Written and edited by: Annabelle Gurwitch
Published By: Touchstone, January 2007
Book Specs: 256 pages
Book Category: Humor
Some books are a like a fine four-course meal. You take your time. You appreciate every bite. You savor each delectable mouthful. When it is over, you feel like you’ve had an experience.
Some books are like comfort food. They fill you up and make you feel good inside. You crave more, and they make you feel better when you are feeling down.
Some books are like candy bars. They are sweet, easy to eat and gone in no time.
This book was a candy bar.
Now don’t get me wrong — I LOVE candy bars. (I love them a lot.) I gobbled this book up in record time and felt a little guilty about it because it wasn’t real “good” for me — just like when I eat a candy bar. These are the type of books I read after “coming down” from a four-course meal book like The Economist Book of Obituaries.
Now I know the title may sound a bit ominous or depressing. “A book about people losing their jobs. In this economy. I don’t think so. That sounds like the last thing I want to think about.” But you should know that the people who lost their jobs in this book are some of the best comedy writers, comedians and actors/actresses in the business. So their tales of losing their jobs are just downright funny and amusing. Did I mention that some of the contributors include Tim Allen, Andy Borowitz, Bill Maher, Bob Saget, D.L. Hughley, Harry Shearer, David Cross, Morgan Spurlock, Felicity Huffman, Patricia Heaton, Anne Meara, Judd Apatow, Andy Dick, Matt Walsh, Jeff Garlin, Paul F. Tompkins, Tate Donovan? I’m sure you’ve seen some of these names somewhere. The ones you might not be familiar with write for, act in or produce such little shows like The Simpsons, Late Night With Conan O’Brien, The Daily Show, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The book is broken up into five sections:
- The Job So Terrible You Can Only Hope to Be Fired
- The Firing You Didn’t See Coming
- The Time You Deserved To Be Fired
- The Time Getting Fired Leads You To Something Better
- The Time You Had To Fire Yourself.
Each “chapter” has about 10 or 12 mini-essays or interviews. And not all the contributions are about being fired from jobs; the essay by Rob Cohen called “Attractive In A Bad Way” is about how he needs to fire himself from dating because he is “that guy….the one responsible for all those late-night crying jags” and he dates women “…who are incredibly appealing on the outside, but soooooo not on the inside. Like a Godiva’s chocolate…full of scorpions with diarrhea.”
Here are some other lines in the book that gave me a chuckle.
From Annabelle Gurwitch’s essay “Crimes and Mythdemeanors”: I just couldn’t believe Woody Allen was ruining my Woody Allen experience.
From Bruce Cameron’s contribution “Remodels Your Redundancy”: My friends have said I have a “dark gift,” because instead of getting angry, most of the people I fired seemed worried for me.
From Dana Gould’s “Jimmy the Idiot”: I figured I’d become a movie star and use it as a springboard to writing. Is there not a more difficult route? It was as if I wanted to be a pastry chef and entered politics to do it. After all, once I’m president of the United States, I can bake anything I want.
From Maxine Lapiduss’s essay “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service”: …and I didn’t make a million bucks or become an instant hit on Letterman. But foolishly that wasn’t what I had asked God to do for me. I’d asked for a below-minimum-wage job and some costume assistance, and that’s exactly what I got. Next time, I’ll be more specific.
About The Author/Editor
The book was edited by Annabelle Gurwitch — an actress who had the distinction of being fired by her idol Woody Allen (a story she includes in the book). After that experience, she began gathering stories about being fired from her friends (and she’s got some funny friends). The stories turned into a contributions on Day to Day on NPR, a show, a documentary, and a web site. She is perhaps best know as the cohost of the cult TV hit Dinner and a Movie on TBS. She is currently working on a book about marriage with her husband called You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up.
This was a fun, easy book to read. It was pretty humorous, and I enjoyed it.
And if you would like to enjoy it too, leave me comment on this post mentioning that you would like to read this book. All comments that indicate interest will be entered in a giveaway of my copy of the book. This giveaway will close on Monday, January 12th and a winner will be picked on January 13th.