If you like comedy but don’t know Ophira Eisenberg’s name yet, get ready. It’s a name that many people get wrong. She appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson recently and said sometimes people call her “Oprah Something-Jewish.”
Eisenberg is a comedian, storyteller, frequent host of storytelling phenom The Moth, and a regular talking head on VH-1 and E! Entertainment. She’s appeared on Comedy Central and she’s the host of NPR’s weekly trivia show Ask Me Another.
Her latest endeavor is the memoir, Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way To Monogamy. Mostly thanks to Sarah Jessica Parker and company, “girly”, “sexy” tell-alls are all the rage (ugh, will they ever go away?), and though I’ve been a fan of Eisenberg’s for a long time, witness to her astounding ability to straddle the line between super-smart joke-slinger to poignant and hilarious storyteller – a feat that few comedians are able to achieve – I feared that Screw Everyone would be another gimmicky stab at formulaic, chick-lit-esque essays.
But, no. Canadian-born Eisenberg comes through with the smart insight that makes her such a compelling performer. And it’s not just for the ladies. Men have come out of the closet (so to speak) as Screw Everyone fans, too. “I like men,” Eisenberg writes. “I never considered them to be ‘the enemy’ or an unsolved mystery to be analyzed to death. I had too many other things to worry about. I didn’t relate to any of the classic dating rules, either. If you believe you can master your romantic fate by playing games, like waiting three days to call someone or pretending to be busy on a Friday night when you’re really just watching Prime Suspect with an overpriced bottle of Chardonnay, then fantastic. But I think the only person you’re fooling is yourself.”
Amid the stories of testing the hormonal waters in grade school, to bouncing from futon to futon in adulthood, mostly in an effort to avoid commitment, Eisenberg lets us in on the trials and tribulations of breaking into the comedy scene. It’s not only a chronicle of saying ‘yes’ to every sex-related opportunity, but to every potential career-building offer as well. She is respectful enough of her readers (and herself) to explore the catalysts for, and deeper thought processes behind, her decision-making.
Screw Everyone is entertaining in a way that few other first-person “sexploits” books are. It’s been optioned for a movie, which is pretty cool, but I say, get it before Hollywood does.