Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Mr. Funny Pants
Publisher's Summary. I was at my wit's end. I'd had enough of this job, this life, and my relationship had broken up. Should I eat chocolate, or go to India, or fall in love? Then I had a revelation: Why not do all three, in that order? And so it was that I embarked on a journey that was segmented into three parts and was then made into a major motion picture. Later, I woke up on an airplane with a hole in my face and a really bad hangover. I was ushered brusquely off the plane by my parents who took me to a rehab where I tested positive for coke, classic coke, special k (the drug), Special K (the cereal), mushrooms, pepperoni, and Restless Leg Syndrome. It was there that I first began painting with my feet.
But rewind...the year was 1914. I was just a young German soldier serving in the trenches while simultaneously trying to destroy an evil ring with some help from an elf, a troll, and a giant sorcerer, all while cooking every recipe out of a Julia Child cookbook. What I'm trying to say is that there was a secret code hidden in a painting and I was looking for it with this girl who had a tattoo of a dragon! Let me clarify, it was the 1930s and a bunch of us were migrating out of Oklahoma, and I was this teenage wizard/CIA operative, okay? And, um then I floated off into the meta-verse as a ball of invisible energy that had no outer edge...
Ugh, okay. None of this is true. I'm just kind of a normal guy from New Jersey who moved to New York, got into comedy, wrote this book about trying to write this book, and then moved to Alaska, became the mayor of a small town, spent $30,000 on underwear, and now I'm going to rule the world!!!
Review. Writer, comedian, and actor Michael Showalter has written a book, Mr. Funny Pants! And in it he shares everything: the writing process – from initial emails to the epilogue and everything in between; dealing with writer’s block; random autobiographical bits, including, his first memory ever (kicking his uncle in the groin); miscellaneous factoids, such as that status of cats in ancient Egypt; and an interactive game section.
If all this sounds like a weird mish-mash, it is. It is also hysterically funny:
The hardest part about writing a book for me is that I don’t know how I write a book. What’s my process? Do I write in the morning or do I write at night? Do I write nonstop for hours? Or do I take breaks? What do I wear when I write? Am I fully clothed? Or do I write in the buff? The answer to all of these questions is I don’t know because I’ve never written a book before. There are some things I definitely do know. I know for a fact that I like to walk and write at the same time. This is difficult, though, because I have to balance my laptop on one hand while typing with the other. Also my computer battery runs out quickly so I can only work for short intervals before needing to go home to recharge my laptop battery. Or worse, sometimes I’ll abruptly stop walking and then the person behind me bumps into me. This usually leads to an exchange along the lines of, ‘Hey a**, what the f**k?”
Of course, humor is a personal preference and this book is not for everyone. One word of caution, for sensitive readers, there is a fair amount of scatological references and profanity. If however, you find the above passage as funny as I did then Mr. Funny Pants is for you.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 22, 2011), 288 pages.
Advance review copy provided courtesy of the publisher.