Book Giveaway: The Todd Glass Situation


image: Simon & Schuster
image: Simon & Schuster

Growing up and trying to navigate your way through this big scary world is tough for any kid.  But what if you’re also challenged with having ADD and dyslexia? And happen to be gay? Veteran comedian Todd Glass understands what it’s like to feel different and experience the pain of hiding a true identity for years.

In his funny, honest and heartfelt memoir, The Todd Glass Situation, he details his quick rise to stand-up comedy fame and the struggle he endured for decades keeping his life as a gay man secret.

It took the recent spike of suicides among young gay people and a close brush with death to give Todd that extra push to finally be true to himself and everyone else. One night he was finishing up the closing set alongside other comedian friends including Sarah Silverman, when he suddenly felt short of breath and nauseous. Soon the medics arrived.

“Sir, I don’t want to alarm you,” the EMT says, “but you’re having a heart attack.”

I don’t want to alarm you? If he didn’t want to alarm me he should have told me I was fine. Telling someone they’re having a heart attack is very goddamn alarming. “We’re going to take you to Cedars,” he continues. “Is there anyone we should call?”

Right. If I’m dying — which is suddenly starting to feel like a real possibility — I should probably tell the person I’ve been sharing a life with for the last fourteen years. I look through the faces around me until I find Sarah’s. “Call Andrea for me, ” I say, trying to wink. At this point it looks more like an involuntary facial tic.

Sarah winks back. “Don’t worry, I’ll call…Andrea.”

We both knew that “Andrea” is actually Chris, my boyfriend. But there’s no way in hell I’m going to say his name in front of everyone.

I mean, that might make people think that I was gay or something.

Here I am, forty-five years old, possibly at death’s door, surrounded by friends–and I still can’t be honest about who I am.

How the fuck did I get here?

Todd’s book successfully explores these serious issues with keen insight and humor. He details his childhood years and how he discovered at an early age he had a knack for making people laugh.  As a teen he was already a professional stand-up, opening for musical acts such as Patti LaBelle and comedians like Jay Leno. I was intrigued to learn how he climbed the stand-up comedian ladder to success, honing his act over the years while picking up valuable advice from other comedians along the way.

Being funny requires allowing yourself to be vulnerable. You must be fearless when putting your true self out there. At its center this book is about one thing: Being yourself no matter what the bastards say.

Other Things I Learned From Todd Glass:

  • Always embrace all aspects of yourself and let them shine.
  • Screw what other people might think of you.
  • If you’re gay and someone asks you, “How did you know you were gay?” ask them how or when they knew they were straight.
  • I sincerely hope one day there will be no “closet” for anyone gay or bisexual to “come out of”. Because it’s dark and stuffy in there, and smells like mothballs and needless repression.
  • Humor is incredibly powerful and the greatest comedians, like Todd’s idol George Carlin, are truth-seekers. As Todd pointed out in the book, Oscar Wilde once said, “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”
  • If you’re having a heart attack, always make sure Sarah Silverman is in the room.
Getting Doug with High
image: Getting Doug with High


182940_446039868823211_1482428845_nTodd Glass is a stand-up comedian who has performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Chelsea Lately, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and The Jimmy Kimmel Show, among many other programs. He’s also the host of The Todd Glass Show, a popular podcast on the Nerdist Network.
–Simon & Schuster


I was given a copy of the book, The Todd Glass Situation, by Simon & Schuster in exchange for writing this review. All opinions in this post are my own and not Todd’s, Simon’s nor even Schuster’s.


Dearest Maineiacs — YOU can win a copy of this book simply by responding with a comment below.  Yes, it’s just that easy! Did you ever feel different as a kid? Do you like humor? Do you know what a book is? Are you also good friends with Sarah Silverman? Let me know!

I will pick a winner by random.  All valid entries must reside in the US or Canada (sorry to my one reader from Uzbekistan)

*Deadline to enter is noon EST July 4th*

UPDATE: Congrats to Debbie Harbeson! She was randomly chosen to win this book. Hope you enjoy it, Debbie!





















67 thoughts on “Book Giveaway: The Todd Glass Situation

    1. Sounds like me. Painfully shy and introverted? check. Then add: Felt like an outsider a lot? Check. Vodka brings me out of my shell? Double check.

      It’s a fabulous book. My favorite part were the end chapters when he tells it like it is on several issues. I love it when someone is being 100% truthful.

    1. Hmmm…I didn’t take to public speaking until recently. But yeah, I was the awkward nerd hiding somewhere in the corner reading. When did I NOT feel different as a kid or a teen? Hardly never.

  1. I think all kids feel different. I know I was different. What other kid was watching Golden Girls avidly or making sand castles for potato bugs to live in, complete with tin-foil drawbridge? Add in being a bookworm and an anxiety disorder, life was definitely interesting.

    I’d love to read about Todd Glass’ experiences.

    Rock on, Maineiac.

    1. Ooh Golden Girls?? Oh my god. My absolute fave TV show of all-time. And yes, I can relate to the bookworm personality and anxiety. Add a pair of thick tortoise-shell glasses and an ultra-sensitive demeanor (I cried all the time, very emotional). I was always feeling like the odd one out most of my life. Might be why I turned to humor too?

