Comedian Mark Critch had a tough act to follow with his debut memoir Son of a Critch, the funniest thing I’ve ever listened to on audiobook and such a hit that it’s currently being made into a TV series. The first book had better material to work with: adulthood is never as funny as childhood, and the two outstanding characters in Son of a Critch were Mark’s parents, vividly brought to life by Mark in the audio version. However, this second book of (as the subtitle tells us) “Immature Stories from my Grown-Up Life” is still very funny and full of insights into what it means to “make it” in the comedy business in this country.
From Critch’s earliest days as a young actor in the Trinity pageant, starring alongside out-of-work fishermen being trained for a new kind of stage, through hair-raising advetures with the troops in Afghanistan, to eventual stardom on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Mark Critch does a great job of telling us about the highs and lows (but mostly lows, because they’re funnier) of Canadian show business. It might not get made into a TV show (after all, much of it is about a TV show, which might be a bit too meta), but An Embarrassment of Critch’s is a worthy follow-up to Son of a Critch, and as with the first book, you really have to listen to the author performing it to get the full value.