cover image I’d Like to Play Alone, Please: Essays

I’d Like to Play Alone, Please: Essays

Tom Segura. Grand Central, $28.99 (230p) ISBN 978-1-5387-0463-9

“Inside every smart-ass is the person they’re publicly scared to be,” muses comedian Segura in this irreverent collection of personal stories, his debut. Though he’s performed on stage with big names like Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, and Dave Chappelle, Segura reveals to readers that behind the jokes, he’s a bit of a “softie” who still gets starstruck from time to time—as when, on a flight to L.A., he blurted out “you’re the greatest” to tennis star Serena Williams (before remembering a bit he’d done about her “sitting on my face” in a Netflix special). He also cherishes his solitude: the book’s title, inspired by the same request from his toddler, Segura admits is “a credo I deeply believe in.” As he pokes fun at himself with hilarious anecdotes such as responding to social media trolls as his fake assistant, Segura delivers plenty of twisted “just-kidding” jokes to make sure the readers are paying attention, including one about spending a spring in Paris with the late infamous sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. While his brand of profane humor certainly isn’t for everyone (following the Epstein gag, he archly posits that maybe the Taliban aren’t “so bad,” but instead “guys you want to have a beer with”), Segura’s candor is undeniably entertaining. Fans will find this a riot. (June)