Trevor Noah finds humour in tragedy

trevor-noah-born-a-crimeFor those of you who are fans of The Daily Show, you should get your paws on Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born a Crime. Better yet, get the audiobook version (read by Noah) like I did after my friend, C., highly recommended it. (Thanks C.!)

Like The Daily Show, Noah tackles tough topics in Born a Crime, like being a mixed-raced child growing up in apartheid South Africa, where mixed-raced relationships were legally prohibited. But Noah finds the humour in his predicament because if you think about the implications, it’s ridiculous.

Noah shifts between tragedy and comedy without skipping a beat, breaking down barriers for the taboo. I remember my high school drama teacher telling us that comedy is just tragedy plus time and Noah illustrates this like a true comedian. Spoiler alert, the last chapter is most devastating but also made me laugh the hardest.

Noah reminds us that people can’t be reduced down to their ethnic, religious and socio-economic groups. History shows that attempts to draw lines where they don’t belong (between people, within a person, between places) results in tragedy.

We’re better off if we can love and laugh together.

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More reasons to love Tina Fey

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler rocked the Golden Globes this year. I mean, they just nailed the opening:

I love Tina Fey so much, I listened to her memoir “Bossypants” in audiobook and couldn’t stop laughing. Out loud. On public transit. Is there some way I could get Tina Fey jokes on an endless looping audio track?

Plenty of LOL-ing for Tina Fey’s Bossypants

I have finally entered the 21st century and downloaded my first audiobook from Audible: Bossypants by Tina Fey. I was resisting audiobooks for a long time because it makes it possible to multi-task. And after a long day of multi-tasking, I like to turn off all the other parts of my brain by simply reading.

Reading is all encompassing. Aside from waiting for/ riding the bus or “gettin’ your hair did”, you really can’t do much of anything else at the same time. Audiobooks, however, allow you listen hands-free. Many of my friends confess to driving while listening to audiobooks.

But all bets were off when I discovered that Tina Fey reads her own book in the audiobook! Just looking at Tina Fey makes me want to laugh. Maybe that’s why she’s so self deprecating in her book. Parts of this book is highly relatable, laugh-out-loud humour. I listened her on my IPhone while on the bus. Laughing out loud to yourself on public transit is generally regarded as crazy. But Tina Fey makes you feel okay about that.

My favourite parts were about her days in “Summer Showtime” otherwise known as summer camp with musicals. I went to a performing arts high school so this was highly relatable (hissy-fits by prima donnas, dating the gay guy, etc). I feel she drones on too long about all the other SNL writers. I really only care about her. There’s also lots of discussion around whether woman can be funny. But she doesn’t need to argue that – she’s already proved it in my books.

Another favourite part was how she felt about playing Sarah Palin. She acknowledges that some hard-core, fundy Republicans will hate her forever. If you’re a fan of Tina Fey-style humour, you’ll love Bossypants as much as Fundies hate her.

Photo credits: macleans.cavanityfair.commagxone.com

Coveting: Books by Funny People

For those of you who are fans of The Office, you probably already know about Mindy Kaling’s new book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns), which is supposed to be HILARIOUS. And really, how could Kaling be anything by hilarious? Kaling plays the token minority who is also the token ditz and token annoying coworker from The Office.

It’s no surprise that comedians are writing books – they’re funny people! But I’m also not surprised that many of these books are being taken very seriously by serious readers. While working at a mental institution I learned that the nearly all of the city’s most famous comedians had spend time there. Turns out, you have to deeply sad to be deeply funny.

Here are some other comedian books released this year to look out for:

– Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
– I Didn’t Ask to Be Born (But I’m Glad I Was) by Bill Cosby
– Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres
– Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch

On a side note, I saw Bill Cosby a few nights back on David Letterman promoting his new book. Cosby hasn’t lost any of his funny over the years. Good thing we still like to laugh.

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