Mr. Funny Pants: A Memoir of False Starts

Mr. Funny Pants: A Memoir of False Starts

3.7 10
by Michael Showalter

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I was at my wit's end. I'd had enough of this job, this life, and my relationship had broken up. Should I eat chocolate, or go to India, or fall in love? Then I had a revelation: Why not do all three, in that order? And so it was that I embarked on a journey that was segmented into three parts and was then made into a major motion picture.

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I was at my wit's end. I'd had enough of this job, this life, and my relationship had broken up. Should I eat chocolate, or go to India, or fall in love? Then I had a revelation: Why not do all three, in that order? And so it was that I embarked on a journey that was segmented into three parts and was then made into a major motion picture. Later, I woke up on an airplane with a hole in my face and a really bad hangover. I was ushered brusquely off the plane by my parents who took me to a rehab where I tested positive for coke, classic coke, special k (the drug), Special K (the cereal), mushrooms, pepperoni, and Restless Leg Syndrome. It was there that I first began painting with my feet.

But rewind...the year was 1914. I was just a young German soldier serving in the trenches while simultaneously trying to destroy an evil ring with some help from an elf, a troll, and a giant sorcerer, all while cooking every recipe out of a Julia Child cookbook. What I'm trying to say is that there was a secret code hidden in a painting and I was looking for it with this girl who had a tattoo of a dragon! Let me clarify, it was the 1930s and a bunch of us were migrating out of Oklahoma, and I was this teenage wizard/CIA operative, okay? And, um then I floated off into the meta-verse as a ball of invisible energy that had no outer edge...

Ugh, okay. None of this is true. I'm just kind of a normal guy from New Jersey who moved to New York, got into comedy, wrote this book about trying to write this book, and then moved to Alaska, became the mayor of a small town, spent $30,000 on underwear, and now I'm going to rule the world!!!

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Showalter is the Princeton-born son of two venerable scholars, but he apparently refused to follow his parents' professorial footsteps as a literary historian or a critical theorist. Instead, he turned to improv and composing comedy video shorts for Jon Stewart and MTV. His Mr. Funny Pants qualifies as a brainy comic memoir that veers from the whimsical to the satirical to the playfully observant. Button-down and buoyant, sassy and smart, this hysterical self-exposure helps explain why Showalter has become a internet cult favorite.

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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Mr. Funny Pants

By Showalter, Michael

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2011 Showalter, Michael
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446542104

Taking Ecstasy and Peeing on Myself

No drug has a higher “potential to not work” quotient than ecstasy. The first time I did ecstasy nothing happened. After I took it, I waited around for a while for something to happen but I didn’t feel any different. The person who gave it to me told me that it would work better if I stood on my head, so I stood on my head in five-minute intervals for about three hours. All I got was a head rush. Eventually, I wanted it to work so badly that I just convinced myself I was high. I kept telling my friends, “Oh my God! This is the best feeling ever!” In reality, I think I just felt a little drowsy. The next day my friend’s drug dealer told him that he’d accidentally given us melatonin, an herbal sleep remedy. Upon reflection, I realized that I felt drowsy because I WAS drowsy.

The second time I did ecstasy I snorted it. Don’t ask. All I remember was that I played tennis that day and was “seeing the ball” very well. Also, I had a stuffy nose for two weeks.

The third time I tried ecstasy, something finally happened. I was with my girlfriend at the time and another couple. We touched stuff and told each other how beautiful we were for four hours.

At the end of the night my girlfriend and I tried to have sex but I couldn’t get an erection. I had “numb dick.” So we decided that I should masturbate. It became a collaborative effort. I was trying to masturbate and she was rooting me on. After an hour of futility I finally felt like I was going to have an orgasm. “Here it comes,” I said. She cheered. I came. It was the biggest orgasm I’d ever had. It was like a gallon of sperm was shooting out of me like a hose. It almost felt like I was peeing.

And I was.

I was peeing.

I was peeing all over myself.

As soon as I realized it I screamed, “Ah! I’m peeing all over myself!” My girlfriend ran into the kitchen and got a roll of paper towels. I clutched my penis and ran, knock-kneed, into the bathroom.

After that third time it was never the same. The last time I did ecstasy was on New Year’s Eve 1999. I got really drunk, sat in a folding chair all night long, and watched people dance. It wasn’t very fun. I knew that it was an artificial high. (See chart below.)


ALCOHOL (also: mouthwash, tiramisu, spaghetti with vodka sauce, etc.)     

  • Enjoyment of taste

  • Experiencing light buzz

  • Pleasant social interaction

  • Masking pain

  • Shirking life’s responsibilities

  • Living in a fantasy world (also: avoiding reality)

  • Half-eaten sandwich in bed next day

  • Piles of unopened mail

  • Having to apologize a lot about what happened last night

  • Drunk dialing


MARIJUANA (also: hash, not corned beef, Turkish)     

  • Medicinal pain reliever

  • Getting more “in touch” with yourself

  • Regulating sleep and food intake

  • Listening to songs that play for longer than twelve minutes

  • Having great ideas that you forget right after having them

  • Smelling like a barn

  • Getting “pothead” voice and sounding like Keanu Reeves when you talk

  • Dreadlocks but not a Rastafarian


HUFFING GLUE (also: snuffling glue; flumping glue; ruffling glue)     

  • Anything that glue would be used for (woodwork, arts and crafts, etc.)

