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