  2. Todd Glass is one of my favorites. He does little vignettes on Tosh.0 which make Daniel look politically correct. Please don’t include me in the book giveaway, I’ve already won more books than I deserve.

  3. I think we all have something to hide and that Todd’s book will make us all feel we can reveal ourselves–you do not have to be gay to be hiding something. Thanks for this review–if I do not win the book–I will get it from the library (though that will not be the same as I will have to give it back)

    1. Exactly, whether you’re gay or straight we all have some things we keep inside and we shouldn’t feel ashamed of. Well, except for that time I ate an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s in one sitting….see, I feel better now that I finally let that secret out.

  4. ermigal

    Great post, Darla, thank you! I continue to feel my childhood weirdness, and humor writing helps me cope with it. Please, please, please pick my name “at random” 😉
    If I don’t win, I’m buying this book!

    1. Weird people rule the world. I was weird in so many ways (I know that’s hard to believe what with this blog’s content huh) I’m still weird and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Why not just be yourself? Why try to be like anyone else? that’s boring!

  5. This sounds like a book I’d love to read! We all have our own bit of “weirdness” I’m encouraged by this generation’s anthem “Let Your Freak Flag Fly!”

  6. Well damn. Us Uzbekistanians never get any of the good prizes!

    And feeling different? What is that? I’ve always completely and totally fit in with everyone around me. I was not in any way painfully shy and awkward as a child (nor even as an adult!), who practically hid under tables in social situations, being so fearful of any interaction or, gasp, speaking to people. Nope, not me. I had a completely perfect and normal childhood.

  7. ermigal

    Reblogged this on Odds & Ends from Ermigal and commented:
    Happy Friday, Ermigal readers! Had to share this review of a memoir written by stand-up comedian Todd Glass. In a nutshell, (don’t use that word around my squirrel enemies, please) it’s about being yourself–not always an easy thing to do. You might even win the book giveaway! Many thanks to She’s a Maineiac (a very funny blog, by the way) for writing it.
    Ermigal 🙂

  8. Wow, how did I miss this guy’s life story up until now? Thanks, Ermine, for tuning me into this. I need to read his story and compare notes with my own crazy life!

      1. Holy crapola, how are you even leaving a comment here? Aren’t you supposed to be hooked up to your caffeine IV and responding to all those Freshly Pressed comments?? CONGRATS!Wahoooooooooo!!! Your post was most excellent. SO happy they put you up there.

  9. Yeah, I felt different but not to this kind of degree. I was usually more serious than other kids and not very socially adept. Reading this today is very serendipitous though. This morning, I caught the end of a Story Corps interview on NPR on exactly the lesson Todd Glass had to learn so late in life.

    The story was being told by a gay man. He said that he was preparing for an assembly in high school back in 1957 and his brother saw him with glitter all over him and thought, “Oh, no! That won’t do. I’ve got to go get Dad.” So he ran home to get his dad. Dad showed up at the school in his work jeans and boots, smeared in cow poop. The boy was embarrassed, not of his glitter but of his dad, so slipped around the corner and hid from him.

    Riding home in his dad’s truck, his dad said, “You know, I saw a guy that looked a lot like you slip down a hallway away from me before the assembly. That couldn’t have been you because surely my son wouldn’t be so embarrassed of his dad that he’d hide from me like that. I didn’t raise you that way.”

    The son squirmed and then said, “But, dad! Did you have to wear your sh*t covered jeans to my assembly?!”

    And this is what his dad said to him:

    “Son, everyone knows I’m a dairy farmer. I’m not afraid of what I am or letting people see that. My question to you is: who are you going to be going out with in the evenings when you are an adult? I’m guessing it’s not going to be little Jane Smith who keeps giving you the eye and you keep ignoring her. You may not understand what I am saying now but you will when you get older. You need to be true to yourself and not try to hide around the corner. Because if you lie about who you are and try to hide it, you are destroying your soul.”

    That was the first time anyone had referenced the son’s homosexuality and the boy tried to deny it for awhile. I think it’s remarkable that this farmer in the 50’s was able to give his son that gift.

    Anyway, I hadn’t heard of Todd Glass but I’m now very interested in reading his book. Thanks for the review and I agree that it was awesome he had Sarah Silverman there that day!

      1. I should have looked for the actual story first, but here it is now. The actual full story is better than my rendering of it here. 🙂

        The link doesn’t include the full story as heard on the radio. It doesn’t mention the girl eying him and it doesn’t mention where he tried to prove himself manly after that conversation because he hadn’t yet admitted to himself what he was.

  10. I felt weird from the time I wet my pants in 2nd Grade during Show & Tell until I was about 24 and stood on a bar table and told the story of how I was bullied throughout grammar school as a result. Then I felt free because I knew it wouldn’t matter if someone remembered. I could laugh.

    AND I know what a book is. In fact, one might have accidentally sopped up something nasty that day back in 2nd Grade.

    1. I love that story, Elyse. I was bullied quite a bit too. I was a complete misfit growing up, throughout childhood and high school. But I know this is why I feel so much more confident now in my adult years. And now I root for people who are the underdogs in any situation.

