When I hear the word “essay,” 90 percent of the time my brain shuts off and I am rendered motionless.
In the case of Michael Ian Black’s new book, “My Custom Van… And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays that Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face,” the word “essay” is merely the starting pistol for an epic adventure into the mind of Mr. Black.
I took a risk purchasing this book due to my pre–existing condition, but it is a risk I would take again and again.
You may recognize the author from the “I love the…” series on VH1, or his short-lived but very funny show on Comedy Central, “Stella,” with Michael Showalter and David Wain. The show lasted two seasons, but the trio still traveled the country doing live performances of their stand up.
Michael Ian Black’s no-holds-barred humor will have you dying of laughter.
In an essay titled “An Open Letter to the Hairstylist Who Somehow Convinced Me to Get a Perm When I Was in The Sixth Grade,” Black wrote:
“As if I wasn’t unpopular enough. As if I wasn’t already routinely subjected to ridicule and torment due to my smallish stature, unconventional attire (top hat and tails) and as one teacher put it ‘counterproductive’ personality.”
And in an essay titled, “What I Would Be Thinking If I Were Billy Joel Driving to a Holiday Party Where I Knew There Was Going to Be a Piano”
“But I know exactly what’ll happen. I’ll sit down, play a few holiday songs, and then some drunk jerk will yell out ‘Piano Man’ and everyone will start clapping and I’ll look like a real asshole if I don’t play it. I wonder if they have shrimp cocktail.”
Those are just two examples of the funny Black seems to produce naturally.
I feel the reason why this book works so well is because there isn’t a set topic— literally anything goes—and there isn’t a continuing story line. So for someone with an extreme case of ADD, this book is perfect.
The whole book is full of the most random subjects ever. I have a pretty wild imagination and there are some concepts brought up in this book that I still can barely wrap my head around.
Comedian Jim Gaffigan put it best:
“I always walk away jealous and a little fearful of Michael Ian Black’s sharp comedic wit. If you like your comedy dry, absurd, and unforced, you will love this book.”
With that said, I recommend that you stop what you are doing and purchase this book immediately.