Besides being born and dying, the most common human experience is being rejected–dissed, dumped on, or downsized–by lovers, parents, and employers. Now here’s a hilarious collection of rejection stories–and rejected works–by some of today’s most accomplished comic writers and performers (some world famous) sharing their pieces that were ripped to pieces and their own experiences of being handed their hats, heads, and hearts on a platter.
• Bob Witfong recalls being hired as a correspondent by The Daily Show but never called in to work; then being fired by mistake; then going on air and called “creepy” by bloggers; and then actually being fired.
• Meredith Hoffa has her pubescent crush destroyed by a new haircut modeled on Mary Stuart Masterson’s in Some Kind of Wonderful just when “the size of my face and body had caught up to the gigantic size of my teeth.”
• Joel Stein (celebrity interviewer for Time) receives an earful from Buddy Hackett who, before slamming down the phone, says: “You’re being kind of, what do you call it, I don’t know, those wise-guy papers? Tabloids.”
• Dave Hill offers his piece for a British “lad” mag in which he went undercover with a police vice squad, an article killed because he didn’t go “far enough” with a transvestite prostitute.
• Jackie Cohen fails her audition for the synagogue choir–at age five.
• And many more too painful to mention.
Featuring essays, jokes, sketches, cartoons, and articles passed on by venues as varied as Saturday Night Live and Reader’s Digest, Rejected is a priceless compilation that reminds us it’s a-okay to be a big loser.
Praise for Rejected
"In this comic anthology of short essays, rejection veteran Friedman (creator of popular New York reading series "The Rejection Show") brings together a double-handful of writers and comics (Michael Ian Black, Neal Pollack, Mandy Stadtmiller, David Rees, Tom McCaffrey, Kristen Schaal) to share rejected work and their thoughts on it. The criterion for entry is an unpublished piece that has been rejected at least once; rejecting parties range from the New Yorker to television's Saturday Night Live to the perfect boyfriend to the suddenly silent agent. Entries include sketches abandoned by members of TV's The State to spectacular bachelor party failures to small, triumphant moments of rejection rejection (for one actress, hope makes a comeback at the local Pottery Barn).The overall quality of the work is remarkable; Friedman allows his writers immense latitude in style and substance while keeping his theme front and center. Though a bit New York-centric, the collection has something for everyone, laughs on just about every page, and an ultimately uplifting spirit; if every rejection is an opportunity, then the chance to be a part of this fine, funny collaboration was probably worth it—especially for readers. --Publisher's Weekly
“No one has ever made being a reject this funny! If you read only one book this year about being a total loser, make it this one.”
–Lizz Winstead, founding member of Air America Radio and co-creator of The Daily Show
“This book shows that we are truly living in bizarro world where the rejected should be the accepted and the accepted should be . . . anyway, this is an awesome and wonderfully comedic book.”
–Jonathan Ames, author of The Alcoholic
“I’d like to thank the contributors for their humiliation, pain and suffering, because it sure makes for a funny book.”
–A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically