Library program features Michael Ian Black

Michael Ian Black

On the subject of humor, Mark Twain once remarked, “The funniest things are forbidden.”

Fast forward about a hundred years or so, and we find another Redding author in our midst who has taken up the mantle of humorist. But this time around, comedian Michael Ian Black turns the laughter on himself in his memoir, You’re Not Doing It Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations.

He arrived at the book’s title because he’d been hearing those first five words directed at him all too often; and on the eve of his fortieth birthday, he began to finally ask himself… “Why?”

The answer to that question will be revealed by Mr. Black in person, when this nationally known entertainer reads excerpts from his book at Mark Twain Library’s An Intimate Evening with Michael Ian Black, set for Saturday, March 9, from 7 to 9 p.m.

“The venue is expected to be cozy with a limited number of seats; but that is not the only reason for its intimate nature,” said Janice Meehan, Mark Twain Library’s Board of Trustees president.

“Given the book’s subtitle, Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations, listeners will be treated to unexpected candor and Mr. Black’s deadpan wit in this funny-because-it’s-true memoir reading,” she explained.

“An Intimate Evening with Michael Ian Black is a special program for another reason as well,” added Beth Dominniani, the library’s director. “Proceeds from the evening will help support the Mark Twain Library Wit & Wisdom Award, presented annually to a Joel Barlow High School junior or senior who is a creative, out-of-the-box thinker.

The award honors the memory of Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain, the founder of Redding’s library, who was an imaginative writer, independent thinker, and oftentimes irreverent. Which brings us back to the evening’s headliner, and his own special brand of humor.

Michael Ian Black has created and starred in many television series, including Michael and Michael Have Issues, Stella, and The State. He also starred in the NBC television show Ed and on Vh1’s I Love the … series. He wrote the screenplay for the film Run, Fatboy Run and wrote and directed the film Wedding Daze, which starred Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher. He is the best-selling author of the book My Custom Van (And 50 Other Mindblowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face), and the children’s books Chicken Cheeks, The Purple Kangaroo, A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea, and the forthcoming I’m Bored.

Registering for the event is easy at or by calling the library at 203-938-2545. The program is $20 per person and is intended for a mature audience, with a book signing and wine and beer reception immediately after the reading. Doors open for the evening at 6:30 p.m., and for parking ease, carpooling is encouraged.

Community sponsorship is being provided by The Redding Roadhouse, Georgetown Package Store, and Joel Barlow High School PTSA.  Mr. Black’s books, including the memoir, may be ordered in advance at Copies of You’re Not Doing It Right will also be available for purchase at the event.

“Those attending An Intimate Evening at the Mark Twain Library are sure to be entertained by Mr. Black’s surprising honesty and hunorous observations. Of course, if that doesn’t happen, just go ahead and tell him: You’re not doing it right. It’s okay. He’s used to it,” Ms. Meehan said.

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