I've been a big fan of Shaun Micallef for many years. So I was very excited to listen to his new book Tripping Over Myself, A Memoir of a Life in Comedy both to learn more about his background, and to hear his thoughts on it.
I truly appreciate his sense of humour, and as someone who speaks publicly regularly, I appreciate watching his timing and delivery. That's the number one reason why I wanted to listen to this on Audible rather than reading the book. Shaun reads the book himself, and I knew that hearing him deliver the content would add to the value it brings.
And I was right. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
It's not for everyone. There are many, many Australian references that I think would be lost on anyone who hasn't lived here, and also, who hasn't lived here long enough to understand all the references. Fortunately, that suited me just fine.
Shaun does a wonderful job of seeing the funny side of life. He does poke fun at people, but even more so at himself. I love his self-effacing humour.
Hearing the background about TV shows that I've seen in the past was fascinating. The book does a good job of letting you see how his style has developed over the years.
Mad as Hell
Shaun's most recent TV series in Australia was Mad as Hell. The name of the show was a reference to a famous line delivered by Peter Finch in the movie Network, often described as a satirical black-comedy drama about a newsroom. I remember Peter Finch saying "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more" at a crucial part of the movie.
While Shaun was the clear star of the Mad as Hell show, he (and/or the producers no doubt) assembled such a talented team around him. Shaun always produced a masterclass in comedy timing and delivery.
The one exception I'd make to this is his desire to keep impersonating Kenneth Williams. That really, really needs to be removed from his performances.
I don't normally listen to biographies. As I mentioned, I loved it. Well done Shaun.
9 out of 10