Not Funny: Essays on Life, Comedy, Culture, Et Cetera

Atria/One Signal. Apr. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781982178284. $27.99. HUMOR
Long before Friedman earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for her work on Borat 2: Subsequent Movie Film, she was a student of life and improv at ImprovOlympic. Before she would go on to work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Late Show with David Letterman, she was a wannabe comedian whose best work was thanks to her casual observation of the social landscape around her. Friedman’s biting comedy got her ostracized from the stand-up community she loved when she published a research paper on sexual harassment in comedy clubs. She also shocked many with her on-air comments about abortion, miscarriages, and Donald Trump during Stephen Colbert’s Election Night Special in 2016. From satirizing American Girl dolls to borrowing a page from the Garbage Pail Kids, Friedman’s humor may be inappropriate to some, but it is undeniable in this book as she double downs on the best of her worst impulses. Addressing reproductive rights, gender identity, cancel culture, and injustices, she sparkles with the casual brilliance of fellow comedians and humor essayists Lindy West and Sarah Silverman.
VERDICT This perceptive and biting collection of humorous essays offers readers a wild ride.
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