I’ve been a Brad Garrett fan since his Raymond days. Since that show ended, he’s been doing quite a bit. He recently wrote his first book, When the Balls Drop. Part memoir, part anecdote about middle age. I haven’t quite reached middle age yet (or did I?? I did just turn 40!), but laughed as he described parenting teenagers, living through divorce, and taking care of aging parents. What I didn’t know about him as that he spent years (before his role as Raymond’s older brother Robert) as a stand-up comic. He spent a few years in Las Vegas, opening for legendary acts like Sinatra, Bill Cosby, and Sammy Davis Jr.
His take on life and aging are refreshing – he has no real advice for anyone. He’s incredibly honest in this collection of essays. Honest and hilarious. His only advice is to just go for it – do what you want to do, life is just too short! He’s ony 53 after all, and has a lot more living to do.
“The time is now, my high-cholesterol friend. This is true no matter what age you are, but absorb it with more haste if you’re getting up three times a night to pee. ‘Been there, done that’ is your new mantra and is permission to follow your desires – or not. Both are fine. If you want to take that AbBuster you bought six years ago (and the Total Gym you bought two years before that, and the Buns of Steel tapes you got in 1991) and have a bonfire in the backyard, you go for it. You want to take up two parking spaces because your blood thinner is off-kilter and things look fuzzy/ Be my guest. You want to cock-block your acid reflux and take some preemptive antacids prior to your visit to the Korean barbecue? Rock the baby backs, you pathetic and fearless old fart, because the world is your ointment.”
He also writes about some regrets. He admits that he was never a good husband, though one of his proudest achievements is being a good father. His own parents weren’t together for very long, and he argues they didn’t set a very good example. That’s understandable, as a child of divorce I certainly relate to not having a good example of a great marriage. At his age, he realizes too that this isn’t an excuse for his bad behavior. He doesn’t necessarily apologize either, though I don’t think he needs to.
I really loved reading this book, and laughed out loud several times. He is sarcastic and realistic, and I love that. Don’t look to him for advice, because he has none. What he has instead is anecdotes, which are comforting. He’s not just Robert, he’s Brad, who is older and funnier.