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I'd Rather We Got Casinos: And Other Black Thoughts Hardcover – January 20, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As "Senior Black Correspondent" on cable TV's The Daily Show, comedian Wilmore provides some of the program's most hilarious moments while turning its satiric edge on his (largely white, middle-class, left-leaning) employers and audience, as well as his own people-retaining the full measure of his cynicism even in the midst of Obama-mania. In this collection (including essays, fake radio show transcripts, letters and wisecracks), readers get a tour of Wilmore's smart, sarcastic approach to race, media and the modern American psyche (perhaps most efficiently captured in back-to-back thought pieces, "Black Weathermen Make Me Feel Happy" and "Black Weathermen Make Me Feel Sad"). Part of Wilmore's appeal is the straight-faced mix of conviction and arch absurdity-more Steve Colbert than Jon Stewart-that's sometimes lacking without his deadpan, vaguely deprecating delivery. Still, fans will find consistent laughs, even if some of his longer, one-note pieces could have been better balanced with more of his goofy one-liners ("Random Black Thoughts"). Several of Wilmore's modest proposals, like his ongoing campaign to replace terms like "African-American" and "Black" with "Chocolate" ("everybody loves chocolate!") display a classic satirist's ability to convince, confound and compel in equal measure.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Wilmore, the “senior black correspondent” with The Daily Show who has made a career out of taking jabs at race relations, offers a faux collection of articles, essays, radio transcripts, and letters exploring the more ludicrous angles on race. He begins by taking issue with racism being presented as an abstract concept rather than as a “problem that could use a concrete solution like a backed-up sink.” Wilmore suggests “rebranding” racial designation from African American to chocolate and includes several pitch letters to the NAACP. He conducts a post-Katrina radio interview with “the Man,” who, it turns out, is very ordinary and not the all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful force but something more random and less pernicious, though just as aggravating. Scoffing at the notion of a Black History Month, Wilmore derides 28 days of trivia and would “rather we got casinos.” With wit and humor, Wilmore skewers the serious and silly aspects of American racial politics. --Vanessa Bush
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1 edition (January 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401309550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401309558
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,078,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. C HALL VINE VOICE on February 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There are some books that do more than just occupy space on a shelf--there are a precious few--The Wealth of Nations, the Federalist Papers, Uncle Tom's Cabin, among others--that transform the times in which they appear.

This is destined to be one of those books. "I'd Rather We Got Casinos" presents the thoughts of Larry Wilmore. These are not just thoughts. They are profound thoughts. And they are black thoughts--presented by the Senior Black Correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This book is thought-provoking, joyously politically incorrect...and very, very funny.

No summary can do justice to the contents of this volume, but you may get a flavor for what awaits you between the covers by learning that there are chapters on why black audiences talk back to horror movies, why it's OK to hate black people who work at McDonald's in airports, why fat black weathermen make Wilmore happy (and sad), and Wilmore's extended, ultimately futile correspondence with the NAACP, which attempted to persuade the organization to join his crusade to replace the descriptive phrases black and African-American with the far superior term, "chocolate." There's real humor here, but there are deeper meanings as well.

As a white (or in Wilmore's parlance, vanilla) guy, I may not be able to fully appreciate the profound depth of these thoughts--but I do know that I laughed out loud--many, many times. And this book stimulated thoughts of my own. Maybe not as profound as Mr. Wilmore's, but they were thoughts, nevertheless.--William C. Hall
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Format: Hardcover
I saw this book reviewed on The Literary Omnivore and it sounded interesting so when I saw my library had a copy, I figured I was meant to check it out. Prior to reading this book I had no idea who Larry Wilmore was and I wasn't familiar with any of his jokes or stories. So the book was completely new to me and I did find it quite funny.

Despite the great review which made me pick this book up, for some reason I thought it was going to be more sociological than humorous. I was expecting to learn more about black culture and I don't know that I came away from the book really knowing more than I did before.

Of course this book is a collection of humorous essays so I guess it's not necessarily meant to be educational. Or maybe I need to learn to read between the lines a bit better. Overall I think Wilmore just uses humor to draw attention to certain topics and make you start to think about them. In his essay, "In Search of Black Jesus," he makes several stereotypical points to suggest that Jesus was black, for example, he walked on water because "brothas can't swim." (pg. 94)

Some portions I thought were redundant, like the chapter where he said black weathermen make him feel happy. Then, in the next chapter, he changed his mind and said they make him feel sad, basically re-writing the essay with only a few words changed (e.g. replacing "happy" with "sad"). But the chapters are quite short so I read through it and didn't feel like my time was wasted.

In the end, I feel like I have more questions about black people and culture than when I started. Maybe that was Wilmore's intention and he wants to inspire people to learn and read more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is just it. Just buy it and laugh, OK? Do you need to know more than that? Do you want the brilliance ruined buy some in-depth review that gives away the genius that is Mr. Wilmore? Really? Don't you miss him in between his Daily Show appearances? Just get the damn book then you can have 5 images of his floating head next to your bed - creeping you out a little, but making you laugh nonetheless.

Do it. And Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyable humorous read. Found myself laughing while reading at starbucks with puzzled looks from some of the patrons to intimated they wanted to be in on the joke. Its entertaining and larry is an entertainer not to be confused with a read for academia which some comments here would suggest
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Format: Hardcover
I have not watched much of Jon Stewart (and Larry Wilmore) shows. So my review was purely based on the book.

But however great a stand up comedy Larry Wilmore claimed to be on tv, the humor and thoughts were clearly not translated to the book.

The title was very promising in its provocation. I expected discussion on how the economy / stock market were functioning poorly like the casino. I was also expecting other forms of dark humor thoughts (i.e. twisted humor). But I totally missed the point that that it was referring to African-American (black) thoughts. But by itself, this was also fine.

Reading on the book, I couldn’t wait to finish it and move on. 5/6 of the books were written in language style or thoughts that could not be comprehend by the mainstream. I am not familiar with the African-American community. Hence its not fair to comment on whether the book could be classified mainstream by the community’s culture lingo. Personally I reckoned otherwise.

Below are the very limited interesting quotes, to share with the readers.
This is to save them the trouble of reading the book.

“ Most so-called black leaders were self-appointed…never an election.”

“To be an effective black leader, one must be able to blame Man for just about everything. The problem is, most black leaders are ambulance chasers”

“All good black leaders got mysterious jobs…I get paid, but by whom….i go to work every morning, but to where ? …..I do what I do because I’m very good at it. Yeah but what is that ?”

“In order to be an effective black leader you have to have ‘reverend’ in your name. It gives you instant gravitas in the black community….an attack on me is an attack on Jesus…”

“….
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