Ben Karlin and comedy colleagues present a live version of anthology of
Former Daily Show showrunner Ben Karlin brought guest contributors to
his one-year-old anthology, “Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me,” to a special reading and performance at the 92Y Tribeca on January
29, promoting the new paperback edition of the book.
One of the highlights of the evening was Tom Shillue (see
Jester’s Blog, Jan. 4, 2009 on his appearance in “50 First Jokes”)
with his theory about prior pre-marriage relationships being the “fake
marriages” that allowed him to make all possible mistakes so he’s now a
happily married, non-divorced man.
But the true peak of the show was Paul Simms, the creator of Newsradio,
reading his piece about the phenomenon of instant crushes, and how
quickly and easily they can dissipate sometimes.
Other segments were aided by supporting performers, like Eric Slovin’s
tale of a secret admirer and an exclusive party, as well as the David
Wain closing piece, an elaborately built tale of thwarted romance told
through cellphone messages.
Just as he put together the book, Karlin served as ringmaster for the
show, telling brief tales of pieces in the book by those who weren’t
present and screening a couple related short films made for a
once-potential pilot show based on the book. Karlin was effectively
joined as co-host by Jonathan Coulton, a comedic singer-songwriter who
performed a couple songs inspired by the idea of the book, and provided
accompaniment throughout the show.
The evening was well conceived and definitely whetted your appetite for
the book. Karlin introduced enough multi-media elements to make it more
than just a reading, and with so many contributors, this was the only
way to experience the book live since a book tour would have been