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Mr. Funny Pants

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,013 ratings  ·  116 reviews
The writer and star of various offbeat US comedy shows brings readers his uniquely absurd humour in his hilarious first book.
Hardcover, 254 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2011)
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,013 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not as funny as I'd hoped. There are a few actual stories from his life (clearly embellished, but funny and interesting), but most of the book reads like he was just trying to fill pages. And he does write that he had a lot of trouble writing the book. But at times the filler stuff was so incredibly repetitive that I was insulted. Or maybe he was doing something amazing and cutting edge by questioning the whole validity of memoirs. If so, I guess I was too dumb to get it. But that was my constan ...more
Amy Adams
Mar 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I really think Michael Showalter's comedy is super funny. So, I expected this book to also be super funny. Some parts of it certainly were, but overall, I think it kind of missed the mark. Usually, as I read a book, when I put my bookmark in, I start thinking about what I would say if I were to write a review right then and there. Here are some of the bookmark reviews I came up with as I was reading:

"Unless you want to read about someone who's trying to write a book but not writing it but still
Jan 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads, comedy
I really dug into this book over the weekend and I am not quite sure what I expected of it before starting, but I can quite generally say, it was not for me. I'll qualify that a bit. For the most part, each chapter reads in a stream of conscience format covering any number of random and seemingly loosely bound ideas into a very open interpretation of a story.

You certainly cannot love everything you read and come across and I am not saying that this book is without its audience. I am simply not t
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Mr. Funny Pants is really less a memoir than a disorganized "graphic set" of underedited Michael Showalter musings. He attempts some meta-humour (with a "post-," "post-post-" and "pre-post-post-preface" and bits about him trying to get over his writer's block) but most of this comes off as self-indulgent, prolix, and really just boring. The other pieces in the book, once Showalter has gotten past his "writing about writing," are often funny and well-constructed - some prose-versions of his stand ...more
Apr 23, 2012 rated it liked it
I love Michael Showalter, so I wanted to love this book, but I found it extremely hit-or-miss. At times, I could feel the effort he was putting into being quirky and it caused the humor to fall flat. Or else the humor just fell flat all on its own. A huge theme of the book was blatantly trying to fill up space (a la Colbert, Dinello, & Sedaris' Wigfield), but the bit wore thin quickly in this case. He wasn't comically wasting space to fill out the book, he was simply wasting space. However, ...more
Bonnie G.
Apr 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So far, this is one of the funniest books I have ever read in my life.

Srsly- I am banned from reading this book at work b/c I distracted my coworkes from my muffled guffaws and chuckles and I just sounded like a creepy elmer fudd since I was trying to hide how fucking funny all this shit is.


The poems, the fake books with the Lakers, the story about being the smelly hipster on the plane, of being given a psychiatric drug for being annoyed with noise from his frat neighb
Michael Martin
Feb 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
This barely should count as a "book", and if it seems like I'm "abusing" the device of "quotation marks" in my review of it, it's because the "author" can't seem to get through a "sentence" without using them "repeatedly".

I hated this book. A few minor laughs, and about 250 pages of filler. Skip it.
Feb 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Pure Genius! I never knew you could be sarcastic and earnest at the same time. This is one of the funniest celebrity pseudo-memoirs I have read in a long time Anyone who hides their guilty pleasures in music on their iPod by labeling them really cool and hip indie bands, has my vote. I would do the same thing, but I have quite figured out how to do it. Michael Showalter pokes fun at the seriousness of writing by making fun of some of the things "serious" writers do like the preface only he takes ...more
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
The author does an outstanding job reading his material. He has a very unique, soothing voice and he knows how to play with words in just the right way. It makes sense because, after all, he is a comedian. I really enjoyed listening to him in my car everyday. I was juggling between 3 and 4 stars for this book because he tells some extremely funny stories, but I wish there were more of them. Some parts were lackluster and/or annoying. Overall, a stellar vocal performance. I am so glad I listened ...more
Oct 22, 2015 rated it liked it
a paean to procrastination & silliness, half-assedly masquerading as memoirs. it legitimately feels like the process of not writing: of jabbering away words that hold no greater meaning just to get SOMETHING on the page. and some of it is inspired. but much of it is not. i know it isn't fair to always tie them together, but i enjoyed both of Michael Ian Black's books more. that being said, if you are a State/Stella/Showalter fan, you pretty much have to read this...
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Just how funny are these pants? Yeah, they are pretty funny pants.

I laughed out loud more at this book than almost any I’ve ever read. And yet, I wanted something else. But maybe, just maybe, that’s on me.

