Before & Laughter by Jimmy Carr

Published June 1, 2022

Before & Laughter by Jimmy Carr

Book info

  • Title Before & Laughter
  • Author Jimmy Carr
  • Year 2021
  • Genre Memoir

In his mid-twenties, Jimmy was bored, boring, unfulfilled and underachieving. He wasn't exactly depressed, but he was very sad. Think of a baby owl whose mum has recently died in a windmill accident. He was that sad. This book tells the story of how Jimmy turned it around and got happy, through the redemptive power of dick jokes. Written to take advantage of the brief window between the end of lockdown and Jimmy getting cancelled for saying something unforgivable to Lorraine Kelly, this book is as timely as it is unnecessary. Because you might be interested in Jimmy's life but he's damn sure you're a lot more interested in your own, Before & Laughter is about both of you. But mainly him. It tells the story of Jimmy's life - the transformation from white-collar corporate drone to fake-toothed donkey-laugh plastic-haired comedy mannequin - while also explaining how to turn your own life around and become the you you've always dreamt of being. At just £20, it's cheaper than Scientology, quicker than therapy, and significantly less boring than church.


This is more of a self-help book than I was imagining, although it made a nice change from the traditional memoir that follows a chronological story from birth to school to success. Instead, Jimmy kicks off with advice right from the start, and whilst structuring it around his journey through life so far - including the death of his mother, taking over Bruce Springsteen’s dressing room, and of course, that tax situation. It was really good, very readable, and with plenty of wisdom that you want to take on board.

Rating: 4 / 5

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