Sincerely funny stuff from a welcome new original voice on the humor-literature scene.
Best known for her stint as a correspondent on The Daily Show, Weedman is a prolific multimedia performer/comedienne: NPR commentator, playwright, performance artist, regular on Comedy Central’s Reno 911! In her debut collection of autobiographical essays, the author proves to be an undeniable charmer and self-deprecator extraordinaire, seemingly proud to depict herself as a goofball and unashamed to walk us though one awkward incident after another. Her attempts to make Daily Show host Jon Stewart her “new boyfriend”—joking with him about African-American male genitalia, faux-seductively pinching her own nipples for his pleasure—are, fortunately for Weedman’s then-husband Michael, met with fright and/or confusion. And then there’s her trip to the Emmy Awards with her Daily Show pals, the highlight of which was a self-administered enema. Weedman’s essays work for the same reason David Sedaris’ do: She has heart. Though told with a tinge of comedic self-flagellation, the story of her marriage’s end game is filled with sincere pathos, as is the tale of her first post-divorce fling with a warm, turkey jerky–bearing gentleman named David. And though the topic of awkward adolescences is overused, Weedman’s depiction of her pot-soaked Indiana high-school years is effective in part because of its brevity. The author made an interesting choice by structuring the book in reverse chronological order, but that turned out to be a canny move—she grabs readers immediately with the stories of her celebrity encounters.
If Sedaris were a heterosexual woman, he might well be Weedman.