Since this is essentially a book of skits, some are going to fall flat. What worked consistently throughout, though, were the chapters on his dating life and audition struggles. The personal stuff. A basis of more of his real life mixed in with wacky comedy would have been a more memorable re
Steve Portigal
Jun 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
I have watched most if not all of the various TV series and films that Showalter has been involved in. I've seen him do standup. I'm a fan.

But I didn't make it very far into this book. The first page is a silly "About the Author" list. The second page is "About the Author (Canadian edition)" which featured every lame and typical American-joke-about-Canada, which at this point in history, does anyone ever need to see again? It's not that we can't handle being made fun of, it's that we expect the
Cecily Kyle
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: towers
I wanted to like this a lot more than I did. I have no idea who Michael Showalter is or if I am supposed to know who he is but being inside his brain was sure a trip! There were times where I was laughing and thinking "This guy is a genius," and then there were other times where I just couldn't wrap my head around what was being said when he started rambling.
I am basically on the fence for this one. It was good but it was weird.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This was equal parts funny and confusing.
David Brooke
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
TO see this review with pictures and see if it's better than Mindy Kaling's novel read the review here:

I literally laughed until I cried more than once when reading this book. Michael Showalter started his career on the 90’s skit MTV show The State and carried that over to films like cult hit Wet Hot American Summer and a hilarious turn on the show Stella.

The book opens with an About the Author, then moves onto About the Author (For Canadian Edition), the
Giddy Girlie
Jun 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
I love reading all kinds of memoirs and biographies and so when I found this book at a second-hand bookstore, I was really excited. My copy is even personally signed by Showalter with a sketch inside! I've liked a lot of Showalter's work over the years and so I was interested to read about him. Unfortunately, it didn't really work out that way.

My personal peeve with any memoir/biography is when the writer spends too much time explaining how they didn't really want to write a book, but then someo
Feb 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
What I Can Tell You:
There aren't too many things I can't live without. My kids, my family and friends, water, air, food and laughter. Personally, I love to laugh and since getting Netflix have looked up every stand up act on there. There aren't many that make me ROFL and even less that make me ROTFLMAO but I find a few that make me LOL. When it comes to books, I can count on one and a half hands the ones that have made me laugh out loud. This book is one of them.

Michael Showalter was one of the
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Well, obviously this isn’t the type of book that I usually review. I do almost exclusively YA here with the odd non-fiction or adult fiction thrown in, and this is a humor memoir. I’m only reviewing it for two reasons: a) it’s really freaking funny; and b) I love Michael Showalter.

There. I said it. I love Michael Showalter. If you don’t know who he is, he’s a distinguished alum of MTV’s The State (if you are not familiar, acquaint yourself at once) as well as the cult comedy troupe Stella and th
May 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have to admit that I love everything Sho does. The State, Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, Stella, The Michael Showalter Showalter, Michael and Michael Have Issues -- all brilliant comedy, in my opinion. So, it should come as no surprise that I loved this book.

Is it a little strange? Sure. Is it sometimes over the top, containing things like a "Pre-Post-Post-Preface"? Of course. Is it partially incomprehensible stream-of-consciousness gobbledygook? Yes. But it's also hilarious and often ge
Apr 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Just as funny as the book by his sometimes-collaborator Michael Ian Black, this is a random collection of humorous writings with even less cohesive focus than "My Custom Van." A good chunk of the book is writing about not being able to write/not knowing what to write about, the length alone of which makes it funny. Funnier chapters include a look at the worst mix-tape ever, a guide to writing a romantic comedy screenplay with fill-in-the-blanks, and my personal favorite, the chronologically diag ...more
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finished it!

It took an entire short plane ride but I finished it. I also enjoyed it immensely and laughed out loud on quite a few occasions.

I will admit it does take a certain sort of person to enjoy this humour. A silly sort. If you think that is you then you are in for brevity and a treat.

If you do not have "funny bones" or this does not fit within your "funny bone paradigm" then you will find much to hate, and that is kind of sad. Why are you so full of hate?

