Description Bob Odenkirk is a legend in the comedy-writing world, winning Emmys and acclaim for his work on Saturday Night Live, Mr. Show with Bob and David, and many other seminal television shows. This book, his first, is a spleen-bruisingly funny omnibus that ranges from absurdist monologues ("Martin Luther King Jr.'s Worst Speech Ever") to intentionally bad theater ("Hitler Dinner Party: A Play"), from avant-garde fiction ("Obit for the Creator of Mad Libs") to free-verse poetry that's funnier and more powerful than the work of Calvin Trillin, Jewel, and Robert Louis Stevenson combined.
Odenkirk's debut resembles nothing so much as a hilarious new sketch comedy show that's exclusively available as a streaming video for your mind. As Odenkirk himself writes in "The Second Meeting of Jesus and Lazarus," it is a book "to be read aloud to yourself in the voice of Bob Newhart".
This was one of those books that popped up in my suggested listens at just the right time. I was in desperate need of a laugh and Bob Odenkirk delivered the goods. I couldn't say for certain if I knew his work that well before I got to know him as Saul Goodman (Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul), or if I knew of his comedy chops. This book set me straight and I'll be looking up more of his comedy in the near future.
It's basically a collection of short, comedic skits that range a wide variety of topics, starting at why one should not read on the toilet, Hitler at a dinner party as the allies were bombing the living hell out of everything around them (with a sly Fawlty Towers nod dropped in if I'm not mistaken), the second meeting of Lazarus and Jesus, and a whole host of rapid-fire jokes and asides that had me cracking up.
Sure, with a shotgun approach to comedy there are going to be a couple of duds, ones that don't hit home on my funnybone. Fortunately, these were few and far between for me so I'm not deducting any stars for those.
Narrated by Odenkirk and a host of others including the distinctive voice of David Cross, this was a listen that hit all the right spots for me.