Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Review: Openly Bob by Bob Smith

Smith was the first openly gay comic to appear on The Tonight Show. Given that I am long asleep before the show comes on, I did not see him on there and had few expectations of this book beyond hearing from a friend years ago that it was hilarious. And you know what? It absolutely was hilarious. This is a memoir of sorts in the form of essays that Smith has written dealing with being gay and being a grown-up. He takes on all sorts of topics like needing couples counseling, coming out to his parents, taking his boyfriend home to meet his quirky family, working as a comic, auditioning for roles as the stereotypical gay man, and so much more. The tone throughout these connected essays is humorous and amusing and while a few pieces have bits that might date them, it is also instructive that some of his politically relevant jibes are still, unfortunately, relevant, 12 years after this book won a Lambda Literary Award. Smith has a biting humor and a sharp wit and those who enjoy word play, will find much to admire here. Although the essays were certainly polished over time, it is clear that Smith must be a pretty darn funny stand-up comic off the cuff as well. He's insightful and observant and quirky and the book stands as an entertaining testament to the ups and downs in one gay man's slightly offbeat life. Read this one when you want to laugh, a lot.

1 comment:

  1. I thought it was hilarious too. Do you know there's a sequel? Way To Go Smith.


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