Tag Archives: Bob Odenkirk

Comically Bad Advice

Thanks to an event that occurred last night, I sought out some words of wisdom and comfort this morning. Along with the obvious and the occasionally inspirational, I decided to go for the absurdly comedic angle as well.

There’s no Chicken Soup for the Funny Bone, but there is this:

You’re A Horrible Person But I Like You

The pretense is a twisted version of the advice column, where someone (often fabricated) writes in with a question so the columnist can dispense some words of wisdom. Over the years these responders have been straightforward helpful types, wiseass sarcastic vipers or pompous amateur psychologists. and almost without exception, the columns were popular, the printed version of a train wreck that can’t be avoided.

In this book, a group of comedians take a whack at the same Q&A task, asking and answering a few apiece. While the results are uneven, each comic usually has at least one good one, with several (Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, Todd Barry and Paul F Tompkins) especially strong.

How’s this for a list of advice givers? Aziz Ansari, Judd Apatow, Fred Armisen, Maria Bamford, Todd Barry, Samantha Bee, Michael Ian Black, Andy Borowitz, Michael Cera, Vernon Chatman, Rob Corddry, David Cross, Larry Doyle, Paul Feig, Jim Gaffigan, Zach Galifianakis, Janeane Garofalo, Daniel Handler, Todd Hanson, Tim Heidecker, Ed Helms, Buck Henry, Mindy Kaling, John Lee, Thomas Lennon, Al Madrigal, Aasif Mandvi, Marc Maron, Adam McKay, Eugene Mirman, Morgan Murphy, Bob Odenkirk, John Oliver, Patton Oswalt, Martha Plimpton, Harold Ramis, Amy Sedaris, Michael Showalter, Sarah Silverman, Paul F. Tompkins, Sarah Vowell, David Wain, Eric Wareheim, Rainn Wilson and Lizz Winstead.

It’s a perfect book for a quick scan; each chapter (organized by comic) is but a few pages long and can be read in a few minutes. And although the chapters themselves can be read out of order, some of the writers have some clever call-backs that would be easily missed if their chapters weren’t read in their entirety.

It’s not gut-busting funny, but it did put a much-needed smile on my face today. As always, your mileage may vary.

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Stand Up Wit…Dana Gould

Not crossing, but jumping the line.

Not crossing, but jumping the line.

I’ve enjoyed Dana Gould’s quirky and bold humor for a long time. A fixture on the alternative comedy scene (think Patton Oswalt or Mr. Show), Gould blends subversive observational humor with deeply personal confessional rants, resulting in a performance that is hilariously funny but occasionally disturbing and uncomfortable. I treasure his first CD Funhouse, and had long held out hope that he would take time away from a seven year career as a Simpsons writer to bless us with a follow-up album. Lo and behold, it took over a decade, but Let Me Put My Thoughts In You is finally here, and yes, it was worth the wait.

Dana on Kimmel performing some of the new bits.

Gould has always maintained a pulse as a stand-up despite the other career and family obligations, although more to keep his chops sharp than to circle the country in a conventional tour. As a seasoned writer/performer, his segues are sharp and logical but not blatant. It’s as if an initial barstool conversation gradually gets more perverse and then goes off the rails (with you hanging on by a chin strap, of course).

There’s a brief interview/conversation between Gould and director Bob Odenkirk that is more revealing than you would expect it to be, and provides insight into his thought process.  Dana Gould’s humor is not for everyone, but then again…what is?

Read my full review at Blurt Online.

Dana Gould

“I thought it took time to become a bum?”

Dana’s website

Dana on MySpace

Dana wiki

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