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Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results

Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results

by Josh Gondelman
Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results

Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results

by Josh Gondelman


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“If you only read one book in your life, it probably shouldn’t be this one. However, if you’re not operating an inexplicable one-book policy, these stories are funny, touching, and more than worth your time.” — John Oliver

“Josh Gondelman is one of the most original hilarious voices out there today. This book will hook you and make you laugh and laugh.” — Amy Schumer

Emmy-Award winning writer and comedian Josh Gondelman’s collection of personal stories of best intentions and mixed results.

Josh Gondelman knows a thing or two about trying—and failing. The Emmy Award-winning stand-up comic—dubbed a “pathological sweetheart” by the New York Observer—is known throughout the industry as one of comedy’s true “nice guys.” Not surprisingly, he’s endured his share of last-place finishes. But he keeps on bouncing back.

In this collection of hilarious and poignant essays (including his acclaimed New York Times piece “What if I Bombed at My Own Wedding?”), Josh celebrates a life of good intentions—and mixed results. His true tales of romantic calamities, professional misfortunes, and eventual triumphs reinforce the notion: we get out of the world what we put into it. Whether he’s adopting a dog from a suspicious stranger, mitigating a disastrous road trip, or trying MDMA for the first (and only) time, Josh only wants the best for everyone—even as his attempts to do the right thing occasionally implode.

Full of the warm and relatable humor that’s made him a favorite on the comedy club circuit, Nice Try solidifies Josh Gondelman’s reputation as not just a good guy, but a skilled observer of the human condition.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062852755
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/17/2019
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Josh Gondelman is a comedian and writer who has earned two Peabody Awards, three Emmys, and two WGA Awards for his work on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO. He is currently a writer/producer for Desus & Mero on Showtime. In the past, Josh has written for Billy on the Street. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, New York magazine, and the New Yorker. He lives in New York City with his wife and pug.

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii

If at First You Don't Succeed …

Nice Guys Finish Dessert Last 3

Just Give Me a Minute 10

A Few of My Greatest Fears, in No Particular Order 22

1-800-GOOD-PORN 24

A Technicality 29

You Don't Know, Now You Know 30

Things That Make Me Feel Grown-Up (in Order of Increasing Adulthood) 47

A Worthy Adversary 48

The Present-Tense Conjugation of the Spanish Verb Nadar, Which Means "to Swim" 60

Screech 61

I Hope These Years Aren't the Best of Your Lives 68

It Was Funny at the Time 74

Don't Aim, Just Throw 76

…Try, Try Again

Weathering the Tantrums 91

The Thanksgiving Dragon 103

Some Things That I, a Childcare Professional, Was Professionally Obligated to Say to Kids 108

Good Deeds, Unrewarded 109

Have Fun 116

The Blank Postcard 123

Things I Have Tried (with Varying Degrees of Success) at the Behest of Women I Was Dating at the Time or to Whom I Am Married 142

Good Will Hunting Isn't Science Fiction 143

Sorry, Not Sorry 145

Gap Years 154

Third Time's a Charm?

The Three True Stories of How We Met 163

Fish Tacos 176

Tickle Me Fancy 179

A Good Game 185

The Unsung Virtue of Telling People What They Want to Hear 198

An Element of Style 207

Bizzy 212

A Partial List of Names I Call My Dog, Whose Real Name Is Bizzy 229

"I Also Do Michael Jackson" 231

The Best Moments of My Wedding #3-10 240

Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down 242

Acknowledgments 251

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