I was a bit surprised by how mind numbingly bad My Custom Van is. This is a collection of essays that is kind of like a collection of blog posts-except that most blog posts tend to make some kind of sense-and My Custom Van makes little to no sense at all.
I understand that some comedy takes a bit of getting used to. I had to watch Monty Python several times before something clicked in my brain and I found that most if it was just not funny. The same is true of Scrubs and The Office. In fact, I haven’t seen a sitcom I liked since the mid 1980s. I sort of like Family Guy and The Simpson, but Family Guy is a tad too mean spirited for me and I just can’t watch The Simpsons any more.
So maybe I am just out of touch. Maybe My Custom Van is-no, this book pretty much sucks. But if you like the foul mouthed humor of the not very funny Sarah Silverman, you’ll probably like this. It makes very little sense, there is a good deal of profanity, and the essays aren’t long, they just feel like novels while your reading them.
Lest I treat the idle moments spent reading a few of these essays as a total waste of time, I do have a handful of positive things to say about My Custom Van. One, Michael Ian-I really never heard of him before-Black, did get a book of essays published. I have the proof right here. A real book make of paper and cardboard and a lot of ink squirted onto it. This is a feat that I have never been able to accomplish, though clearly I need to make a note of the publisher(Simon Spotlight Entertainment) and editor(wisely not listed) and prepare a manuscript of pointless and decidedly not funny essays for publication. Getting into print is a good thing, for the most part.
Ok, real praise instead of faint praise. The titles of these horrible, pointless and unfunny essays are brilliant. A Series of Letters to a Squirrel, Hey David Sedaris-Why Don’t You Just Go Ahead and Suck It?, Vampires-Good for the Economy?, A Meditation on Salami, and A Few Words About My Jug Band. The accompanying articles are bad. The titles have a kind of flare that you have to admire. They are reminiscent of the titles of the essays in Steve Martin’s vastly superior book Cruel Shoes. Cruel Shoes was also filled with not very funny essays that seemed to have no point, but at least they were written by Steve Martin.
I am neither a 12 years old nor a Rap singer, so my fascination with the F word is not as great as Michael Ian Black’s. The core of Mr Black’s comedy seems to be repeating the F word as often as f-ing possible.
Michael Ian Black is one of those people that makes witty comments on I Love The 80s, 90s, etc, etc, etc. This is a great show with a host people that you have never heard of making fun of famous people and events that you have heard of. He looks vaguely familiar is his totally feminine dust jacket photo, but I have no idea who he is. After looking him up on IMDB I see that he has a vast body of work-none of which I am familiar with.
I found the book at the library and thought it might be fun-boy was I wrong. Though, it was fun writing about how bad it is. Maybe this is why I don’t have many writer friends.