  • Killing brain cells and acting stupid

  • Preventing yourself from having a future

  • Gluing your face together

  • Having glue all over you

  • “Glue Face”


COFFEE (also: Coca-Cola; Thai iced tea; Red Bull)     

  • Having “conversations” with people about “art” and “politics” and “prose”

  • Getting through life

  • Pooping

  • Getting cranky if you don’t have coffee

  • “Coffee Leg”


GOSSIP MAGAZINES (also: “watercooler conversations”)      N/A     

  • Reveling in other people’s misfortune

  • Looking at nekkid photos of famous people

  • Learning things will stop

  • “Gossip Face”

  • Not being a better person


PORNOGRAPHY (smut)     

  • Masturbation

  • Masturbation

  • Blindness


GAMBLING (engaging in high-risk/high-reward activities)     

  • Winning money

  • Having fun

  • Feeling good about yourself and your place in the world

  • Losing money

  • Losing watches and valuable possessions

  • Losing everything that you once held dear

  • Getting beaten up by a loan shark or bookie

  • Living in your car

  • Living under bridge after you pawn your car



Excerpted from Mr. Funny Pants by Showalter, Michael Copyright © 2011 by Showalter, Michael. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Meet the Author

Michael Showalter is the star/creator of Michael & Michael Have Issues, The State, Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, Stella, Die Hard* and Die Hard 2: Die Harder**. He lives in Brooklyn with his lady and a bunch of cats.

*Not true
**Also not true

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Mr. Funny Pants: A Memoir of False Starts 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
chetplease More than 1 year ago
This book is very funny. Hard to put down. Read it.
BookHounds More than 1 year ago
Pure Genius! I never knew you could be sarcastic and earnest at the same time. This is one of the funniest celebrity pseudo-memoirs I have read in a long time Anyone who hides their guilty pleasures in music on their iPod by labeling them really cool and hip indie bands, has my vote. I would do the same thing, but I have quite figured out how to do it. Michael Showalter pokes fun at the seriousness of writing by making fun of some of the things "serious" writers do like the preface only he takes his to the third level by having a post-preface. Oh and you can't forget the afterword, the after-afterword or the just-before-the-afterword. This is really a book that you should leave out on your coffee table since there are so many fun things to do like a fill in the blank romantic-comedy plot and the one minute mysteries. You can easily reread this several times. There are also little bits and pieces of the author's life and what junior high meant to him. There are some other important things, but I forgot them. I think they had something to do with drinking games, which is probably why I forgot. I received this book at no charge from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Taylor_Murphy More than 1 year ago
Mr. Funny Pants, by Michael Showalter, describes a comedian's pursuit in trying to write his first book. However, he has trouble deciding what to write about or how to even write a book. He describes the initial steps in the writing process by going into detail about emails he wrote to his editor and the emails sent in return. He then describes how he hit writer's block after only just beginning to write the book. Showalter also includes random stories, factoids, and bibliographies throughout the story, which do not give any real significant meaning to the story. Then again, the story is not of any significant meaning at all but purely for the reader's enjoyment. Stories and chapters do not go in any particular order; Showalter just wrote what was on his mind. This, however, along with his writing style and personality, is what made the book one of my favorites and kept me entertained as I flipped through the pages. Michael starts off his book with an "About the Author" section, where he includes numerous facts about himself. For example, he tells his favorite author: F. Scott Fitzgerald, his actual favorite author: John Grisham, and his truthful actual favorite author: sports section. Then he jumps into another about the author; the Canadian version. However this time it is called "Aboot the Author," (not a spelling mistake) where his answers are geared to all things Canadian. After Showalter finishes with his Preface, Post-Preface, Post-Post-Preface, Pre-Post-Post-Preface, and End of Pre- and Post-Prefaces Preface, he jumps into his book. Even flipping through the pages to look at the chapter names kept me entertained. Some chapter titles included: "Excerpt from My Imaginary Interview with Charlie Rose," "The Joy of Streaking," "What My Thoughts Would Look Like If You Could See Them" Part one and two, "Drinking Games," and "Scrabble." These chapters along with the rest of the book will make it hard to put Showalter's writing down. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the comedy genre or needs an entertaining book that is hard to put down. I found myself laughing to myself as a read through the book, and, at times, rereading parts just to laugh again. Humor is a personal preference and is not for everyone but if the aforementioned chapter names and information made you want more, I highly suggest you drive to your nearest book store and buy a copy of Mr. Funny Pants.
ReadingRoom More than 1 year ago
This book is hilarious! It is a quick read and the author really shows us how his comedic mind processes information. Thoughts that seem to be random at first glance really have a point...there is a method to his madness! I laughed out loud as I read. This book was a real stress reliever! It was great entertainment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ummmmm nah I wil not pay any other dollar for watever this author as for me to buy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unreadable. Book is a waste of time