Author: David Spade
Published: October 27th, 2015
Source: publisher via edelweiss
A hilarious and biting memoir from the actor, comedian and Saturday Night Live alumni David Spade.
David Spade is best known for his harsh “Hollywood” Minute Sketches onSNL, his starring roles in movies like Joe Dirt and Tommy Boy, and his seven-year stint as Dennis Finch on the series Just Shoot Me. Now, with a wit as dry as the weather in his home state of Arizona, the “comic brat extraordinaire” tells his story in Almost Interesting.
First Taking fans back to his childhood as a wannabe cool younger brother and recounting his excruciating road-tour to fame—when he was regularly mistaken for a ten year-old, Spade then dishes about his time crisscrossing the country as a comedian, for low-paying gigs and dragging along his mother’s old suitcase full of props. He also covers his years on SNL during the beloved Rock/Sandler/Farley era of the 1990s, including his close working relationship and friendship with Chris Farley and brags about the ridiculous perks that fame has brought into his life, including the constant fear of being fired, a crazy ex-assistant who attached him while he was sleeping, a run-in with Eddie Murphy on the mean streets of Beverley Hills, and of course an endless supply of hot chicks.
Sometimes dirty, always funny, and as sharp as a tack, Almost Interesting reminds you why David Spade is one of our generation’s favorite funny guys.
A lot of comedians, including Mr. Spade, choose to write their biographies like an extended stand-up special, which works for approximately three quarters of the material.
Spade's gone through some shit. Poverty, personal loss, professional setbacks. His step-father, a vet with PTSD, killed himself during a police man hunt. His best friend OD'd at the height of his fame, leave Spade to tell his story forever more. His assistant tried to kill him. The levity and deadpan sarcasm keep the book from sinking into a pity party, but I don't feel Spade let genuine emotions come out and connect to the audience.
There are two sections, both about Chris Farley's death, that did resonate and made me wish there was a little more authenticity to the book. The first is when he admits to feeling a kinship with Dave Grohl, "because both of the guys we were very close to got very famous quickly and then died, and we stuck around to field question about them for the rest of our lives. It is an honor, but not an easy one sometimes." The second is a very simple, "I miss him," in the middle of a larger story about Farley wanking it to Spade's girlfriend.
Unfortunately, instead of exploring any of those feelings or even discussing his more recent projects, the book trickles off after Chris' death. We close with a love advice section that goes for the cheap, "women, am I right?!" laugh, without ever acknowledging that while Spade never married, he does have a daughter. She hasn't effected his life in any way?
This was my second biography that looked at the LA comedy scene and I did find it interesting to hear from a relatively successful comedian who didn't make it at The Comedy Store. I also liked the look into the difference of New York comedy and SNL, though I'd have liked a bit more on the actual work that went on there.
In all, Spade's biography could have been more. I can only recommend it to Tommy Boy fans. If you like Spade on sitcoms or animated movies, or even in Dickie Roberts and Grown Ups, you're probably not the right audience.