Readers of The Huffington Post got to know a lot more about comedian Eugene Mirman in 2008, thanks to his funny takes on Scientology, the news, and his field reports from the presidential campaign for 23/6 (now part of The Huffington Post Comedy 23/6). Now, after years of entertaining audiences with his stand-up and videos, Eugene Mirman finally has delivered what people really need to hear: Advice they can use from birth to death and even life after death. Certainly you have plenty of questions. Mirman took some time yesterday to provide some answers and talk about his new humorous self-help book, The Will to Whatevs. You can browse The Will to Whatevs on this HarperCollins site. And perhaps you might want to watch a promotional video he sent my way. Just in time for Valentine's Day, here is Eugene Mirman giving you valuable tips on nabbing yourself a husband. Watch this, and then we'll get to the interview.
Mirman will celebrate the release of his book Feb. 10 at The Bell House in Brooklyn, with performances by Kristen Schaal, John Hodgman, John Oliver, Paul F. Tompkins and Sarah Vowell spinning tunes as the DJ. Can you reveal anything else about the party? "I set the building on fire and destroy the New York comedy community. Probably not."
Hodgman provided a blurb for your book. Considering he has written two books claiming to give readers insight into everything, did that set the bar higher for you to dole out advice that hadn't already been given? "I don't know. I mean my book is more...his book is just flat-out knowledge, while mine is more of a road map for protection."
Did your travels along the presidential campaign last year for 23/6 change what you talk about onstage or your comedy in general? "I loved it. It was really great. It was really really intense, but it was fun." He said he enjoyed meeting the variety of people and politicians along the way. As far as impacting his comedy: "It's like comedy has always consisted of what is happening in my life and what goes on in my life, so during this election, I had bits and stuff related to the election. During the last one (presidential campaign), I debated conservative comedians about Jews. So I feel political if something catches my attention, but it's not if I'm, like, reborn as someone who's going to take down government." That's good to know, and to also let the powers that be know that, too. "Yes, the government is lucky that I have not made it my aim because of how willful I am."
You include actual examples from your own life growing up. How did you decide how much to divulge of your own background? "One of the things I liked about the book is that it's partially truth and partially a lie and it's not revealed except what you could believe reasonably to be true," he said. "I like the format of the book...I think that it's good to have real stories and things, and then also good to make lots of stuff up. It sounds like I will enjoy my book."
Related: Eugene Mirman's book tour
Feb. 10, Brooklyn, The Bell House
Feb. 13, Chicago, Book Cellar
Feb. 17, Austin, Bookpeople
Feb. 19, Seattle, University Bookstore
Feb. 20, San Francisco, Booksmith
Feb. 25, Boston, Brookline Booksmith
Feb. 26, Washington, D.C., Barnes & Noble