The Believer magazine presents a compendium of advice from producers, writers, and actors of The Daily Show, Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation, Late Show with David Letterman, The Hangover, and The Colbert Report, along with other musicians, cartoonists, New Yorker writers, and those similarly unqualified to offer guidance.
Here Amy Sedaris describes the perfect murder for unwanted hermit crabs—you will need a piece of meat and a brick. Simon Rich explains how to avoid being found dead in your underwear by firemen—buy some long johns. Zach Galifianakis provides insight into how he changed his name without a social security card—he just started calling himself Adam Zapple, and it stuck. Bob Saget finally illuminates what “friends with benefits” really means—a nonsexual relationship wherein your ex makes monetary deposits into your bank account.
Rob Baedeker, Anne Beatts, Elizabeth Beckwith, Jerri Blank, Roz Chast, Louis C.K., Mike Doughty, Dave Eggers, Rich Fulcher, Zach Galifianakis, Dan Guterman, Anthony Jeselnik, Julie Klausner, Lisa Lampanelli, Nick Hornby, Sam Lipsyte, Liam Lynch, Merrill Markoe, Rose McGowan, Misc. Canadian rock musicians, Laraine Newman, The Pleasure Syndicate, Bob Powers, Simon Rich, Bob Saget, George Saunders, Kristen Schaal, Paul Scheer, Amy Sedaris, Allison Silverman, Paul Simms, Brendon Small, Jerry Stahl, Scott Thompson, Fred Willard, Cintra Wilson, Weird Al Yankovic, and Alan Zweibel
With contributors like Louis C.K., Dave Eggers, Bob Saget, Weird Al, writers for The Onion and Saturday Night Live, and "Miscellaneous Canadian Rock Musicians," it's astonishing how few laughs this book actually generates. A sequel to 2010's You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You, this collection of fake advice columns is modeled after Amy Sedaris' original "Sedaratives" in The Believer magazine. In fact, her contributions here, including suggestions for how to "take care" of hermit crabs, are among the few humorous highlights. Musician, puppeteer, writer, and director Liam Lynch, in a rare laugh-out-loud piece, offers an unexpected option to a motorist and bicyclist with anger issues, while original SNL cast member Laraine Newman attempts to serve up semi-relevant advice regarding iPod playlists, fear of buttons, and malodorous genitalia. But Louis C.K. comes off as mean and juvenile, Nick Hornby falls short of expectations, and Eggers and Kristen Schaal disappoint. Even the piece by George Saunders a response to a question about which book to read on the subway in order to make friends (from which the title originates) tries too hard to be clever and cute. Such a book might be fun to page through with friends at a party, but as a cover-to-cover read, this is advice no one needs.