You’re Not Doing It Right

Michael Ian Black’s new book You’re Not Doing It Right isn’t that funny. Even though there are parts that are hysterical the bulk of the memoir is a like a big meal that uses jokes as an appetizer and dessert, rather than main course. Here, the usually detached comic is surprisingly open and unafraid to detail how his father was found murdered and how one of the best parts of marriage is fantasizing about divorce.

Now, this might come as a shock but the humble blog your currently reading doesn’t yet receive press previews of book releases. It’s tough to talk about books here because by the time I’m finished reading it it’s old news. Even though You’re Not Doing It Right came out this past Tuesday and thus there are already reviews all over the Internet, it’s hardly at the bottom of the news cycle. Plus it takes time to read a book… jeez give a guy a break. But, I should point out here that living a fairly busy life and completing a book in a week are two things that generally don’t mix well.

This book is the exception; it was easy to finish it in a week. I would say I couldn’t put it down but thanks to the free trial at Audible.com (muahaha suckers) I’ve been able to listen to it read by the author. Even if I can’t say how well the sarcasm translated to the page I can say that I can’t imagine it being better than Black reading it.

His deadpan voice shifts smoothly from vulnerable to sarcastic. The best example probably being, “I excused myself because I had hid the engagement ring in our bedroom, also I felt diarrhea coming on.” There was more than one time I had to pause the audio book because I was laughing too hard. Along with detailing his “ass geyser,” the Stella and The State alumni describes his mother’s lesbianism, why he cries when Creed comes on the radio, and the story of how he fell in love with his wife.

He never goes deep into his popular work. I’d love to hear some of the gossip behind Wet Hot American Summer or where the idea for his hilarious podcast Mike and Tom Eat Snacks came from. Instead, Black treats us to a backstage look behind his own sarcasm. It’s more riveting than Hollywood dirt could ever be.

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