Assigned Reading: The Comedian Reading List


There are a million random reading lists out there, but few that are grouped together based on the type of person doling out the recommendations (ergo our lit-hipster reading list from last month). For this new installment we’ve decided to go in a different direction, and collected the suggested reading of a few of our favorite comedians. (The result is a lot less funny than you might think.) Most of the books here aren’t new, but they are completely awesome. Leave a comment if you were as shocked by what’s on Tina Fey’s bedside table as we were.

Alec Balwin (30 Rock)

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

“In some important ways, characters that we have grown to love in this story are worse off at its end, but they are wiser, and the family still has each other. This is a great story about facing life’s difficulties and moving on, no matter what,” Baldwin said in a public announcement for World Book Day in 2009.

Fred Armisen (Saturday Night Live)

We know that Barack Obama is a fan of Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, but what does the man who plays him on SNL opt to curl up with (you know, other than Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss)? In his library:

The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer Get in the Van, Henry Rollins The Unthinkable, Amanda Ripley

Read his explanations for each recommendation at the New York Post.

Jane Lynch (Glee)

For someone who plays such a jock on TV, Lynch’s list is more cerebral than we would imagine.

The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra Living Room, Rachel Sherman The Intellectual Devotional Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class, David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell

Read her explanations for each recommendation at the New York Post.

Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report)

While Colbert has said in the past that he doesn’t trust books because “they’re all fact, no heart,” he made an exception for The Sheriff of Yrnameer by Michael Rubens. His critical take: “A science fiction book your grandmother will love – if she’s a lustful, violent lady.” We’re intrigued.

Find a list of books featured on the current season of The Colbert Report here.

Tina Fey (30 Rock)

According to Maureen Dowd’s January 2009 Vanity Fair profile of the comedic darling, “the 669-page autobiography of Leni Riefenstahl — chronicling her time as Hitler’s favorite filmmaker and the creation of the propaganda movie Triumph of the Will — is one of Fey’s favorite (cautionary) books.” Yowza. What would Liz Lemon say?