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If you've ever been fired, you're in good company. That's what actress and writer Annabelle Gurwitch discovered when she was fired by her idol Woody Allen ("You look retarded"). She confided her tale of woe to her friend Felicity Huffman, who made Annabelle laugh with her own stories. Annabelle realized that there was a world of people out there waiting to laugh at the experience that virtually everyone shares, and she began to collect stories of being fired from friends and colleagues. Soon she was contributing regular "Fired!" segments to Day to Day on NPR and gathering friends to appear with her in sold-out performances of Fired! in Los Angeles and New York. Fired!, her documentary film inspired by these stories, comes out in 2006. This book is a collection of hilarious but true tales from people who've all gotten the ax, the boot, or been canned at some point in their lives. In "That's a Fact," Andy Borowitz tells the story of being fired as a writer for the television sitcom The Facts of Life after being informed that he just didn't "get" Tootie. "Take that hanger off your head, you idiot!" were the last words Jeff Garlin heard before being fired from Spec's Music store after only one day on the job, just one of the many firings he recounts in "That Garlin Boy." In "Jimmy the Idiot," Dana Gould sums up his firing from the cast of the sitcom Working that led him to become a producer of The Simpsons: "In the second episode, I was a math genius, in the third -- a motocross racer, and in the fourth episode I was replaced by a chimp, but nobody noticed." In "Poor Judgment," Illeana Douglas tells about being fired after a few hours of working as a coat check girl: "How is it possible to be fired from hanging coats? I have arms. I know what coats are. I don't come home and throw my coat on the floor. I hang it in a closet. I have experience." How did Bob Saget find out he was being phased out of his job on The Morning Program? "One day I showed up and my hosting chair was gone!" With an all-star cast from Tim Allen to Morgan Spurlock, from Anne Meara to David Cross, and contributions from people from all over the country, this book proves it's not the bounce that counts, it's the bounce back.
Actress and humorist Annabelle Gurwitch returns with I See You Made an Effort, a book of essays so wickedly funny it may make you forget your last birthday. Not one to shy away from the grisly realities of middle age, the 'slyly subversive' (O, the Oprah Magazine) Gurwitch confronts the various indignities faced by femmes d'un certain age with candor, wit, and a healthy dose of hilarious self-deprecation Whether falling in lust at the Genius bar, navigating the extensive--and treacherously expensive--anti aging offerings at a department-store beauty counter, coping with the assisted suicide of her best friend, negotiating the ins and outs of acceptable behavior with her teenage kid, or the thudding financial reality of the 'never-tirement' generation that leads her to petty theft, Gurwitch's essays prove her a remarkably astute writer in her prime (in so many ways). Is this the beginning of the Eileen Fisher years? Where does one conduct an affair with a younger man? Is fifty the new forty? Or is fifty still just . . . fifty?Scorchingly, surreally honest and riotously triumphant, I See You Made an Effort is the ultimate coming-of-middle-age story and a must-read for women of all ages. Reading glasses not included. Praise for I See You Made an Effort'Annabelle Gurwitch is the child prodigy of the literature of aging At the youthful age of fifty, when most of us are stealthily burning our AARP magazines so the neighbors don't find them in the recycling, she has figured out how to make the humiliations of aging hilarious the only downside of this book is that it is bound to deepen your laugh lines. ' Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed'The stories in Annabelle Gurwitch's book are unexpected and imaginative, and her observations just plain cracked me up It's so great it should be required reading for everyone between the ages of forty and death Scratch that - even after death it's a must-read. ' Bill Maher'Hooray for Annabelle Gurwitch, whose funny and clear-eyed book proves that the best way to face aging is with copious amounts of laughter Peals not peels!' Henry Alford, author of Would It Kill You to Stop Doing That?'I See You Made an Effort is so funny, humble, and nutty that you'll wish Annabelle Gurwitch lived next door I laughed and commiserated with all the indignities of getting a wee bit older in a youth-obsessed world After reading this book, you won't feel alone in your secret thoughts anymore and you'll laugh really hard - the frosting on the cake!' Julia Sweeney, author of If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother'Comedy! Tragedy! Laughter! Tears! To be clear - more laughter than tears! Be warned: I See You Made an Effort is a book about the worst thing a person can do in America: get older Even worse: Annabelle is getting older in Hollywood of all places A tragedy and a crime But relax, the ego-wrenching tales in this book are funny because they happened to her, not you - yet. ' Bob Odenkirk'Smart, hilarious, and deeply moving, I See You Made an Effort captures the highs (few) and lows (more than a few) of not just turning fifty, but turning fifty in our time Annabelle Gurwitch lays bare the harsh reality of hitting the half-century mark in a way that keeps you simultaneously laughing and turning pages. ' Cathi Hanauer, author of Gone and editor of the Bitch in the House'I so relate to this brilliant and wildly hilarious latest work by Annabelle Gurwitch that, sadly, I think there is a middle-aged woman's body trying to break out of my own. ' Richard Lewis
In this hilarious and ultimately moving memoir, comedians and real-life married couple Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn prove that in marriage, all you need is love-and a healthy dose of complaining, codependence, and pinot noir. After thirteen years of being married, Annabelle and Jeff have found "We're just not that into us. " Instead of giving up, they've held their relationship together by ignoring conventional wisdom and fostering a lack of intimacy, by using parenting as a competitive sport, and by dropping out of couples therapy. The he-said/she-said chronicle of their intense but loving marriage includes an unsentimental account of the medical odyssey that their family embarked upon after their infant son was diagnosed with VACTERL, a very rare series of birth defects. Annabelle and Jeff's unforgivingly raw, uproariously funny story is sure to strike both laughter and terror in the hearts of all couples (not to mention every single man or woman who is contemplating the connubial state). Serving up equal parts sincerity and cynicism, You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up is a laugh-out-loud must-read for everyone who has come to realize that being "in love" can only get you so far. On Cohabitation He says: "Within days of Annabelle's arrival, I became very aware that she demanded solitude and had the housekeeping habits of a feral animal. " She says: "The guy had some sort of nudity radar. When I would take my clothes off for even a second, Jeff would be in front of me cheering as if he'd scored box seats at Fenway Park. " On Sex He says: "I want to have sex every day, but Annabelle only wants to do it once a week. So we compromise: we have sex once a week. " She says: "Jeff says talking about money before you have sex is a turnoff, but it's only a turnoff if you're talking about not having money. Talking about money before you have sex when you have money is actually a turn-on. " On Pregnancy He says: "For God's sake, all I wanted to do was have sex without a condom for a little while; now we were moments from bringing a new life into the world!" She says: "My ass was expanding so fast it was like a Starbucks franchise. On every corner of my ass there was a new branch of ass opening up. "
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