Comedians Who Published Books that Aren’t Memoirs

Every successful comedian is approached to write a book at some point in their career. These are the ones that didn’t write the standard memoir.

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Every successful comedian is approached to write a book at some point in their career. On stage, the comedian rarely shares their true self (aside from the ones in the recent tragi-comedy boom in stand-up). So, when they come out with a memoir fans flock to read the inside story, who the person behind the jokes really is.

But not everyone wants to share the intimate details of their life on paper. And not every comedian has crazy stories to share. Fans wonder what kind of crazy life Kevin Hart leads, but for a comic like Demitri Martin, there may not be that much to tell.

Here is a list of comedians who have managed to break away from the memoir standard, and put out different (super funny) work instead.

1. ‘Egghead’ by Bo Burnham 

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Burnham’s book did not come as a surprise to most of his following. A highlight of his comedy specials is always when he dims the stage lights and shares his poems. This book is a collection of some of the classics (like “Dad”) coupled with new delightful poems that are sure to make you laugh.

2. ‘If the Raindrops United’ by Judah Friedlander

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Friedlander is known best for his role on 30 Rock and for his crazy flat-top hats. But, unlike his writer character on the show, there is no writing in this book. Friedlander graces the world with this hysterical collection of comics that will make you think and laugh all at once.

3. ‘Zombie Spaceship Wasteland’ by Patton Oswalt

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Oswalt lets his inner nerd fly in this mash-up of a book. Chapters cut from memories of his childhood, to an ode to dungeons and dragons, to a satirical wine list.  Each chapter comes with a ‘full disclosure’ note at the end where Oswalt admits what he did while procrastinating to write that section. Plus, if you want more there’s always his other book, Silver Screen Feind, which will give you more memoir with some of the oddity that this book does.

4. ‘One More Thing’ by B.J. Novak

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The Office star shows readers just how creative he can be with this collection of short stories. From an attempted seduction of Tony Robbins, to flipping the tortoise and the hare on its head, the book is a gem. But that isn’t all Novak has done. He has also written a successful children’s book, proving his range as an author.

5. ‘Food: A Love Story’ by Jim Gaffigan

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Gaffigan’s second book moves away from his previous memoir and focuses in on a very specific topic: food. This book has entire chapters devoted to the analysis of if people really like fruit and the world of Whole Foods. It’s the perfect read for the funny foodie in your life (but not for the friend who uses ‘hangry’ more than anyone should).

6. ‘Based on a True Story: A Memoir’ by Norm Macdonald

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There has never been a title that so perfectly encompasses a person, as this does for Macdonald. He parodies the celebrity memoir by telling “true” stories that are far too absurd to be real. Macdonald is known for his storytelling based comedy and this book is a great addition if you love his other work.

7. ‘This Is a Book’ by Demitri Martin

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This Is a Book is put last, just to emphasize how fantastic this book is. Martin shares his clever cartoons and mixes them in with a variety of brilliant really just undescribable sections. He writes long palindrome poems, lists of absurd topics, charts, and so much more. And, if you want more of his astute work, there are two other books to check out too!

Feature Image Via Jonathan Mizrahi