Michael Ian Black has books
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book started a bit slow for me(the multiple prefaces got to be a bit much), but after reading a few chapters, I was literally laughing out loud. I think Showalter fans will obviously find this book much funnier than someone who just picks it up randomly. Hearing Showalter's "voice" as I read the book just made it so much funnier to me. This isn't really a memoir, as much as it's just chapter after chapter of random thoughts, anecdotes with varying degrees of truth to them, and self-deprecati ...more
Heather Marie
When it was good, it was very very good, and when it was bad, it was horrid. Well, that's not entirely true. There are indeed many moments of sheer comedic brilliance, and the book was wholly enjoyable when Michael shared stories from his past. Although self-deprecating, they were written in a relatable way. However, one of the running jokes of the book are the chapters where he writes about writing the book: how he's going to do it, how many pages he will write, how he writes a couple of senten ...more
Patrick J.
Apr 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book wasn't as funny as I wanted it to be; not that I didn't laugh quite a bit. Parts of the book are hilarious, and other parts are just groan worthily bad (as an example his poetry, with the exception of the one he wrote in high school). The best part about the book however is how awkward Michael Showalter is with other people. Some of the best moments are interactions he has with other people and then the retorts that he comes up with and is too scared to actually say.

I would read a foll
Nathan Dehoff
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book, by the comedian from The State and Stella, is all over the place, but it works. I've seen Showalter perform live, and his routines are a lot like that, switching topics pretty frequently. Indeed, parts of it are pretty much verbatim from live performances. There's a mixture of autobiographical material (often with a self-deprecating tone), absurd observations, parody, wordplay, and commentary on writing the book itself. I found myself identifying with parts of the book, like Michael a ...more
Meredith Ann
May 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
while i certainly enjoyed this book (even recommending it to my doesn't-read-often boyfriend!), it certainly fell in the later chapters of the book. showalter's discussions of how and why he's writing this book, what he's going to write about, etc were all very funny but i really started enjoying it when he got more into the antecdotal stories (especially the one about trying to write but being interrupted by his girlfriend and their cats).

i probably would've given it four stars but sadly, it d
Jonathan Sparkles
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
4.5/5, actually, but in lieu of that, I will say 5/5, because 4 would feel like an insult. A very clever, unexpected, slick and breezy read. The book never really gets anywhere per se, but it has a great time *trying* to. The book is largely made up of M.S. talking about writing a book that he never really writes, but that's kind of the running joke that makes up the final product which ends up being one of the best comedy books I've ever read. Fun, smart, silly in oh so perfect doses-and with f ...more
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was ok
Things I liked about this book:

1.) His favorite phrase is "Apropos of nothing" and uses it frequently.
2.) Duck Imprinting (pg 34)
3.) Even Gangbangers Get the Sniffles (pg 44-48)
4.) Artificial High Chart (pg 6)
5.) When he talked about himself and opened up to the reader (i.e. having OCD, being shy, college days, drug history, social awkwardness, etc.)
6.) His obsession with cats, sweaters, and sandwiches were hilarious!

Things I disliked:

1.) Too much emphasis on the process of writing a book (SO BO
Will E
I occasionally found the meta-ness of it all very tiring. But I also liked the OCD undertones, and I liked a lot of the sections anyway. I was a little disappointed with some of the re-used stand-up material (plus I think it works better/is more dynamic as stand-up), but obviously that wouldn't bother someone who hasn't heard it before. Not good as a memoir (though there are some nice personal bits), better as pieces that will make you laugh. Probably for Showalter/Stella/State/Baxter/WHAS fans ...more
Tiffany Day
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I love Shoawalter's work on screen and was anxious to read this book. It starts out kind of slow and it seems like it has a lot of filler (literally - not just as part of the "bit"); however, I suggest sticking with it. There are a lot of gems in there. It's a fast read, and I'm glad I read it. It's the kind that you can pick up and set down and come back to it again over the course of time-- might be good on an e-reader. I really wish GRs allowed for partial stars, as this would merit more than ...more
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Michael Showalter is the star/creator of Michael & Michael Have Issues, The State, Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, Stella, Die Hard* and Die Hard 2: Die Harder**. He lives in Brooklyn with his lady and a bunch of cats."
“In my perfect world order, it is cold all the time. Everyone wears sweaters and drinks coffee. People don't speak to each other; they read the newspaper. There is no loud music, and cats are in charge.” 14 likes
“Like I could take a nap at 4:15 p.m. and then I'll wake up twenty minutes later and have absolutely no clue where I am. I'm like, "What era is this? Is it the 1920s? Am I a flapper? Should I go and put on a flapper costume and go flap at a party?" Then I'm like, "Is that what flappers even do? Flap? Is flapping a verb?" I'm that out of it. And I'm also drenched in sweat. Like some little Dutch boy in knickers ran over to me while I was sleeping and poured a bucket of water on me. Or like I have malaria and it's 1932 and I'm surrounded by mosquito netting. I'm drenched. I'm covered in goo. I'm like a baby deer covered in placenta hobbling around trying to learn how to walk, thinking that it's the 1920s and I'm a flapper and there's a little Dutch boy running around with a bucket of water. That's what naps are like for me.” 4 likes
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