Look, Book: Simon Rich at BookCourt

Simon Rich

Welcome to another installment of Look, Book, our weekly (or so) column on the literary happenings of Brooklyn. 

What was it?

Simon Rich read from his sixth book and fourth story collection, Spoiled Brats, at BookCourt in Cobble Hill for his only event in New York City. Rich is a former SNL writer and frequent contributor to The New Yorker, and though recently 30, he looks hardly old enough to drink the wine at the event.

Who was there?

Likely several renowned humor writers hiding behind unfamous faces. Also, a person who may or may not have been Nathaniel Rich, the author’s older brother and author of the novels Odds Against Tomorrow and The Mayor’s Tongue. I wish I could be more certain, but folks get squirrelly at book events—particularly folks who might be recognized by a notorious book event reporter.

What was the best thing that happened?

The event was attended by Kate Gavino, the hand behind Last Night’s Reading, a Tumblr of hand-drawn author portraits and illustrated quotations from book events around the city.

Technically this happened after, or in secret, but those suspenders happened at BookCourt, take my word.

What was the best thing someone said?

The reading was brief, but afterward Rich took questions Chuck Klosterman style: for a long time, and on any subject. Qs ranged from “Where’s the worst place you’ve visited?” (Anywhere cold.) to “What do you think of the BFG movie?” (Really excited.)

Answering a question about his time writing for SNL, Rich talked about his writing partners, John Mulaney and Marika Sawyer, and ran down a list of some of the sketches he’d written that did or didn’t make it on the air. One was “Rocket Dog” (did air) and another was a sketch about The Baby-Sitters Club that included a 55-year-old Guatemalan nanny who had to join the club in order to break into the local babysitting pool (did not air). Another was a commercial parody he pitched every year, “against the advice of everyone,” which advertised life-preservers for drowning people. “The joke was that they were very expensive, but… what are you gonna do?”

Follow John Sherman on Twitter @_john_sherman. Got a tip for Look, Book? Email john@northsidemediagroup.com.

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