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.
Todd 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!