Book Review: I Drink For a Reason (David Cross)

Book Review: I Drink For a Reason (David Cross)

I Drink for a Reason by David Cross

David Cross

David Cross in 2007 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

David Cross’s career is a tapestry of diverse comedic and dramatic endeavors, underscored by his sharp wit and distinctive voice. He first gained widespread attention in the 1990s with the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show with Bob and David, which he co-created and starred in alongside Bob Odenkirk. The show, known for its inventive and often surreal humor, became a cult favorite and established Cross as a significant figure in the comedy world. Mr. Show was lauded for its clever writing and ambitious sketches, earning critical acclaim and a devoted fan base that appreciated its subversive take on societal norms and pop culture.

Following the success of Mr. Show, Cross’s career continued to flourish with a mix of television, film, and stand-up comedy. Perhaps one of his most iconic roles is that of Tobias Fünke on the critically acclaimed sitcom Arrested Development. As the perpetually clueless, aspiring actor and “never-nude,” Cross delivered a performance that was both hilarious and endearing, further cementing his status as a versatile and talented comedian. His portrayal of Tobias became a standout in a show known for its ensemble cast, showcasing his ability to blend absurdity with a touch of humanity.

In addition to his work on television, Cross has also made a mark in the world of stand-up comedy and film. His stand-up specials, such as The Pride is Back and David Cross: Making America Great Again, are characterized by his fearless approach to controversial topics and his incisive social and political commentary. On the big screen, Cross has appeared in a variety of roles, from voice work in animated films like Kung Fu Panda to live-action comedies such as Alvin and the Chipmunks. Despite the broad range of projects he has undertaken, Cross remains consistent in his commitment to challenging the status quo and pushing the boundaries of comedy, making him a significant and enduring figure in contemporary entertainment.

The following about David Cross comes from his Wikipedia page: David Cross:

David Cross (born April 4, 1964)[1] is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and director. Cross is best known for his stand-up performances, the HBO sketch comedy series Mr. Show with Bob and David (1995–1998), and his role as Tobias Fünke in the Fox/Netflix sitcom Arrested Development (2003–2006, 2013–2019). He has been described as “ one of the defining figures of cult Gen X comedy”.[2]

Cross created, wrote, executive produced, and starred in The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (2010–2016); developed and had a prominent role in Freak Show (2006); appeared on Modern Family (2011–2012); and portrayed Ian Hawke in three of the live-action/animated films Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009), and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011). Cross has also done voice work for the sitcom Oliver Beene (2003–2004), and has had lead voice-over roles in Curious George (2006), Battle for Terra (2007), the Kung Fu Panda film franchise (2008–2016), Megamind (2010), and Next Gen (2018).

In 1993, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series for his work on The Ben Stiller Show. For Mr. Show with Bob and David, he gained three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, and for Arrested Development, Cross was nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television Series, and, along with his cast, for three Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. For his stand-up specials, he was nominated for several Grammy Awards.

Wikipedia – David Cross

Book Review: I Drink For a Reason

The GoodReads blurb:

After a decade spent in isolation in the Ugandan jungles thinking about stuff, David Cross has written his first book. Known for roles on the small screen such as “never-nude” Tobias Funke on Arrested Development and the role of “David” in Mr. Show With Bob And David, as well as a hugely successful stand-up routine full of sharp-tongued rants and rages, Cross has carved out his place in American comedy. Whether deflating the pomposity of religious figures, calling out the pathetic symbiosis of pseudo-celebrity and its leaching fandom, or merely pushing the buttons of the way-too-easily offended P.C. left or the caustic, double-standard of the callous (but funnier) right, Cross has something to say about everyone, including his own ridiculous self.

Now, for the first time, Cross is weaving his media mockery, celebrity denunciation, religious commentary and sheer madness into book form, revealing the true story behind his almost existential distaste of Jim Belushi (“The Belush”), disclosing the up-to-now unpublished minutes to a meeting of Fox television network executives, and offering up a brutally grotesque run-in with Bill O’Reilly. And as if this wasn’t enough for your laughing pleasure in these troubled times, some of the pieces splinter off with additional material being created online in exclusive video and animated web content created solely for the book-a historical first (presumably)!

With a mix of personal essays, satirical fiction posing as truth, advice for rich people, information from America’s least favorite Rabbi and a top-ten list of top-ten lists, I DRINK FOR A REASON is as unique as the comedian himself, and cannot be missed.

GoodReads – I Drink For a Reason

David Cross’s I Drink For a Reason is a compelling amalgamation of sharp wit, irreverent humor, and biting social commentary. As a seasoned comedian and actor known for his work on Mr. Show and Arrested Development, Cross brings his distinctive voice to the page, offering a collection of essays, anecdotes, and rants that both entertain and provoke thought.

The book’s structure is delightfully chaotic, with each chapter serving as a standalone piece, allowing readers to dip in and out at their leisure. This format mirrors Cross’s stand-up style, where tangents and digressions often lead to some of the most insightful and hilarious moments. From lampooning Hollywood absurdities to critiquing religious fanaticism, Cross navigates a wide array of topics with a deft hand and a sharp tongue.

One of the standout features of I Drink For a Reason is Cross’s unapologetic and often self-deprecating honesty. He doesn’t shy away from sharing personal anecdotes that reveal his own vulnerabilities and flaws. This candidness, combined with his acerbic humor, creates a sense of intimacy with the reader, as if you’re sharing a late-night conversation with a particularly funny and insightful friend.

However, the book isn’t without its flaws. At times, Cross’s relentless sarcasm can feel overwhelming, and some of the jokes may fall flat or come across as too abrasive. Additionally, readers who are not already fans of Cross’s comedic style might find his humor polarizing or even off-putting. Despite these minor drawbacks, the book’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses.

Cross’s ability to weave humor with incisive social critique is one of his greatest talents. In essays like “Why I Hate Vegans” and “An Open Letter to Larry the Cable Guy,” he dissects cultural phenomena with precision, offering perspectives that are both humorous and thought-provoking. His commentary on the absurdities of modern life, particularly in the realms of entertainment and politics, is both timely and timeless.

In conclusion, I Drink For a Reason is a must-read for fans of David Cross and those who appreciate comedy that challenges the status quo. It’s a book that invites readers to laugh, think, and perhaps see the world from a slightly skewed, yet refreshingly honest, perspective. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea—or rather, everyone’s preferred drink—those who enjoy Cross’s brand of humor will find it a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read.

My GoodReads Rating: ***
My LibraryThing Rating: ***1/2
Global Average GoodReads Rating: 3.34 (as of 5.29.24)

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