Mr. Funny Pants

Michael Showalter, Grand Central, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-446-54210-4
Brooklyn-based comedian-screenwriter Showalter (The Baxter) offers a witty "comic memoir," in which he has chosen to deconstruct the concept of books with lengthy satires on the front matter and closing pages usually found in books. After "About the Author" and "Aboot the Author (For Canadian Edition)," he follows with "About Bea Arthur." Then he finally gets going with the "Acknowledgments" ("I acknowledge that I am writing a book") and "Preface": "Being that I haven't started to write this book yet, I think it's irresponsible of me to write the preface first." Spewing forth short essays illustrated with gags, doodles, diagrams, and charts, Showalter draws the reader in with strange questions ("Would it be weird if cats were as small as mice?") and self-deprecating spoofing. Much of his humor pivots around convoluted paradoxes, quirky didactic tactics, literal truths, and stating the obvious, such as his "Holiday Recipes": "Gravy. Go to your local supermarket and ask the guy where the canned gravy is." Showalter can be funny, but at times his puns are simply predictable. (Feb. 24)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-60024-807-8
Ebook - 978-0-446-56360-4
Paperback - 254 pages - 978-0-446-54211-1
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