From his standup appearances to his unforgettable comic turns in movies like Pretty Woman and Best in Show, Larry Miller is one of the most irresistible comic personalities at work today. In recent years he has gained a new following as a cultural commentator, appearing frequently on political shows and penning a humor column for The Weekly Standard. Now, in Spoiled Rotten America, he fixes his gaze on what's so funny about life in America today--which includes, roughly speaking, everything. From the offhand excesses of celebrity culture ("So, is one o'clock okay for your foot massage?") to the paranoias of everyday life ("'Do you leave your coffeemaker plugged in at night?' my sister once asked. 'Sure,' I said, 'but only when I take it in the shower with me'"), Miller is a master at finding the silver lining of sublime absurdity within every little black cloud that hovers over his head.
Ultimately, though, Spoiled Rotten America is more than just the average yukfest. It's an insightful, and surprisingly heartfelt, plea for us to notice what's best and what's worst about America. "The news is on all day," he writes, "but we know less and less; there's music in every mall, but we don't hear it; everyone has a phone but nothing to say. The chubbiest of us have the strictest diets, because we can't learn to modulate and moderate. It's all or nothing. One bite of a cookie, and suddenly you're on a plane to Vegas with a hooker. To the Cranky Nitpickers of America--a club I'd join in a second if I weren't already its president--it's long been understood that the world is going to Hell in a handbasket.
"What better time for a collection of seventeen comic essays?"
"If you read only one book this year, this is the one. Unless of course, you haven't read Moby Dick. Or The Great Gatsby. Or Hotel. I hear The Da Vinci Code is a real page-turner. But none of them will make you laugh like Larry Miller will make you laugh. He is not only in the tradition, but the equal of, Thurber and Benchley."
-- Bill Maher
"Larry Miller is so funny and writes so brilliantly, thatĖno kiddingĖa few pages in, you will forget why you brought it into the bathroom in the first place."
-- Paul Reiser