Bruce McCulloch books slideshow Live
The first book he remembers reading as a kid"It was called Fox in Socks. My dad always read me Dr. Seuss books because he thought they were fun and funny, which they were and are. And I think Fox in Socks got me into the wacky world of silly language."
The book that made him feel like somebody "got" him"To be a total stereotype, Kerouac really spoke to me when I was about 17 years old. But at least it wasn't On the Road, it was Lonesome Traveler, which is less about Beat poetry and more just about a guy searching for himself and trying to find like-minded friends. That's the theme of my own book, in a way. I felt his bursting and sad spirit."
The book that taught him the most about comedy"Hands down, Woody Allen’s Without Feathers was the book that most informed my comedy. It's absurdist and wonderful and kind of selfish, the point of view. It's just short little weird funny stories that have this way of adding up. I loved it and I know my gang, The Kids in the Hall, did as well."
The book he recommends the most to friends"What I've often recommended is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Pat Hobby Stories, because it’s a hilarious point of view. It’s a book about dealing with life in Hollywood, about a guy who's sort of a comedic version of Willy Loman. It's a little surreal, but sort of a bit real as well. Cautionary and funny."
The book he's reread the most over the years"I've probably read Down and Out in Paris and London three or four times, which is a lot for a stupid man like me. It is just so first person. There's something about following Orwell around, especially when I've had some money in my pocket and he can't afford cheese. And then, of course, I've been in his shoes too. Not only did he not have money, but he couldn't admit to other people that he didn't have money, and there’s probably something to do with my imposter complex that I enjoy it."
The book that made its way into The Kids in the Hall"There's a certain kind of pontifical comedic speechwriting that I do that's absolutely taken from The Grapes of Wrath. Tom Joad’s famous "I'll be there" speech—that Studs Terkel Everyman kind of thing—is something that, over the years, we replicated in The Kids in the Hall. We’d even refer to it amongst ourselves as'The Grapes of Wrath riff.'"
The book that got him through a hard time"It's embarrassing, but when I broke up with a longtime girlfriend and I didn't know why I'd done it, I ferociously read every self-help book out there, including The Seat of the Soul. And I felt like that book kind of lifted me up when I was a snivelling grade 8 girl in my twenties. It made me look inside myself in a way that I hadn't. Growing up as I did, there was no map for self-reflection. And I think this book gave me permission to do that. You should read it. It would be really good for you to read it."
The book that all young punks should read
"I loved Bob Mould’s book, See a Little Light. Bob used to be with Hüsker Dü and Sugar. Maybe in a way because he's a contemporary, he's my age, and had some success in his career but he's not exactly U2. The book’s essentially about him trying to figure his life out. He kept making the same mistakes, came out of the closet in his thirties—it was all imperfect, and he just kept going. This book is in the line of what my book hopes to be."
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