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‘Black’ comedy

The Brooklyn Paper

Michael Ian Black will say what most people are unwilling to admit about themselves: he hates his baby, gets verklempt over Creed on the radio, and fantasizes about divorce.

The funnyman behind the smash hit movie “Wet Hot American Summer,” will regale fans with his new memoir, “You’re Not Doing It Right,” at a book party moderated by conservative sweetheart Meghan McCain at Word in Greenpoint on Feb. 28.

Black’s sardonic tome tackles marriage, childhood neuroses, and the horrors of suburban living with this unvarnished essay collection — featuring chapters such as “I Hate My Baby” and “F*** You, Alan Alda.”

It’s all about coming to terms with your middle-aged existence.

Black shared some of these exhortations with The Brooklyn Paper last week, from a Hampton Inn in Arkansas.

Kate Briquelet: Is this the opus that proves once and for all that Michael Ian Black has emotions?

Michael Ian Black: Well, yeah, I suppose it might, much to my chagrin. Chagrin … I’ve read about that one, but I don’t know that I’ve actually experienced it.

I just figured I’d write about what I’m thinking about and what I was thinking about was myself, because I’m a narcissist. So I had to find a way to write about myself in a way that was honest and hopefully entertaining.

KB: Which essays would you require as mandatory reading for denizens of suburbia?

MIB: I would recommend to all young parents regardless of gender, the chapter entitled “I Hate My Baby.” It comes from me hating my baby. In all fairness, I hated both of my babies, because they were sh***y babies and I resented the amount of sleep I wasn’t getting as a result of their existence. It was very difficult and quite awful, but nobody ever wants to acknowledge that sometimes parents hate their babies. I’m happy to acknowledge it, to celebrate it even!

KB: You also discuss how you and your wife daydream about divorce. How does she feel about the book?

MIB: My wife and I discuss divorce the way other people discuss vacation plans — with some regularity and certain amount of wistfulness.

I was dating another girl when I was going out with my wife and broke up with her. My wife was in another relationship when we got together. We started having an affair when she was living with her boyfriend, and that’s probably how my marriage will end as well.

She likes the book, though she was nervous about it. In a lot of ways, it is a love letter to her directly. Because it’s as much about how I value our marriage and our family as it is about me bitching about her.

KB: What should we expect at your debut reading at Word?

MIB: Meghan McCain is going to moderate, I’ll do a short reading, and then she’ll ask me some questions and we’ll make out a little bit. I may randomly open up the book to pages and see if anything gets a laugh, the way some people look for answers by randomly opening up the Bible.

KB: How did you end up becoming friends with McCain and working on a book — “America, You Sexy Bitch”?

MIB: Ambien and Twitter. She’s one of my dearest friends now. She’s like my kid sister. If you think it’s weird that you’d make out with your kid sister, you’re so in the last century that I don’t even want to talk to you anymore.

KB: Why should we pick up “You’re Not Doing It Right?”

MIB: If you’re looking for a book about showbiz and what it’s like to fail on VH1, this is not the book for you. If you’re in a relationship and thinking about marriage or thinking about having kids and want someone to tell you the honest goddamn truth about how either of those things are the worst mistakes of your life, this if for you — coupled with heart-tugging reminiscences and joyful exhortations on matrimony and children. Hipster a**holes in Brooklyn better f***ing read it.

Michael Ian Black with Meghan McCain at Word [126 Franklin St. between Milton and Noble streets in Greenpoint (718) 383-0096], Feb. 29 at 7 pm. For info, wordbrooklyn.com.

And at Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Portland Street and S. Elliott Place in Fort Greene, (718) 246-0200], March 15 at 7:30 pm. For info, visit greenlightbookstore.com.

Reach Kate Briquelet at kbriquelet@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.

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Reader Feedback

Reginald Panface from Williamsburg says:
"In all fairness, I hated both of my babies, because they were ——ty babies.."

Oh, Michael Ian Black, you wonderful bastard.
Feb. 21, 2012, 2:47 pm

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