Miriam Katz

  • culture May 14, 2013

    Attempting Normal by Marc Maron

    In his new memoir, Attempting Normal, comedian Marc Maron describes several of his more arduous experiences, from eating extra spicy chicken to rescuing feral kittens to bedding down-and-out prostitutes (only twice; he’s “not a hooker guy”). Maron’s comedic persona, which he has honed for the past thirty years, is both hostile and hypersensitive, and listening to him on stage or on his critically acclaimed podcast WTF can feel like eavesdropping on a therapy session. Airing painful personal history might not help him work through his issues (“if your life is disintegrating, saying so publicly

  • Kasher in the Rye

    In Los Angeles comedian Moshe Kasher’s first book, the clever vitriol of the performer’s fast-paced stand-up routines meets the vulnerable sincerity of a man who “gave a fuck very much.” His biography, distilled in the book’s lengthy subtitle, The True Tale of a White Boy from Oakland Who Became a Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient, and Then Turned 16, reads like a dayyenu refrain: Any one of these details “would have been enough” for readers to deem the writer’s adolescence both thorny and enthralling. And yet God granted more.

    When it came to family life, Kasher was given quite a

  • This Is a Book

    New York alt-comedy darling Demetri Martin's smart, straightforward sensibility and affirmative, PG-rated humor have recently earned him wider audiences as a correspondent for The Daily Show and as the star of Comedy Central's Important Things with Demetri Martin. The whimsical wordsmith peppers much of This Is a Book, his debut collection of essays, stories, diagrams, and more, with wry references to romantic misfires, including the self-awarded "Nobel prize for chemistry with very cute women who turn out to already have boyfriends." It's tough out there, but no matter: The comedian has already