The first openly gay comedian to perform on the Tonight Show delivers a collection of witty essays exploring his remarkable career and life.
Since 2007, Smith, a successful comedian and author of both nonfiction and fiction (Remembrance of Things I Forgot, 2011, etc.), has lived with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and even though he now communicates through his iPad, his wit is as sharp as ever: “I’d like to tell God what a dick he is for creating ALS and punch him—if I could still make a fist.” In his latest book, he writes about being a father, his past romantic encounters, his love of animals, his group of close friends he calls the Nature Boys, and his career as a comedian. Smith’s love of nature started early when he received a subscription to the children’s version of National Geographic. Engaging with the environment and all its delights and discomforts forms the core of the narrative, offering observations on a variety of natural environments and details about his trips to Santa Fe, the Malibu hills, Alaska, and Canyon de Chelly in Arizona. Each essay provides a glimpse into Smith’s thought processes on diverse subjects, including how to confront homophobic hecklers while on stage, the joys of parenthood, and his love of “all things Native American.” Smith concedes that though his disease has been a trial, it has given him the opportunity to speak openly about any topic he wishes. “I was now blessed with a free pass to discuss all religions and beliefs after I was forced to confront the fact that my relation to the universe might expire,” he writes. Though the author holds strong opinions, his essays are funny and intimate without being self-indulgent. Never moving too far from his comedic nature, Smith delivers one-liners throughout, and nothing is off-limits.
A truth-telling tour conducted by an agile guide.