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You're Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  7,525 ratings  ·  643 reviews
Darkly humorous and told with raw honesty, You're Not Doing it Right is Michael's debut memoir. In it, he takes on his childhood, his marriage, his children, and his career with unexpected candor and deadpan wit, as he shares the neuroses that have plagued him since he was a kid and how they shaped him into the man he is today.

In this funny-because-it's-true essay collecti
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Gallery Books
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 ·  7,525 ratings  ·  643 reviews

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Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Michael Ian Black tells the reader in his Acknowledgments:

Writing about myself in an honest way proved to be one of the most difficult things I have ever done. There were many, many days when I felt like abandoning this project.

I understand the “abandonment of project” impulse here. Writing your truth can be incredibly painful, and also incredibly rewarding, especially when you find an unlikely new reader like me, as a result of your inward journey and your outward expression.

I have no idea who
Clumsy Storyteller
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
Haha God this book is hilarious i loved it my favorite story is when he wanted to retire but he couldn’t affford it so he told his wife that they should move to inexpensive city ....... Where to ? copenhagen LOL

“Did you work?”
“Of course I worked. I got a lot done.”
Which is true, if you define “getting a lot done” as doing online retirement calculations, researching world’s best cities to live, and spending three hours looking at photos of Britney Spears’s ex-husband, Kevin Federline.
For some
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: his fans
Recommended to Jillyn by: Emily
This review contains some language that might be offensive. Don't like it? Don't read it.


Michael Ian Black is a comedian who is best known for his work on various MTV shows. This is his memoir, reflecting on such things as sex, marriage, childbearing, and life in New York.


Michael Ian Black is also a douchebag. And I love him for it. Despite him being a fairly successful forty year old Jewish man, and I being a college aged jobless Pagan female, I found tremendous similarities in viewpoints
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it
31/2 stars. Usually, novels written by comedians are not my thing, but I really wanted to read something lightweight and funny after the past week. Black was on the MTV sketch comedy series, the State, and has several other TV and movie gigs on his resume, including the TV show “Ed”. The book is autobiographical and primarily focuses on marriage and parenthood.

The structure is loose, anecdotal, and linear only in the roughest sense of the word in the first half of the book. One chapter might dea
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Spot on! Hilarious preparatory course for marriage and parenthood. Michael had the self-deprecation and balls to reveal his true feelings and admit half the stuff most people would never admit. So thanks for that, I appreciate your boldness to allow me to seem 'normal' for once.
May 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: brain-candy
Should be called "I Sort of Hate My Wife and I Almost Feel Bad About It."
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
I could watch Michael Ian Black on TV all day. As a matter of fact, I used to do just that. I taped all those dumb VH1 "I Love the..." series, mainly because of him. I like listening to him talk, and I love following him on twitter.
For some reason, though, I just couldn't get into this book. To me, it felt sad and awkward. I get self-deprecating humor- believe me, I do. And I really like it. But I didn't get that from this book. I was so excited to receive it, and started reading it as soon as
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Comedian Michael Ian Black's first memoir is hilarious and surprisingly poignant.  I love his brand of humor and from his writing he strikes me as the kind of friend you'd describe as, "Great guy, kind of a dick, but great."
We all have that friend we love to death but think they can be kind of dick but really they're just honest.  And honesty is exactly what Black brings to the table in his collection of essays.

Black covers his childhood with a brother and special needs sister, his parents divor
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, humor, 2012
Black’s well-known to my generation as one of the players from MTV’s much-beloved sketch show The State and has gone on to a career in Hollywood, often appearing on television and in commercials. He’s carved out a distinct niche for himself as a snarky know-it-all and I’ve enjoyed much of his work post-State… but I wasn’t chomping at the bit to read his book. I decided to give it a shot and I am ridiculously glad I did.

You’re Not Doing It Right is quite simply, the most accurate book I’ve ever r
Conor Ahern
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a huge surprise, but I really loved this book. Like most of the comedy books I consume, this was an audiobook. I had recently made my way through a few mediocre audiobooks by Demetri Martin and David Cross, and I just downloaded this one because Black's name was recognizable and I hadn't really researched anything else. I certainly wasn't a huge Michael Ian Black fan before selecting it.

