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Rubber Balls and Liquor Hardcover – April 26, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Comedian Gottfried goes for the jugular in his first humor book. As in George Carlin's Brain Droppings, the author loves to goof on language, and he is equally outrageous, as is evident when one deciphers the transsexual pun disguised in the book's title and the suggestive cover image. Gottfried free-associates, riffing in print with an improvisatory flair as wild as his standup routines. Blowjob and masturbation jokes punctuate a mix of memoir, angst-ridden anecdotes, and observational humor. Turning to self-mockery ("I have a face for voice-overs"), he tells how he landed the one-word role as the voice of the animated Aflac duck, and his fans will eagerly skip ahead to a chapter titled "Too Soon" about his now famous Friars Club performance two weeks after 9/11. Gottfried's basic tactic is to deliver a dynamite line and top it with several surprises before reaching the end of each paragraph, building to guffaw-inducing jokes on almost every page. (Apr. 26)
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Advance Praise for Rubber Balls and Liquor

 “One of the most touching, eye-opening historical accounts---one day I may even read it.”

---Howie Mandel

“This is definitely the loudest book I have ever read. It changed my life. After reading it I decided to go through transgender surgery.”

 ---Bob Saget

“Gilbert is the funniest man alive.  He is the comic genius of our generation.  This book proves he is the Picasso of the cubist-dick joke.”

---Penn Jillette

“Truly the funniest book ever, by one of the funniest guys on the planet!”

 ---Paul Shaffer, musical director, Late Show with David Letterman

“More than a national treasure, he’s a secret weapon. If we had had Gilbert Gottfried in World War II, Hitler would have given up in 1942.”

---Stephen King

"This book crosses the line of good taste. I loved it."




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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312668112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312668112
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Marblehead VINE VOICE on May 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gilbert Gottfried spends most of the 272 pages of "Rubber Balls and Liquor" making veiled apologies about the quality of his writing. In his introduction, he makes it clear that the one and only reason he's writing this book is because, well, he has a book deal, and, against his better judgment, he must fill blank pages with words. A good portion of the book is dedicated to just that: filling up space. Somehow, though, Gilbert gets away with it by distracting you with a killer wit and sense of humor. Sure, you're going to notice the fact that he refuses to divulge anything of any depth or emotion, but you're so busy laughing it won't make any difference.

"Rubber Balls and Liquor" proves a difficult book to review. While being absolutely hilarious it simultaneously reveals a mind-numbingly frustrating habit of veering off into fits of rambling and unnecessary parenthetical asides. Of course, Gilbert knows and recognizes this fact, and makes a point of reminding the reader that he's incapable, and unwilling, of changing his habits.

As I read through the brief introduction to the book I belly-laughed at least five times. A great start to any book, I say. The following 260 pages show Gilbert not really trying to stay on point, bringing up interesting anecdotes, theories, and stories, only to derail himself with some randomness that will make your head spin. But again, you're laughing, so can this be a bad thing?

He brings up most of the career changing events in his professional life, such as his early stand-up, SNL, his movies and voice over work, and his Aristocrats joke at the Hefner roast.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By craig on May 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Many people who only knew Gilbert Gottfried as the voice of the bird in ALADDIN were probably surprised to hear that he was fired from his Alfac gig, for making about two dozen of the most insensitive, poorly-timed jokes in recorded history, about the tsunami in Japan. Those of us in the know realize that Gilbert has been engaging in this type of humor quite gleefully for 20+ years...but word carries further in the age of Twitter. I'll admit quite willingly that when those jokes hit Twitter (one after another, in the span of just a few minutes) I laughed out loud at about half of them--in equal parts at their brilliance and their stupidity. I'll also say that Gilbert's Hefner Roast version of the ARISTOCRATS joke was quite possibly the hardest I have ever laughed in my life.

Those who are offended by Gottfried's tsunami jokes should read his book. They won't like it--they will CERTAINLY be offended--but they'll see that Gilbert makes himself the butt of his own jokes just as often as he makes fun of, say, holocaust victims. He portrays himself as a D-list celebrity and chronic masturbator. Does that make his insensitive style of humor less horrendous? Well...yes. Gilbert is part of the 1% of celebrities who writes an autobiography with no agenda, no illusion of making the world fall in love with him. His only desire is to make us laugh: any way, any how. ...oh, and to make some money.

Just the fact that Gilbert Gottfried talks in that squawky voice all the time makes him a national treasure: he is the only living celebrity who subscribes to the Groucho Marx school of comedy. That's not his real voice; he doesn't HAVE to talk like that. But he does--even when doing interviews, even in voiceover work, even when signing autographs after shows. Anytime he's in public, he is "on.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Edison on May 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm a busy man...places to go, people to see, rejection to the only time I really have to relax with a book is at the end of the day in bed. But that doesn't work with Gilbert's book because the laughter is keeping my wife awake. Of course I could get the audio book & listen in the car, but that would probably cause a wreck. Thanks a lot, Gil! You're nothing but trouble.
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By Dr. Wilson Trivino on July 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Before a full house on May 10 at the Marcus Jewish Center of Atlanta, Gottfried candidly shared a life's work that has made his annoying pitched voice known by all.

An old kids joke goes: what do you have for breakfast? Answer: "Rubber Balls and Liquor." What do you have for lunch? Answer: "Rubber Balls and Liquor." Finally, what do you do to your girl friend? .... insert "book title" and pow a wicked punch line.

So it is not surprising when comedian Gilbert Gottfried titled his memoir Rubber Balls and Liquor which mirrors this funny man's life long pursuit of edgy humor.

Gottfried's latest entanglement with the media was the flack from his twitter comments about the Japanese Tsunami which led Georgia based AFLAC to fire him as the voice of the loveable AFLAC duck.

To his credit, Gottfried touched on the subject, even though he acknowledged that some legal issues made him mince his words. He" was surprised that what he said created such an up roar". He chucked that "the problem I had was that the media kept repeating that they were `comments' when they were actually meant as `jokes'". He meant no harm, maybe in poor taste but he is in the funny business.

When asked if he was funny because he lacked attention from his parents or bullied? Gottfried said "all of the above." "As a matter a fact, my parents corned me and took my lunch money", snickered the comedian.

Nothing was taboo as he covered a wide range of subjects from the Pope Benedict sounding like Dracula to the dangers of the return of the Nazis.
He spoke of gigs in which he was escorted out and how one time he was booked for an audience of one, for he told his attentive fan that he "would be right back" and not returning.
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