Picks and Pans Review: The Rants
No offense, Dennis, babe, but don't ml you think it's time standup comedians stopped hauling down big-bucks advances just for typing up their old routines? Jerry Seinfeld popularized this literary subgenre (let's call it Shtick Lit) with his 1993 bestseller Seinlanguage, a flimsy collection of bits which spawned similar works from comics-turned-TV stars Tim Allen, Paul Reiser, Jeff Foxworthy—you name it. Even Miller admits that these rants, culled mainly from his HBO show, add up to little more than "an amusing trifle" (though there's nothing amusing or trifling about the price). What's next, Drew Carey's 101 Favorite Gags?
To be fair, Miller gets off some great lines about dumb people (they think genealogy is when "Barbara Eden visits her ob-gyn"), violence ("We live in a zoo where it's turned into free crack night in the ferret hut") and Republicans ("Dan Quayle deserved the vice presidency like Elvis deserved his black belt, all right?").
But while Miller's run-on monologues are marvels of lung power when performed, reading them is like looking at still photos of Michael Jordan—you're just not getting the full effect. Too bad this inherent drawback isn't likely to deter future comics from cashing in. Will somebody please stop Drew Carey before he gets anywhere near a word processor. (Doubleday, $21.95)