As I've said elsewhere, I think writing a comedy book is an almost intrinsically doomed enterprise. I
Neil Shurley
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I remember enjoying Michael Ian Black's work on the nearly forgotten TV show Ed. And I thought he was one of the funnier parts of the I Love the 70s/80s VH1 shows. Last year I discovered his podcast, Mike and Tom Eat Snacks, which he records with his Ed co-star, Tom Cavanagh. I've also listened to a couple of his comedy albums.

Now I've read his book. And I really liked it.

I actually found myself laughing. Out loud. Not something I often do while reading a book. And I also found it to be shockin
Jul 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: memoirs
Michael Ian Black has his talents as an actor/comedian, but he should stop trying to be a writer. Even setting aside the fact that this book reveals him to be FAR more of a douchebag than I originally realized, his writing style is very similar to unfunny dad-comic Dave Barry. It's irritating, and not particularly funny. Further, he has a self-conscious habit of fake self-deprecation, when he pokes fun at himself for things that are only borderline embarrassing (in order to prove himself less of ...more
Kevin Cecil
I love this book, in part because it made me feel a little bit better about how much worse I'm doing "it." Michael Ian Black represents my Platonic ideal of myself. Had I been born with greater ambition, actual talent, a sharper sense of humor and better looks, I can see myself reaching the apex of my potential as a mildly depressed C-list celebrity like Black. His book isn't the type of complex classic with flowery prose and a propulsive narrative I usually reserve the 5 star rating for. Black' ...more
Curtis Edmonds
Mar 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Michael Ian Black's YOU'RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT is sort-of an autobiography that focuses on domestic life. Black seems to have learned from the example of President Van Buren, who never mentioned his wife's name in his autobiography. We learn next to nothing about Black's career, but we do learn a whole awful lot about his attitudes towards his wife ("crazy" is a printable word I can use) his kids (Black brutally describes his lack of affection for his children as colicky babies) and his dog (a he ...more
Gina Boyd
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have always thought Michael Ian Black was very funny, but I had no idea what a good writer he is. This memoir is one of the funniest things I've read in years--I'd compare it to David Sedaris-level funny--but it's also incredibly sad and honest in a way that few memoirs that I've read tend to be. And when I say "honest," I don't mean salacious or scandalous, or full of gory details; I mean that Black is willing to talk about things few people are willing to confess. He talks about loathing a C ...more
Jul 18, 2013 rated it liked it
I am nearly through this book and feel I've read enough to sufficiently review it. I will likely be done reading it this evening. I like this book - I don't love it. He doesn't say anything I haven't thought myself. I have laughed-out-loud approximately once per chapter.

Actually, one or two chapters are quite heavy in their content and kinda took the piss out of the read on a night or two. Having kids sucks and being married - most often - sucks. I know that and, aside from humourous discussion
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Michael Ian Black can be a jackass, but in the end, the sweetness & sincerity of his love for his family and his life mitigate the vast majority of his more selfish statements. His statements about the difficulty of marriage and child-rearing were sometimes cruel (especially to his poor wife), his regret later about his actions rang true as well. The chapter in which he described the pain of losing their first dog had me teary and made me feel immense sympathy for this sweet, arrogant comic. ...more
Greg Hendrickson
Jan 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Michael Ian Black is incredibly funny. This book had humor, but dealt with a lot of dark topics. The material was solid. It isn't often that someone paints a picture of the negative side of marriage, kids, etc. He explains how his insecurities color his world. Michael lets the reader take a deep look at his personal life, warts and all, as they say. He's a great story teller, but be prepared for a lot of heavy subjects.
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly touching and well-written. This isn't just another breezy, snarky book by a comedian. Michael Ian Black writes frankly about his life, his marriage, his children, and his own (sometimes poor) behavior. He is a jerk, he is a a softy, he is a human being. He is doing the best he can. Kind of admirable, really. A truly good read.
Dave Hill
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Michael is so funny I want to kick him in the nuts. This is his warning.
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're at all familiar with Michael Ian Black's comedy, you know that he will say just about any awful thing you can imagine as if he means it with all his heart. This book isn't written by *that* Michael Ian Black. I mean, okay, he does in fact still say some horrible things as if he means them with all his heart, but there are also glimpses at the humanity lurking behind the statements, and the shared experiences that lead many of us to think the things he says out loud. (If you're not at a ...more
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, library, hollywood
Some may remember Michael Ian Black from the MTV sketch comedy program, “The State”. Others may have seen his commentaries on the “I Love the…” decade series on VH1. The rest of the population may not know him at all. Whatever your familiarity (or lack thereof); “You’re Not Doing it Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death, and Other Humiliations” reveals the hilarious (and somewhat dark) mind of comedian Michael Ian Black.

