Rob Delaney stops off at BookPeople
By Mac McCann, 12:05PM, Sun. Nov. 10, 2013
“Writing a book is lonely,” comedian Rob Delaney confessed. “Stand-up is fun.”
Drafting his first book without the immediate feedback that stand-up comedy allows may well have been lonely, but last night at BookPeople, he got to combine the activities in a way, thanks to the crowd who'd gathered to hear him read from and answer questions about his new book, Rob Delaney: Mother. Wife. Sister. Human. Warrior. Falcon. Yardstick. Turban. Cabbage.
Discussing everything from bungee-jumping off the Manhattan Bridge to his alcoholism and depression to “back genitalia,” Delaney made the audience cringe a little bit and a laugh a lot. But what else could we expect from a guy known for tweets like “The worst is when you wash your hands & there's no paper towels & rabid dogs kill everyone you love”?
During the hourlong event, he read two passages from the book, including a bit from the chapter titled "la mer" in which he hilariously described being shown “a slideshow of actual dead drowning victims from Marblehead police files” by “Officer Soulmurder.” In the second passage, from "le courage," he described how, in 1999, he and some friends snuck onto the Manhattan Bridge and bungee-jumped off it at 3am. (All the book chapters are in French because Delaney “thought it would be silly.”)
Delaney, whom Comedy Central has named the funniest person on Twitter, used his stand-up skills to interact with the crowd in a way that many authors simply can’t. For example, in the middle of his story about how he landed his book deal, he stopped and asked a young lady in the first row to stand and show the crowd her sweatshirt, which read “All I care about is pizza,” prompting Delaney to discuss his own love of pizza, even mentioning that one of his kid’s first phrases was “my pizza.”
While Delaney had the crowd laughing throughout, he did touch on some serious issues, such as his depression and alcoholism. While “most people drive cars on roads or avenues,” Delaney described how he drove into a building while he was blackout drunk in 2002 – an incident that finally led him to sobriety. Years later, he suffered from major depressive disorder, which he described as worse than being in jail in a wheelchair with four broken limbs. While some in the audience seemed to be uncomfortable with Delaney’s bluntness, others – myself included – found his honesty to be a balance between informative, touching, and hilarious.