Dirty Jokes And Beer: Stories Of The Unrefined
Virtually every recent stand-up-comic-turned-sitcom-sensation has capitalized on television success with a book; the results range from tell-all biographies (Grace Under Fire's Brett Butler) to lighthearted-comedy-acts-in-book-form (Mad About You's Paul Reiser). Drew Carey's first book, Dirty Jokes And Beer: Stories Of The Unrefined, isn't some ghostwritten Paul Reiser Babyhood bullshit: Not only does Carey address dark events in his life (his father's death, his sexual molestation as a child), but he mines conversational territory ranging from TV sets to politics to sexual harassment to his battle with network censors to his boundless appetite for adult entertainment both live and pre-recorded. Much of Dirty Jokes' first half reads like a transcription of Carey's appealing live act, and it's endearingly human, provocative, profane and hilarious. Then, slightly more than midway through, Dirty Jokes And Beer shifts gears markedly, from standard quips and anecdotes to a series of surprisingly dark pieces of short fiction. Those may not thrill fans of Carey's likable sitcom, but they're well-written, and they help assemble a complete, revealing picture of Carey, the flawed everyman. Instead of putting together a piece of whitewashed fluff, Carey admirably wrote a book that's messy, occasionally controversial, and a lot of fun to read.