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Fired!

by Bill Maher Annabelle Gurwitch Robert Reich Felicity Huffman Bob Saget

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.

You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story

by Annabelle Gurwitch Jeff Kahn

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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