// you’re reading...

Interview

Brian McKim p2

Deadpan standup comedian, author and podcaster Brian McKim talks about some of his fiction reading, although he prefers nonfiction. He also mentions a nonfiction book his father liked…

READERSVOICE.COM: Do you tend to read fiction that has at least some element of humor, and what are some of your favorite novels or other fiction you’ve read over the years?

BRIAN McKIM: I do not read a lot of fiction these days. I have always had a bias toward non-fiction. In my pre-comedy, commuting via public transportation days, I read many novels. I was too easily influenced by NPR, the NYT and other outlets, so I picked up the occasional best-selling fiction books– which were very expensive back then! I remember, back when I collected unemployment for the first time, that I took up Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Back then, collecting your check meant heading down to Camden, NJ, waiting in long lines for hours. I coped by bringing a folding chair with me! I would set– while in line!– and read, then scoop up the chair, move it along as the line moved, unfold it, sit down again and resume my reading! I came back on subsequent visits reading the Cliffs Notes version! (The people at the unemployment office must’ve thought I was loony!)

I read The Water-Method Man [John Irving]on the recommendation of a college buddy, then read The World According to Garp, then read three more Irving novels– even shelling out $20 or so to pick up The Hotel New Hampshire the day it hit the bookstores! I eventually burned out on Irving. (I learned my wife shared a love of Irving. She ended up reading most of his books!)
I think I was heavily influenced by my father, regarding my reading habits. I remember when I was five or six, my father took up Willam Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. He was a tool and dye maker, a machinist. He would come home from work and, after dinner, he would recline on the couch and read. I and my siblings had a friendly bet on when he would finish! It was more than 1,200 pages!
His reading habits were interesting. He favored non-fiction. He often read three or four books simultaneously. And he quite frequently would not finish them! This is the exact pattern that my lovely wife identified in my reading habits!

– continued next page
– see brianmckimcomedy.com
– copyright readersvoice.com