Much-of-a-sameness comedian autobiography...
Alan Carr is a bit of recent phenomenon for me, not being one to watch the comedy scene with that great a deal of scrutiny. However, I do seem to recollect that he was on Friday night comedy/talk show and that he had a distinctive voice and a somewhat stereotypical gay comedian's obsession with male genitalia. It was surprising then, that there were few x-rated accounts in his autobiography - instead Carr seems to dwell a lot on his relationship with his football manager father, Graham Carr, and the various mind altering jobs he has held over the years before his rise to tv fame.
In Look Who It Is, we get the full life story - from childhood to adulthood - taking us right up to when his career really takes off. We learn about the drudgery of factory working, the years of being uncomfortable in his own skin and his apparent alienation with his father (Carr felt he never lived up to his father's expectations). There is nothing particularly out of the ordinary in Carr's life - aside from being at Tesco's flagship store when it introduced their loyalty card - if that counts for extraordinary. His could be the story of any man trying to grow up under the shadow of an impressive and masculine father figure and feeling diminutively homosexual by comparison.
Nor is the story new to any of us who have read comedian's autobiographies before - there is a lot of hard graft involved, most of it being undertaken in less salubrious locations, as well as taking a fair bit of stick when your act bombs (as they sometimes do). But if you are a fan of the man and want to find out what makes him tick (he gives this away in the subtleties of his language and his choice of recollections), then this will be a worthwhile read. Well written, if somewhat starchy at times, and with less humour than I would have anticipated, but fine just the same.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012