18 November 2013

Spill some ink with Rob Delaney

On Thursday I went to see Rob Delaney read from his new book ROB DELANEY: MOTHER. WIFE. SISTER. HUMAN. WARRIOR. FALCON. YARDSTICK. TURBAN. CABBAGE. (Don't think I didn't have the Amazon window open the whole time so I could type all that out in the correct order.)

Delaney, for those of you just tuning in, is a stand-up comedian who broke out hugely on Twitter in the past few years thanks to his mix of weird lewdness, merciless ribbing of top brands (Charmin, Wal-Mart) and leftist political humor. Here are a few of my recent favorites of his:
  • "'Getting health insurance will never be like buying a song on iTunes, but it can be like using Limewire via dial-up in 2002.' - Obama”
  • "My wife claims to 'love' me. But does she diaper-astronaut love me? Not even close."
  • "Leviathan, awaken. It is time to punish. RT @muscle_fitness What's your mantra when it comes to working out?"
 His new book contains a bunch of those tweets, as well as sentences that make the same careening turns at the corner of reason and nonsense, but also honestly addresses topics that came up in his columns for Vice magazine, including his dissolute youth and journey from sitting in rehab with 2 broken arms to facing the sheer terror of being onstage sober. Equally at home in the silly and the serious, MOTHER. WIFE. SISTER. HUMAN... (itself a joke on ponderous Twitter profiles, like mine) was short enough to give me hope that Delaney will continue writing pieces longer than 140 characters, and long enough to keep me laughing out loud on the CTA like a hyena.

This event was Delaney at his least guarded and frankest, and I think some may have expected more tears-rolling-down-your-cheeks laughs, but it was fine by me. While writing a book was a huge privilege, Delaney said he found it incredibly hard because of the lack of instant feedback (unlike in comedy); this book tour has sort of been his victory lap, and he read two excerpts from it, including how he jumped off the Manhattan Bridge, and then took questions about his writing. I was especially surprised to learn that he publishes tweets as he finishes them, rather than (I always assumed) writing and then scheduling them. (Pretty impressed at how prolific he is, in that light!) Can we get this guy a movie next? Internet, I know we can.

Seattle, Portland (OR) and Irvine can see Rob Delaney perform near them soon

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