From his first interactions with “The Mob” in his early childhood, his nightmarish life with his father until he was on his own at 15 years of age, through his marriages, and how he became one of the best and most famous stand-up comedians of his time, Kip Addotta tells all. He names names and details the how-to and fine-tuning of comedy.
I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments, and opinions are my own.
Kip Addotta is one of the most successful comedians in history. In his autobiography, he tells stories about his family history, his childhood, and his many ups and downs that come with a career in show business.
Overall this book was interesting. I was excited to pick it up since I had never read much about comedians, and this was a stretch out of my normal reading habits. In the beginning of the book, Addotta promises that it will be a rather disjointed collection of memories, and he lives up to this statement. Starting off with his grandparents’ journey from Sicily, this book bounces all over his life’s timeline as he shares stories, anecdotes, and memories about the various aspects of his life.
What I Liked:
Like I mentioned before, this was an out-of-the-box book for me. I liked trying something new. He drops many interesting tips and tricks that go into putting on a comedy show, including the lighting, sound, and even seating arrangements. Another interesting thing was that Addotta grew up in a very distinct culture, his family being Sicilian and many of his relatives being high up in the Mob. It was fascinating to read about this part of America’s history. Beyond this, Addotta’s writing style, while disjointed at times, is amusing and conveys his personality 100%. He puts on no shows or pretensions, and is completely real with his readers.
What I Didn’t Like:
So I mentioned above that Addotta is completely honest with his readers, and sometimes he takes this too far. His writing style (and language) is often crass, and even inappropriate at times. There are several times he uses what he calls “Scatological humor” (humor relating to bodily functions such defecation, urination, flatulence, etc.) even though he discourages readers from using it in comedy shows.
He also talks about how he cheated on his second wife, had one lady make a comment to him about “sucking his d***”, premarital sex, and other risque occurrences. Another element that I found offensive is that despite being brought up by his devoutly Catholic grandmother, Addotta often portrays a rather sacrilegious view of Catholicism and religion in general. My problem with these things stems not so much from their presence in his story (we have all made bad choices) as much as his attitude towards them in retrospect. He often looks upon them as a great joke, and even the few that he regrets he sees merely as being unable to be man enough to resist.
Overall, parts of this book were interesting, parts were appalling. I also felt that, while I appreciate his attempts to be real, he was often unprofessional. I give it 1 out of 5 stars.