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I'd Like To Play Alone, Please

by Tom Segura

Library Journal From youthful missteps to the travails of parenting to the fun (maybe?) of celebrity encounters, popular standup comedian and podcaster Segura ( 2 Bears 1 Cave, Your Mom's House) weaves together stories from his life that explain why he's frazzled enough to agree occasionally with his young son's plea: "I'd like to play alone, please." With a 100,000-copy first printing.

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Publishers Weekly “Inside every smart-ass is the person they’re publicly scared to be,” muses comedian Segura in this irreverent collection of personal stories, his debut. Though he’s performed on stage with big names like Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, and Dave Chappelle, Segura reveals to readers that behind the jokes, he’s a bit of a “softie” who still gets starstruck from time to time—as when, on a flight to L.A., he blurted out “you’re the greatest” to tennis star Serena Williams (before remembering a bit he’d done about her “sitting on my face” in a Netflix special). He also cherishes his solitude: the book’s title, inspired by the same request from his toddler, Segura admits is “a credo I deeply believe in.” As he pokes fun at himself with hilarious anecdotes such as responding to social media trolls as his fake assistant, Segura delivers plenty of twisted “just-kidding” jokes to make sure the readers are paying attention, including one about spending a spring in Paris with the late infamous sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. While his brand of profane humor certainly isn’t for everyone (following the Epstein gag, he archly posits that maybe the Taliban aren’t “so bad,” but instead “guys you want to have a beer with”), Segura’s candor is undeniably entertaining. Fans will find this a riot. (June)

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Kirkus A stand-up comedian and popular podcaster riffs on his life and career in a series of personal essays.Tongue firmly in cheek, Segura elevates being average and occasionally obscene to something approaching the extraordinary. The son of a Catholic Vietnam veteran who loved to talk about shitting, farting, wiping, or wishing he was doing one of those things, the author once thought to become a cardiothoracic surgeon because it sounded impressive. Instead, he cultivated a cutting wit he used to dispel attacks from schoolmates who called him "gringo" during the summers he spent in his mothers native Peru. Stateside, Segura developed a deep appreciation for Black culture, especially comedians like Chris Rock, while also dreaming of becoming a football star like Deion Sanders. However, he was borderline special needs level in school, which caused him to miss out on scholarships, and excessive weight kept him play[ing] on the line with the other fatties. Later, he remarks that his heaviness did have the unexpected benefit of keeping him alive after an unintended mega-overdose of GHB during college. Seguras savage honesty can be traced back to an anxious, paranoid mother with exemplary manners whom he calls legit funny, largely because of an inability to bite her tongue. The author acknowledges that his own lack of a filter has caused him severe embarrassment. In recalling an airplane encounter with Serena Williams, he recommended she get to know his work through a Netflix specialonly to remember later on that the show featured a death-fantasy bit about Serena sitting on my face and her sister Venus polishing me off, and theyre trying to fit a racket in my ass or something like that. While Seguras off-color humor is not for everyone, his fans will doubtlessly enjoy both his essays and the included black-and-white photos.Often crude but undeniably funny. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Kirkus A stand-up comedian and popular podcaster riffs on his life and career in a series of personal essays. Tongue firmly in cheek, Segura elevates being average and occasionally obscene to something approaching the extraordinary. The son of a Catholic Vietnam veteran who loved to talk “about shitting, farting, wiping, or wishing he was doing one of those things,” the author once thought to become a cardiothoracic surgeon because it sounded impressive. Instead, he cultivated a cutting wit he used to dispel attacks from schoolmates who called him "gringo" during the summers he spent in his mother’s native Peru. Stateside, Segura developed a deep appreciation for Black culture, especially comedians like Chris Rock, while also dreaming of becoming a football star like Deion Sanders. However, he was “borderline special needs level” in school, which caused him to miss out on scholarships, and excessive weight kept him “play[ing] on the line with the other fatties.” Later, he remarks that his heaviness did have the unexpected benefit of keeping him alive after an unintended mega-overdose of GHB during college. Segura’s savage honesty can be traced back to an “anxious, paranoid” mother with “exemplary manners” whom he calls “legit funny,” largely because of an “inability to bite her tongue.” The author acknowledges that his own lack of a filter has caused him severe embarrassment. In recalling an airplane encounter with Serena Williams, he recommended she get to know his work through a Netflix special—only to remember later on that the show featured a death-fantasy bit about Serena “sitting on my face” and her sister Venus “polishing me off, and they’re trying to fit a racket in my ass or something like that.” While Segura’s off-color humor is not for everyone, his fans will doubtlessly enjoy both his essays and the included black-and-white photos. Often crude but undeniably funny. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.