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So You Wanna Read About Comedy?

Like a lot of people on this site (maybe it just seems that way to me, I’m not sure), I consider myself a comedy nerd. It’s so much fun to deconstruct a joke, figure out what makes it funny and then put it back together again, isn’t it? What better way to delve into some serious comedy nerd territory than picking up books by people who are bringing comedy to you? The following are a smattering of the books I’ve been gnawing on and enjoying lately, so check them out if you’re so inclined — you’ll laugh a lot, and maybe feel something. Deeply. Weird, right?

Kasher in the Rye by Moshe Kasher
This book is a JOURNEY. Following Kasher in a wonderfully hilarious and conversational tone, through the pitfalls and highs (literally) of his young life, is almost like reading really great fiction. Did this really happen to someone?! Yes. Yes, it did, and he’s not dead.

The last part of the book is the best, and not because it’s over. Jesus, don’t be a cynic. It’s heartwarming (which is a word I don’t often use) and almost joyful, a triumph you want to celebrate because after all of the crazy stories, the rehabs and hospitals, and the complete mindfuck our poor comedian has been through, you just want him to be okay. And he is.

A Bad Idea I’m About to Do by Chris Gethard
Other than having a vagina and not being a comedian, A Bad Idea I’m About to Do was something I related to waaaaaaay more than I’d like to admit. Aside from reminding us (a lot) about very possibly being crazy or bipolar, Gethard taps right into the part of your brain that immediately makes you root for him and everything he does.

Maybe that’s why it’s difficult to watch some of these masterfully crafted stories unfold, because you know it’s a bad idea, but, hey, the warning is in the title. Gethard really knows how to tell a story, and some of these are so crazy, wild and hilarious that they must be true. And you’ll finish feeling like you lived them right alongside him. Excellent book!

Life As I Blow It by Sarah Colonna
Sarah Colonna and I have very different ideas about going out and having fun. I’m a nerd and a fun day for me is kayaking with my dog for a while, maybe reading a book on a beach, having a couple of margaritas, and then hanging out on the sofa watching a movie by myself, possibly with a friend. Pretty tame! So why do these hilarious, sometimes overtly sexy and occasionally drug-fueled stories strike so close to home?

I don’t know! But they do and it’s fantastic. It’s literally laugh out loud funny, and while I don’t love the actual format of the book (the chapters seem a little choppy, but that’s a very small complaint), I loved everything else about it. It’s a great, easy read that you probably shouldn’t have out in public unless you’re willing to get a lot of strange looks for laughing so loud.


Brief sampling there, friends! There are a lot of great books out there by a lot of great comics, and I’ll be diving into those headfirst too at some point. If you want to hear more thoughts about books, listen to my new podcast! It’s called No Math Allowed! and it’s a podcast about books. Sorta. We’re having a ton of fun with it so far and we’d love for you to join us.

As always, you can email me at [email protected] and follow me on twitter @jessicasayswhat. Happy reading!

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  1. Advanced Man says:

    I really enjoy Moshe Kasher and have heard about the book, I’m definitely getting it!!! I just heard Chris Gethard on a couple podcasts, and he seems to be a joy, probably gonnsta have to read that one too!

    A comedy book that I laughed constantly at, all the way through was Eugene Mirman’s mock-self-help book The Will To Whatevs!!! It is literally the funniest book I have ever read. So gooooooo

  2. Jessica Barton says:

    Yaaaay! I hope you like the podcast and super hope you enjoy the books. They’re really great!

  3. Great reccomendations! I’m not exactly a comedy nerd, but I am a total book nerd, heh. I’ll definitely be checking out your new podcast.