I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America’s Top Comics [Paperback]
Ritch Shydner (Author), Mark Schiff (Author)
In a hilarious look at real life on the comedy circuit, some of America’s most famous comics share their own stories of life on the road, gigs gone wrong, and unexpected, zany moments, with contributions by Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Bill Maher, Joan Rivers, Jeff Foxworthy, and others.
From Publishers Weekly
Some of the funniest—and most outrageous—stories a comedian has don’t get told onstage. They’re passed around after hours and derive from the bizarre intersection of travel, intoxicants and the colorful characters on the fringes of the comedy world. (A little poverty can’t hurt—the best stories from “top comics” often come from the early days.) In this collection, Ron Shock tells of being goaded by outlaw comic Bill Hicks into dropping acid before a show, infuriating the audience and escaping just in time. Jay Leno recounts how he accidentally left a groupie tied to her bed overnight—and she loved it. Black comic Alonzo Bodden recalls ripping into a redneck from the stage and having audience members tell him later that his target ran the local Klan. Shydner, early in his career, performed regularly at a variety of bars around Washington, D.C., and found himself opening for a riled-up audience eager to see the Ramones. He suffered through a “beer shower,” and one of the Ramones thought that was his act: human beer sponge. Jerry Seinfeld, in his foreword, calls comedy “one of the Great Jobs”; this volume makes for excellent bathroom reading—and that’s a compliment. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Really fun read Oct. 3 2006
By Comedy Fan – Published on Amazon.com
The Publishers’ Weekly review on this page says this book is fantastic “bathroom reading.” I guess they mean that it’s perfect for people who don’t always have time to sit down and read for an hour or two at a stretch. Because the stories in here are so short, it’s easy to read for ten minutes, get a few complete stories and good chuckles, and then put the book down for next time. There are well over a hundred stories in here so if you read the book this way it’ll last you for a while!
The feeling of the book is a bit like the documentary The Aristocrats– you get the feeling that the comics are not “performing” but just sitting back and exchanging their favorite crazy stories. Not all the stories are hilarious, but most of them are very entertaining and there are some that will stick in my mind for a LONG time. Some of the stuff these guys confess to is great–Chris Rock talking about call girls, Tom Arnold about murdering goldfish, many, many stories of one-night stands and drug use. I think my favorite story has to be Doug Stanhope’s one about the 5-dollar streetwalker who turns out to have a couple of surprises hidden away. I also loved the one about the comic’s mother and Rodney Dangerfield.
This is also a good book for anyone interested in the history of comedy–along with all the contemporary stuff, there are lots of stories about legendary comedy greats like Rodney Dangerfield, Johnny Carson, Richard Pryor, Andy Kaufman (Bob Zmuda contributes a great story about the Tony Clifton character).
This book doesn’t go for the gross-out humor nearly as much as The Aristocrats did, but because it shows comics talking how they REALLY talk, it is definitely PG-13 or R-rated. But if you don’t need your humor to be squeaky, sit-com clean (I certainly dont) then you will really get a kick out of this book.
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press; Reprint edition (Nov. 27 2007)
Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.2 x 1.6 cm
Shipping Weight: 204 g