Jimmy Carr has written his autobiography

Exclusive   Monday 12th April 2021, 7:11pm by Jay Richardson

Jimmy Carr.

Jimmy Carr has written his autobiography in the form of a self-help book, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

Exploring how the comedian found personal and professional happiness, Before & Laughter will be published by Quercus on 28th September.

Carr worked as a marketing executive for Shell, a job he hated, before a "quarter-life crisis" at 25 led to him study psychotherapy and begin doing stand-up. An intensely dedicated open spot, for two years he performed for more than 300 nights a year, two years running.

He earned a Perrier Award nomination in 2002 for his Edinburgh show Jimmy Carr's Bare Faced Ambition and went on to become Channel 4's face of comedy, fronting various shows, including 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Distraction, Your Face Or Mine? and 10 O'Clock Live. In 2016 he became the first British stand-up to record a Netflix original special with his show Funny Business.

Pledging to reveal how Carr has managed to "thrive as a comedian but also as a human being", the stand-up's first book for 14 years focuses on his pursuit of happiness, how he obsessed about and researched the subject when he decided to make huge changes in his life.

From prioritising the future over the present, to understanding the benefits of laughter, and from working on your disposition to finding your edge, Carr suggests some key pillars to help us free ourselves from punishing patterns of behaviour and negative internal voices, so that we can pursue our dreams.

Drawing from specific moments and incidents in his own life, he shows how he managed to make it work for him. But with jokes throughout, he promises "self-analysis through the power of laughter at its most rewarding."

Reflecting upon his accomplishments, Carr told Dane Baptiste on his podcast that "I'm writing this thing at the moment, thinking about the past a lot, when I became a success.

"There's two things going on. One is when people would have thought 'oh, he's doing alright'. And then the other thing is when you think 'I'm doing alright.

"And for me it was The Comedy Store. It was 'I'm getting paid that much money, I'm literally living off my wits. This is a life now, I can sustain it. It's not a hobby. This is my job'. That was the big transition.

Carr previously wrote the 2007 humour analysis book The Naked Jape: Uncovering The Hidden World of Jokes with Lucy Greeve.

Currently appearing as one of the judges on the BBC One talent show I Can See Your Voice, Carr is set to resume his stand-up tour, Terribly Funny, at the Palace Theatre in London on June 15.

Already anticipating his next tour, he has challenged himself to modify his short-form, gag-heavy form of stand-up.

"I'm sort of trying to bank another tour, I'm trying to change my style a little bit stand-up wise" he told fellow comics Lou Conran and Sally-Anne Hayward on their Spit or Swallow podcast. "I find writing jokes very easy and I find writing routines more difficult. And so I'm trying to write more routines.

"Routines are packed with jokes but between seven and twelve minutes is where you want to be in terms of [creating] something that's memorable.

"It's interesting" he said of his lockdown. "I feel like I've had amazing luck in comedy and I've worked really hard at it. And I think as soon as you stop, it's just been like a sabbatical. I didn't want to take a sabbatical, I'd much rather have the world normal.

"But it happened. And so you go what are you going to do with it, I'll work on myself and get better at writing these other things, I'll get better at longer-form. Who knows?"


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Jimmy Carr - Before & Laughter

Jimmy Carr - Before & Laughter

Jimmy Carr: hilarious, successful and unmissable. At the top of his game, he is an award-winning comedian who consistently performs to sell-out arenas around the world. He's also, by his own admission, a happy guy. Yet it wasn't always like that.

Back when he was 25, Jimmy was in a white-collar job he hated. He was bored, felt unfulfilled and was generally pretty miserable. How did he achieve this level of success he is now enjoying, in both his professional and personal life? How did he manage to thrive as a comedian but also as a human being? The answers are in this book, which contains valuable and mind-opening advice that everyone will benefit from, at whatever point in their lives. Because Jimmy knows all about the pursuit of happiness, having obsessed about and researched the subject ever since he chose to make huge changes in his life.

From prioritising the future over the present to understanding the benefits of laughter, and from working on your disposition to finding your edge, Jimmy takes us through some key pillars to help us free ourselves from punishing patterns of behaviour and negative internal voices, so that we can pursue our dreams.

He delves into specific moments and incidents in his own life that shows how he managed to make it work for him. And because we're talking Jimmy Carr here, there are jokes, jokes and more jokes throughout. This is self-analysis through the power of laughter at its most rewarding.

First published: Thursday 30th September 2021

  • Publisher: Quercus
  • Pages: 320
  • Catalogue: 9781529413076
  • Released: Thursday 12th May 2022
  • Publisher: Quercus
  • Catalogue: 9781529413113

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