“I read good” Book Review: The Guy Under the Sheets: The Unauthorized Autobiography

The Guy Under the Sheets: The Unauthorized Autobiography

by Chris Elliot

My father and I were reflecting recently on surrealist humor and why we are so attracted to the bizarrely silly. I think Dad and I both pride ourselves on being up comedy. We have been Chris Elliott fans since his Late Night with David Letterman days. I think you could say we were drawn to him immediately…you know, due to the fact that he was so weird and pathetic. What’s not to love? So, I was wanting (and expecting) to receive Chris Elliott’s Unauthorized Autobiography as a gift from my Dad last year. He is an acquired taste, but I’ve always loved his affect, from Cabin Boy to Get a Life to playing Lily’s dad on How I Met Your Mother (“I’ve got diseases!”). (And Eagleheart, which I decided I can’t watch before bedtime because it sometimes gives me nightmares, but gee, I love it.)

Good lord, is this man silly! I can’t say I read this book quickly (it took me over 6 months to get through it. In my old age I have become a pretty slow reader, usually due to distraction.) The good news about this book is you can pick it up after a month and only vaguely remember where you were and it really doesn’t matter. There’s no real story (literally!) and you’re just in it for a good one-liner. It really is absurd though. I can’t tell you if I liked it or not. I laughed a lot. I cringed a little at how truly ridiculous it was. I thought it was an interesting writing device – to write your own unauthorized autobiography and by gum, if anyone can do that, it’s Chris. But at times, it teetered towards unfunny as it spiraled out of control.

The highlights:
His well-documented addiction to tartar sauce and other condiments. I giggled each time that came up.

The fact that he claimed his parents were Bette Davis and Sam Elliott. I particularly found the Sam Elliott jokes hilarious for some reason. (Particularly funny since Chris’ famous father, Bob Elliott often portrayed Chris’ father in films.)

When Chris developed hysterical blindness due to the eating death of his pet lobster, Snappy.

The oneliners. The only reason to read this book is for one-liners. As a whole, it’s too…bizarre and ridiculous to read as a BOOK. This is real breaking the 4th wall stuff. I didn’t get a lot of the references, and maybe my age was detrimental.

On the upside, it was filled with sex and violence. Mostly because Chris would keep accidentally (or on purpose) killing people throughout the book.

File this one under  a laugh out loud, bizarre, enjoyable waste of time. I do love me some Chris Elliott.

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