It’s often times the case that you see someone, successful in their profession, and you assume that success is product of natural talent...an easy path to get there? Maybe that’s because we wish it were that way or that we assume that other people had it easier. Deep down we all know that’s the case. The only shoes you know are the ones you walk in, and we see everyone else from that singular perspective.
I’ve seen Derek Richards comedy show a couple times at the Ann Arbor Comedy Club. My wife and I try to see him when he’s in town. It’s a great “adult night out” for us – we love it! Being a native of Michigan you might think that he would be around here more often, but that’s not the case. Derek lives in Las Vegas and he covers a lot of ground; he literally does shows all over the world. I saw the broadcast of him on the Tom Shillue Show with Jaimie La Bella and it was an intellectual, comical & fragmented dissection of American Life. You have to be witty and quick-thinking to be a comedian, and these guys were at the top of their game. That show was as interesting as it was funny, and I’m not sure why I was surprised about that? You don’t become a Las Vegas headliner without these qualities.
My wife gave me Derek’s book as a Christmas gift, and I went cover to cover in a couple days. This book puts a comical twist on the career challenges of someone evolving to be a Great Comedian. He clearly didn’t set out to be a comedian, but that was his destiny. The book is also a first-hand account of someone who beats cancer into remission, with dark-humor commentary on some tough moments that include losing loved ones. I had a few outbursts of laughter, reading alone, and I can only define it as a guilty pleasure. How else do you describe laughing so hard at something that seems too serious to be funny? That’s Derek’s style – making inappropriate moments hysterical.
Bruce Springsteen just released his “Springsteen on Broadway” – a one-man biographical walk down the musical lane of his life. It’s incredible. I’ve seen it on Netflix and listened to it on SiriusXM in small clips. People describe Bruce with words like: Raw, Honest, Vulnerable, Unapologetic, and American. The same could be said for Derek Richards, and he doesn’t just tell you his story...he makes you FEEL it. This is what makes it memorable. That’s not an easy thing to do, but it separates the good storytellers from the average ones you don’t remember. The “human experience” bundled and framed by a comedian.
This short book is a main course with dessert, and it expands your view on life in an insightful & comical fashion. It’s an intimate portrait of a normal guy doing interesting things while managing all the same challenges present in everyone’s life. It’s a great, light read, that’s surprisingly deep...