Like many people my age, I discovered Michael Ian Black during his time on the MTV sketch comedy show, The State. It’s still, to this day, one of my major touchstones for comedy and I’ve followed all the cast members’ careers throughout the years since. With Michael Ian Black, it was Viva Variety, Sierra Mist commercials, Wet Hot American Summer, the television show Ed (highly underrated and richly deserving of a DVD release), and much, much more, so I leaped at the chance to read his new book You’re Not Doing It Right.
I’m not so sure what I expected from the book. Maybe something along the lines of Tina Fey’s Bossypants or Simon Pegg’s Nerd Do Well, or any one of the many comedy books that come out each year: good, funny reads, yet slightly empty of calories. Yeah, that’s pretty much what I was expecting. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
You’re Not Doing It Right is funny. Not laugh out loud funny, but funny nevertheless. But more importantly, it is touching. A couple of times whilst reading it I may have even teared up. But that could have been allergies. For all intents and purposes, it is the story of Michael Ian Black meeting his wife, having children, and basically becoming an adult. It skips through time, covering his childhood raised by his mom and her girlfriend, his first attempts at acting and the progression of his career, and the ins and outs of his relationships. In its touching honesty, it reminds me of a way less sad and maybe even happy version of Rob Sheffield’s memoir Love Is A Mix Tape.
I loved this book. I’ve passed it on to friends singing its praises. I would love to see a Woody Allen-esque film made from it. So, if you read only one Michael Ian Black book this year, read You’re Not Doing It Right.
~Michael Ian Black will speak & sign You’re Not Doing It Right here at BookPeople on Monday, March 5, 7p.