Review: Impractical Jokes by Charlie Pickering

Title: Impractical Jokes

Author: Charlie Pickering

Published: Allen & Unwin (B Format)  June 2012

Synopsis: In 1986, Charlie Pickering’s dad, Ron, was pushed into a pool by his best friend, Richard. What followed was an all-out water pistol ambush in a five-star restaurant and then ten years of tit-for-tat payback and near fatal hijinx that eventually involved the State Emergency Service. When maturity is the first casualty of war, things tend to escalate.
Impractical Jokes is the true story of two seemingly responsible, middle-aged men who opted out of having a mid-life crisis and instead gave themselves permission to be silly. It is also the tale of how Charlie finally learnt something from his dad – that being grown-up shouldn’t mean losing your sense of humour – a lesson he lives to the full as one of Australia’s leading comedians.

Status: Read on June 10, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Allen & Unwin}

My Thoughts:

Stand up comedian and television host Charlie Pickering recounts the hilarious protracted war of practical jokes and oneupmanship between his father and his best friend, Richard, in the light and funny memoir. It began with a playful nudge that saw Charlie’s dad, Ronald, land fully dressed in the backyard swimming pool. Revenge was carefully plotted until the opportunity presented itself to soak Richard in a restaurant using water guns. The two grown men, one a respected pharmacist, the other a respected business man, both with an inflated sense of mischief continue the game for over twenty years with Charlie an amused witness or willing assistant.

Impractical Jokes is laugh out loud funny at times as the pranks escalate, occasionally backfiring. Each joke is planned in elaborate detail, often involving a cast of willing co-conspirators, and hoarded until just the right time for maximum impact. Yet this book is also about the love Charlie has for his family, and his admiration in particular for his father who supported Charlie, even when he threw in his law career to become a stand up comedian. His father, as Charlie writes, is “the guy who gave me most what I needed to make it in the world”.

Impractical Jokes is a quick and easy read, funny, warm and widely appealing. It would make a great father’s day gift – particularly if your father is prone to wearing loud ties and telling bad Dad jokes.

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