While in Singapore last weekend I happened upon a Freshly Pressed book review of Michael Ian Black’s new growing-up bio piece You’re Not Doing It Right by BookPeople of Austin – I assume Texas. As the comedy/entertainment biography junkie that I am, I decided to take a break from from relaxing and go in hunt of the book. Chances are Hong Kong will not be carrying the title, and I do mean all of Hong Kong bookstores, and I was happy to pick one up at Kinokuniya on Orchard.
As the byline suggests, the book is geared towards a serious nature, promising “tales of marriage, sex, death, and other humiliations”. It dashes between the present and past not unlike Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse Five, though more non-fictiously. It deals with the personal struggles, not with fame or stardom, but with growing up and making room for others. For those raised on media and television since the 80s, there is much to relate to in its pages.
Despite this, the book remains a humorous read. Much like comic relief was a necessary element of Shakespearean dramas, it helps hold the stories together and makes the situations that much more real. “Marriage is a lot of hard work”, “I hate our baby”, “other people have their own stories in which I am not the star”, “I look … expecting to see a younger [version of] me giving [current] me the finger”, and the acceptance that he’d do it all again if he knew all the trouble he would be going through.
No gems for the aspiring comedian, except for coping with all that life on the other end of the gig.