Celebrity memoirs are an escapism go to of mine and I am sort of surprised I didn’t already tag one of them as my “brain candy” bingo square. But since I had forgotten about this category while reading Chrissy Metz and Ashley Graham’s respective memoirs H. Jon Benjamin’s Failure is an Option gets the official tag.
H. Jon Benjamin, the H standing for Henry although his friends and family have already referred to him as Jon, recounts his life’s failures in this quasi-memoir. I listened to the audio book which I highly recommend. Benjamin narrates his life’s misadventures in his trademark baritone so essentially Sterling Archer and Bob Belcher recount the stories of disco bar mitzvahs and near misses at filming pornography with convicts. Benjamin is good natured recalling his life’s misfortunes and there are a lot of great, funny moments but there is very little depth into his notable career moments. Bob’s Burgers and Archer are only referenced a few times; once as a sentence long chapter saying he failed at differentiating his most famous characters’ voices and in a disgustingly hilarious tale about his first time doing press for Archer. I suppose, since this is a book about failures, it is difficult to go into depth about two hugely successful television shows but it was still a disappointment for me as a fan.
Only I am privy to the map that outlines my life the way I drew it. A cartographic collage with rivers of misgivings and shame, oceans of mismanaged emotions and finances, archipelagos of overeating, and mountains of self-doubt and petty grievances.
A lot of Jon’s failures come from his awkward, anxiety riddled childhood as well as his early career as a television writer and his particular brand of comedy was ill received by the masses. It should come as no surprise that Benjamin delivered a hilarious book and if you also need a little escapism in the hellscape that in 2018 I would suggest this one.