Thursday, September 28, 2023

A Review of "Misfit: Growing Up Awkward in the ’80s" by Gary Gulman


Gary Gulman is the kind of comedian you figured had a book in him, given his love of words and language that helped him craft a classic routine out of the creation of the states’ two letter abbreviations. (If you don’t know this bit, watch it now before reading this review; one delicious moment, “Ne’er-do-wells. How often do well? They ne’er do well.”) But there’s more—he’s also willing to open up in ways many people can’t. Check out his powerful, and powerfully funny HBO show The Great Depresh, where he intercut stand-up with footage of his fight with mental illness.

But wait there’s more—based on the painstakingly detailed tales of his K-12 education that make up Misfit—he’s a real-life Funes the Memorious. If that allusion is too-highfalutin, we can turn to one perhaps equally obscure if more middlebrow, the Disney live action classic The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, one of Gulman’s favorite flicks as a kid. Gulman even provides the phone numbers for his precious handful of friends when he introduces them in the book.

Care to read the rest then do so at California Review of Books.

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