Welcome to Spit Take Saturday, courtesy of Brown Paper Tickets’ Comedy Doer Julie Seabaugh and her professional comedy criticism site The Spit Take. Julie’s goal with the site is to “elevate the public perception of stand-up comedy to that of a legitimate art form, and to enable comedy criticism be taken as seriously as that of theater, film, music, food, even video games. No a**-kissing. No bias. No mercy. Just honest, unfiltered, long-form reviews written by professional, knowledgeable comedy critics.”
Every week Julie will select an entry from the site to be included on our blog and hand-pick some related events happening that week that she feels all you comedy lovers out there will appreciate.
So, without further ado, let us introduce you to this week’s Spit Take Saturday!
“I am not a psychologist,” Aisha Tyler writes, “but I do know some sh*t about people.” In her new book, Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation, Tyler uses her own experiences to discuss the human experience at large, writing in great detail about some of the most traumatic events of her life. The caveat, though, is that the 30-something events Tyler discusses are all of her own doing. These self-inflicted wounds, Tyler relates, made her the person she is today—someone who embraces her own failures and shortcomings in order to learn from them. They hurt in the moment, Tyler acknowledges. In fact, they burn “like a mouthful of napalm on an empty stomach.” But they also “forge character. They burnish your edges and make you the person you are.” And for that, it’s imperative they are examined.
What’s always interesting about comedians writing books is that the dynamic between them and their audience shifts greatly: it becomes more direct, less inferential. The stories, themes and ideas comedians previously discussed onstage are now indelibly preserved in black and white, often translating what was a therapeutic art form for themselves into what amounts to a self-help book aimed squarely at the reader.