David Spade is Almost Interesting

by David Spade

David Spade is Almost Interesting by David Spade

Let us take a moment to talk audiobooks. This is not the first audiobook I listened to… no that honor goes to a horrible Star Wars audiobook which I will be reviewing shortly (and when I say shortly, I actually have no idea when I will get to it… I used to do these things in order, but I’ve given that up). So, I feel compelled to tell you that I still physically read (in book format. I don’t enjoy ebooks) a majority of the books I review, but in order to multitask while doing domestic duties, I’ve moved to a few audiobooks, probably averaging one a month. I find that the narration of the audiobook really effects how I enjoy the listening experience. For example, I listened to a biography of Jim Hensen, I didn’t really enjoy the book, but I enjoyed the narration which averaged out the experience as a whole. On the other hand, I read all of the Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan years ago. Well, read, and re read as each new book came out. I hadn’t read any of the Brandon Sanderson Wheel of Time books so I thought I’d listen to those I had already read and then actually read the rest of the series. I DETESTED the female narrator, and didn’t really like the male narrator either. As a result, I had a hard time enjoying those books that I’d liked in college. Again, this is a really long way to tell you that as I review audiobooks, I will also review what I liked about the narration. Not that you can do anything about choosing a different narrator, but it will give insight as to why I liked or didn’t like a certain book. Are we all up to speed, then? Okay, lets proceed.

David Spade is a comedian who starred on Saturday Night Live and went on to star in sitcoms and various movies, among which are Tommy Boy, which was a favorite when I was in high school. I’m not a huge follower of celebrities (or former celebrities) but Spade has been on my radar my entire life because I was a teenager in the 90s, which I am going to go ahead and say were his glory years. I enjoy his deadpan, kind of jerky persona, and was curious to see how much is real and how much is a character he plays. Most of it is real…. He begins at the beginning and how his family ended up in Scottsdale, Arizona. He openly admits that his family was poor, I believe “white trash” was the exact phrase. That sense of scrappy underdog comes through without Spade dwelling on the details of abandonment by his father, mental issues of subsequent step fathers. He details his schooling, teenage obsession with girls (which he never grows out of…by the way), and how he discovered he wanted to do comedy. After high school he moved to LA and began his stand up career. Spade isn’t shy about saying how in over his head and untalented he was. He isn’t shy about telling his embarrassments and defeats in excruciating detail. A lot of times, for me, this can come across as an “aw shucks” false humility, but in Spade’s book it reads as very sincere. Spade genuinely seems surprised about the successes he has had in his career.

A lot of time is spent discussing his time at SNL and his relationship with Chris Farley. Spade spoke of parallels between John Belushi and how Dan Ackroyd told him, essentially, to embrace talking about Chris Farley and his life because when your career is linked to another person in such a way, it will always be a topic of interest for people. Spade goes into detail about the inner workings of SNL and his own petty jealousies and feuds with various celebrities who he made fun of as part of his career. Spade also seems genuinely sorry to have hurt anyone’s feelings taking time to specifically talk about Eddie Murphy. I didn’t know there was a feud to begin with, so I was only mildly interested. Now, I learned a lot about Spade as a person, though he gets personal, but not too personal. I do feel like that isn’t the author striving for privacy, but the way  in which Spade approaches challenges and heartache in his personal life. Humor is the mechanism he uses, so sometimes when talking about tragic events Spade is very glib. What I didn’t love is all the frat boy/bathroom humor. This has never been my sense of humor and while I can see a jr. high boy reading this book and giggling aloud, parts of it didn’t do much for me. So when Spade gets serious and talks about the movie business and struggles he had with other actors and directors… I find it interesting. When he is talking about trying to get laid… not so much.

Now, let us take a moment to talk about the narration. David Spade narrated this book himself, so the way it was read was the way the author intended to portray his life. I appreciate this. Spade’s voice and his own words are a powerful combination. I’d recommend this book to people who are interested in comedians or show business, but this isn’t one that I think appeals to a general audience that doesn’t previously have an interest in Spade’s life or work.

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