read Amy Schumer and Jessi Klein's books last year and I've read many more previous to that. I needed something easy to read and this bright green covered book was blaring at the library and I figured "Why not?" I had enjoyed The Soup and Community when they had aired.

Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be by Joel McHale falls into the nice try of comedy writing. He lands a few zings but I think the problem was he couldn't quite figure out how to get around the plotting style of so many comedy books (that he so clearly was trying to lampoon) which is look how crazy my life has been and let me tell you about it. Yes, he was willing to point out the farce that in fact he has lead a fairly normal life and except for a few incidents where he could clearly make himself the butt of the joke, but not much else was of note to write about.

Courtesy of XKCD
The next problem is that McHale also tried to combine it with a parody of Celebrity Self Help books, I actually think he achieved this half of the book far better, because he was able to move away from the personal that I don't think he really wanted to go into to begin with. The problem is this section  just does not have enough bite, McHale never really went far enough in pointing out the absurdity of it all. Call it hiding behind the veneer.  There were times where he did let the veneer fall and those were the bright spots. One of those bright spots was the admittance of the money and time he has spent on his body and that includes that he got hair plugs. This was the most refreshing part of the book because he was able to let the veneer down enough that he was able to actually point out the hypocrisy and insanity of the industry he works in and use his smarmy biting humor. Otherwise I felt like a lot of the book was filler, at times creative filler, but filler.

Overall this book was a about a 2.7 for me. I can't recommend it but it is definitely not the worst thing I have read either. Also, McHale layoff off the "fat people" jokes, they're old, and while definitely on the offensive side, just incredibly lazy to use.

What To Read Instead
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
You'll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation by Aisha Tyler*
Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin by Kathy Griffin

*Yup, she also hosted The Soup at one point too. 

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