Monday, July 3, 2017

Book Review: 'When the Balls Drop' by Brad Garrett

Review by David Wineberg

When The Balls Drop is the collected life experience of Brad Garret, most known as Ray Romano’s sidekick brother on Everybody Loves Raymond for nine years. It is largely autobiography, interspersed and followed by a lot of politically incorrect views on pretty much everything, from sex to race to politics to religion to divorce to aging. Lots on aging. And alcohol, his near downfall. At the age of 55 he sounds like he’s 85. 

He starts off easygoing and easy to get along with, and morphs into anger and sarcasm and becomes curmudgeonly. Most of the self criticism is sexual and scatological. Of particular note is his penis, which has not assumed the proportions expected by his otherwise gigantic (6’ 8”) stature. It’s not really what I wanted to know about him, but he’s amusing about it, so it’s okay.

The good news Brad Garret can be enormously funny. His decades as a standup have taught him terrific pacing, fabulous timing, and excellent technique. It’s an easy read, with smiles and chuckles throughout. The punchlines come at you like an AK47. He mixes it up and keeps you reading on. The bad news is he is top line, superficial and ignorant of the facts. He’s all about impression. Depth makes brief appearances in cameo roles. And he loves four letter words. I would normally collect my favorite lines and bullet them here for posterity, but this is a g rated review that I’d like to see displayed. 

You can’t tell whether he’s like this for real or if this part of the act. He’s a comic, after all. That he proves it definitely should be sufficient.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of David Wineberg. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right. 

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