Naked Pictures Of Famous People Paperback – Sep 22 1999
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Sometimes it seems like every standup comedian worth his or her salt just has to do the book thing, and you might feel that yet another warmed-over stage routine is the last thing you need taking up valuable bookshelf space. Jon Stewart's book will come as an extremely pleasant surprise. He eschews the standard standup patter and instead gives us 18 short comic essays in a variety of styles that recall the prose work of Woody Allen, only with a few more references to genitals. Stewart proves himself a remarkably nimble humorist with a sharp eye for parody, whether he's writing "A Very Hanson Christmas" or "Adolf Hitler: The Larry King Interview."
HITLER: ...Larry, look, I was a bad guy. No question. I hate that Hitler. The yelling, the finger pointing, I don't know ... I was a very angry guy.
KING: And this ... new Hitler?
HITLER: I get up at seven, have half a melon, do the jumble in the morning paper and then let the day take me where it will.... Me!! The inventor of the Blitzkrieg... When you stop having to control everything it's very freeing.
Stewart is not afraid to flirt with bad taste, in fact, some of the pieces in this collection do for "flirting with bad taste" what Bill Clinton did for "not having sexual relations." But it's wonderful to see an edgy comedian taking on the traditionally cozy genre of the humorous essay, creating work that combines the wit of Robert Benchley with the energy and attitude of the best modern standup. Naked Pictures of Famous People proves that Jon Stewart is as comfortable, and accomplished, in front of a word processor as he is in front of an audience. --Simon Leake --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Brutally witty...On a par with Woody Allen's Without Feathers and Steve Martin's Cruel Shoes... Naked Pictures reveals a basic truth that's too oftenforgotten by the shock-for-shock's-sake satirists of the South Park era: You've got to be smart to be a smart ass." -- "Entertainment Weekly""Jon Stewart eschews the standard standup patter and instead gives us 18 short comic essays in a variety of styles that recall the prose work of WoodyAllen... Stewart proves himself a remarkably nimble humorist with a sharp eye for parody... It's wonderful to see an edgy comedian taking on thetraditionally cozy genre of the humorous essay, creating work that combines the wit of Robert Benchley with the energy and attitude of the best modernstandup." -- Amazon.com"Terrific night table reading for lovers of intelligent satire... smart... refreshingly offensive... unapologetically un-PC... a gift for just about anyone." -- "Austin Chronicle"See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyway, this book is amazing. Jon once said that this book is the thing he's most proud of, and well he should be. The piece on the Kennedys is satiric genius, proving Jon takes shots at all sides, not just the conservatives. My personal favorite has to be The Cult, in which Cap'n Crunch is their chosen savior.
It's not just in-your-face humor. Jon's writing is laced with the subtlety and nerve of The Daily Show-- in each sentence you can almost sense the eye-roll, the self-deprecating grimace, the unaffected shrug. It's that unbelievable, underlying charm that sells this book. It's the complete mockery of everything anyone holds sacred with such candor and effrontery that makes it the classic it should be, and is to me. It's great. I love it! And sorry for gushing--but he's Jon.
That being said, I was a bit disappointed in his book. I found it to be very uneven. Therea are some great 'bits', but there are many that are bad. Such as the first 'chapter' where the Kennedy's are the target of his wit. It fell short. Next is a slightly better, but still weak bit on the Hansons (does anyone even remember them?). As is "The Ford Tapes" where Stewart spoofs Ford and his brief presidency. The next bit that pokes fun at Martha Stewart is better. This one isn't bad. It falls in the middle category, because it wasn't all that great. "The New Judaism", which follows, is better still, though still not 'Laugh-out-loud" like one blurb announces. His next bit, better still, takes on Princess Di and Mother Teresa (showing that nothing is sacred to a comic who is truly cutting edge) in a series of letters Di sends to Teresa. "Local News" drops us back to the awfulness of the early bits as it gives us the death of the talking Taco Bell Chihuaha. It's only about two pages (thank god). But we go back to the quality of Di/Teresa with Stewart satirizing the last supper--we get the journal from the waiter. Nice touch. I don't know what to say about the next bit, which is Da Vinci's lost notebook. The next bit is "The Cult" which is really great. This is one of the bits where you see Stewart at his best. But we immeidately drop to a lame bit, "Five Under Five," which satirizes these lists of people to watch ('Best 25 Under 25'). Then is the postmodern/experimental bit, "The Recipe," which satirizes these awards shows that seem to populate the airwaves, appearing what i swear is every other night. The next bit takes on Bill Gates (and his selling of his soul to the devil), which is good, but not great (more Di than Cult). The next bit is Van Gogh in AOL chat rooms. Pretty realistic, and a nice effort, but there was so much that could have been done with it that just wasn't done. It fell a bit flat. "Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold", more of a dark humor short-short story, follows, and it isn't bad. The Larry King interview with Hitler that follows is great. I don't know if I'd say it or "The Cult" is better. Then he spoofs sitcoms by asking the what if: What if network tv had tried to work with Lenny Bruce to make a sitcome. Great stuff here (but you have to be familiar with Bruce's work to really get it). Then we finish up with a brief my spelling, Microsoft Spellchecker's Correction. Jon, it's been done before--way too many times. It's so cliche, it just can't be funny.
So, would I recommend you buy this book? Depends. If you are a Jon Stewart fan, then you will like the book. Also, there are the three great chapters--Lenny Bruce, Hitler's interview, and "The Cult"--as well as a few more good ones. Yeah, I'd say it's worth your money (better than getting another Reisner).