  11. When I was a kid, I was introverted and bookish and I wore glasses. Different was my middle name. Now I’m introverted and bookish and I wear contacts. 😛

    Thanks for introducing me to Todd Glass. I have no idea why I’d not heard of him before, but I’ll definitely be looking him up.

  12. I can identify with Todd Glass in that I also felt like an outsider when I was a kid. That’s why I can identify with the characters in S. E. Hinton’s novel, “The Outsiders.” This was especially true when I was in elementary school. I wore glasses AND an eye patch (to correct a lazy eye). I was the shortest kid in my school – 4 ft. 6 in. in 7th grade – until I started growing. I was bullied, probably for all of those reasons. Humor is probably what got me thru a lot of that. 😉

    1. Exactly, humor saves so many lives. I was bullied for wearing glasses, being a teacher’s pet and general suck-up. Plus I was very sensitive and shy and would cry at the drop of a hat. Kids had a field day with me. I always felt like an outsider most of my life actually.

  13. As a kid, I always knew I was different because I didn’t have what ALL four of my other siblings had: a penis. This was a huge problem because I took to heart the advice my favorite aunt gave me, “Follow your dream Debbie, no matter how impossible it may seem!”

    (In hindsight, I probably should have told her that my dream was to grow up to be a funny gay man who eventually came out of the closet. I suspect she would have turned off her Frank Sinatra record and we would have had a very different conversation.)

    Anyway looks like I have a chance now to at least live my dream vicariously through Todd Glass if I win a copy of this book. At last, a possible dream!

    1. Oh I hear ya, I had five brothers and no sisters, so from day one I felt different. Growing up, I was different in so many many ways. But it was good, I learned how to pile-drive kids into the ground and put them in head-locks if they tried to bully me.

  14. Suzi

    I love Todd Glass. I listen to his podcast on the Nerdist Network, The Todd Glass Show, every Friday before Marc Maron. It was voted number one by the Podcaster’s Association of America!

  15. flippyzipflop

    I didn’t necessarily have a hard time growing up. I was the only girl in the neighborhood for the longest time, so I was a bit f a Tom Boy. Aside from that, I had a pretty normal childhood I would say. My son on the other hand… He’s having one hell of a time just getting out of bed in the morning. He has video’s on his ipod of being beaten up at school for his anxiety induced facial nervous tics. From day one of 6th grade, it has been a nightmare. I’ve gone to the principal on several occasions where she assured me it would be taken care of. Nothing ever happened to the kids who beat up my son because they’re the sports stars giving the school a “good name.” My son begged me to homeschool him for the next 2 years. If I thought I could do it, I would, without any hesitation. However, the cost alone is something I almost choked over, and to that the fact that I completely suck at math. So, the reality is, it’s a cruel world. I would love to keep my one and only child in a bubble, but his therapist tells me time and again, that he has to toughen up because once he gets out of school, it certainly doesn’t get any easier. I’m a single mom… I can only do so much. My heart goes out to all of you who were bullied, teased, beat up, called names and taunted during your childhood. The emotional scars don’t ever truly go away. And each day, I have to watch my son walk through the door with a new one…

  16. its kinda sad right your on deaths door and you can’t even tell the person you love the most your on deaths door…I find this completely unexceptibable… I have always practiced love from within not on sexual preference from a little girl when my mother had a gay friend named Eli. He was very kind to me and loving the greatest gift my mother ever gave me was to love without judgment…

  17. Sounds like a great read. My niece made a big production of telling me she is gay. I listened compassionately, then asked her this: “Would you have felt the need to have this serious talk with me if you were heterosexual?” She said, “No.” I told her, “To, you are you. Your sexuality is your business, not mine. If you feel you need my support, you’ve got it, no matter what the issue is that’s on your mind. Bottom line, though, gay, straight–you’re still you and I love you.” She felt a whole lot better after that–more confident, at least.

  18. This sounds like a good book. I love reading about how people overcome the version of themselves that holds them back to be who they really are. Or something like that. Mainly, I just really like reading memoirs and biographies about amazing people.

  19. Maybe everyone is hiding in some kind of closet. Yet we continue to make each other afraid. People are weird.

    It does sound like a great book, Darla. But if I win, please pick again — I have more books now than I’ll ever have a chance to read.

    I hope you’re having a great summer.

  20. God, yes. I was bookish, fat, and hopelessly romantic in a world that valued thin, tan and athletic. Junior high was hell. But I’ve come to the conclusion that junior high was hell for almost EVERYbody. Maybe it’s supposed to be.

    Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
    Or develops your sense of humor as a self-defense mechanism.
    Or turns you into a loon who goes on a spree and kills a bunch of people.

    How cool that you got this gig, Darlypants! Put me in touch with your agent, eh?

    1. Junior high, high school, even parts of college were all hell for me. I have always felt like the odd duck most of my life. I’m finally embracing that though and it feels damn good.

      Hope you’re having a good summer, Miss Peggles.

  21. Pingback: Todd Glass on the Chat Show This Week! |

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