“You’re Not Doing it Right” uniquely combines traditional elements of a celeb
Apr 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I kept seeing this described as "honest" and "painfully candid" before reading it (the word "honest" occurs over & over again in the blurbs on the back cover), so when Michael Ian Black (hereafter "MIB" for brevity's sake - apologies for any Expensively Crafted Aliens+Will Smith connotations) makes numerous references to how much his children annoy him, or how he sometimes enjoys being in a hotel room by himself & far away from his family, or even how he didn't fall in love wi ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had mixed feelings about this book. I had read a review of it somewhere, and it sounded really cool - this idea of a husband and father finding meaning in the day to day grind. That's a good, sound philosophy that I wanted this book to explore. But he's not exactly an every guy - he wrote a show for MTV. And then, some of the anecdotes/stories felt empty. His childhood story about f*** Alan Alda just didn't do anything for me. Just because his mom idealized Alda's persona didn't mean Michael's ...more
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor
I randomly found this book while searching for a new audiobook to download. I'd never heard of it, nor of the author. But it turned out to be so funny I'm going to give it another listen. The author is a comedian and actor in addition to being a writer, so not only is the material good, but the delivery is spot-on. I even liked it better than Tina Fey's Bossypants, which is much more well-known.

He just tells simple stories of domestic life and recalls his single years and childhood. He's kind o
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars. I really loved this book. Yes, Michael Ian Black comes off as kind of a crass jerk sometimes, but I have listened to him enough that I get that that is kind of his schtick, and it doesn't bother me so much, and really, his jerkiness can kind of be seen as raw honesty in a lot of cases. The first couple essays are not the strongest ones, but once he starts talking about marriage and parenthood, he absolutely shines. These essays are honest, hilarious, tender and true. I think one of ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Heartwarming? Yes, but not in a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" way, more in a painful, ugly truth way. Still very funny, but not the absurd humor of his previous book, "My Custom Van." The jokes in these autobiographical vignettes are secondary to the lessons learned in the search for "How did I end up in this life?" Getting married, having kids, dad dying at a young age, and mom becoming a lesbian are all topics he writes about, and I wouldn't normally care for a memoir of this type, except that I ...more
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Far from the zany, madcap type humor I somehow expected from the author, "You're Not Doing It Right" is an incredibly well-paced, well-tempered, and well-meaning book. It is humorous. It is wonderfully humorous. It is irreverant and somewhat crass. And it made me laugh out loud in a restaurant where I was reading it at a table for one, even further embarrassing myself in front of my cute Australian waitress. But, it is remarkably insightful, poignant, and touching. All the essays are introspecti ...more
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents, michael ian black fans
Shelves: memoirs, parenting
The part about aging that terrifies isn't so much about becoming old or out of touch. It doesn't take much poking around to tell that I'm a pretty out of date person. No, the part of aging that terrifies me is the idea of looking around and finding myself surrounded by my failures. Living a lazy life can be fun, but sometimes you miss out on all of those great perks you actually have to work for. Things like pleasant spouses, healthy families, and stability come as a result of involved effort. S ...more
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
I didn't really enjoy this book at all, and I couldn't relate to much of what he said. Besides the stuff about having a baby with colic which truly does suck, I didn't have the same experience that many goodreads readers did- maybe because I am not a middle aged guy?
I also will never understand these relationships where people are miserable, fight constantly, and seem to just not enjoy being together. Most of the couples who I know who have been married 20/30/40 years seem to be pretty darn hap
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Michael Ian Black is a popular comedian who began his career with "The State," a sketch comedy troupe he co-founded at New York University in 1988, which went on to have a successful run on MTV. He then co-created the Comedy Central television series "Viva Variety," a fake European variety show.

From there, he appeared on several television shows before landing the role of Phil Stubbs, the quirky

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