Seth Rogen’s Yearbook (Crown, 2021) is a collection of autobiographical stories that give readers insight into key moments in the comedian’s life, written from his humorous and refreshingly honest perspective. Although Rogen is still relatively young—forty at the time of this writing—it is clear that his life is full of memorable, entertaining, challenging, and enlightening experiences. Seth Rogen is not just a comedian, but an actor, writer, director, and producer best known for his roles in Superbad (2007), Pineapple Express (2008), This Is the End (2013), and The Interview (2014), among other films. He also is co-owner of Point Grey Pictures—an independent film and television production company—with his long-time creative collaborator Evan Goldberg. In this book, Rogen talks about growing up Jewish in Vancouver, his experiences with marijuana, shrooms, acid, and MDMA, his interactions with celebrities, his difficulties with the release of The Interview, and his struggles with white supremacy bullies on Twitter. This is a great read for Rogen fans who want to get a deeper understanding about the comedian’s journey to widespread success in the film industry, but it is also for those who aren’t necessarily familiar with Rogen, but are interested in knowing him. His writing is highly creative, intuitive, honest; his work is memoir-based rather than being autobiographical, which makes his voice more personal and the stories much more captivating and vivid.
In the chapter titled Sons of Commandment, Rogen talks about being an early teen, and the experience of attending lots of Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. His main obsession was that he wanted a girlfriend and felt that the only way he could get one was through slow dancing at these Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. However, being a natural-born comedian, Rogen had some humorous eccentricities. One of them involved his love for the Western genre:
The movie Tombstone came out in 1993, and while it wasn’t a massive box office or critical hit (The New York Times called it “morally ambiguous”), it made an impression on many, mostly due to an amazing performance by Val Kilmer that was publicly praised by President Bill Clinton, which is the single most nineties sentence one could write. As 1994 rolled around, a young me was smitten with not only Kilmer’s performance as Doc Holliday but the entire Western aesthetic. The result? A fuckload of vests.
I could not own enough vests. I’d have bought more torsos just to wear them all if it were an option. I loved me a vest. It packed me in, gave me shape, and, most important, kinda made me feel like a cowboy who was dying of tuberculosis, which Val Kilmer had somehow made seem super-awesome. I also wore a pocket watch, which in a truly impressive act of delusion, I convinced myself was cool as fuck.
Rogen may have felt like the reason he struggled to get any attention from girls was due to the fact that he was shy and not mature enough, but in truth, it really had to do with the fact that more than likely those girls failed to see and connect with the comedian within him. He would stand around at these Bar/Bat Mitzvahs “spinning my pocket watch like some sort of 1920s Mafia snitch” and feel inadequate. However, at one particular Bat Mitzvah, he noticed two other boys from his Bar Mitzvah class who weren’t even remotely interested in slow dancing with girls—Sammy Fogell and Evan Goldberg:
I watched as they scavenged for discarded glow sticks, cutting them open and pouring the glowing noxious goop that was inside all over their hands.
I went over.
ME: What are you guys doing?
EVAN: Pouring this glowing shit all over our hands and shit so they glow.
ME: Awesome. Did you think of splattering it all over your clothes? Then they’d glow, too.
Fogell and Evan looked at each other, then back at me.
FOGELL: Fantastic idea.
Actually, I thought, I’m one of these guys.
Readers learn a couple of things from this chapter: How Rogen and Goldberg met, how this interaction eventually led to the making of the film Superbad, which featured the friendship between Seth, Evan, and Fogell, which has now become a cult comedy classic, but also, that Rogen was naturally inclined toward comedy at a very young age and the way he expressed himself on a comedic level was quite edgy and eccentric for that age. This is really what makes Rogen such a gifted comedian/actor/writer, his natural ability to channel that comedic energy into creative work that is dark, offbeat, vulgar, and yet still very pure. It is clear from the early chapters in Yearbook that he learned to hone this skill at a young age.
Having established that, this review is going to focus on two major experiences in Rogen’s life that are less humorous. The first experience is recounted in the chapter called Hacks, and it deals with the controversial release of The Interview, which was directed by Rogen and Goldberg. Rogen explains where the idea to make the film originated:
It all started with a joke.
“These TV reporters, a lot of them interview the worst people in the world—bin Laden, Qaddafi. Wouldn’t it save everyone a lot of trouble if they just killed the person they were interviewing? Someone interviewed Hitler before the Holocaust….Just shoot him!”
However, Rogen goes further to explain how North Korea became the subject of the film: “It’s unique in the world: an isolated country whose leader has godlike status, its citizens shut off from any information that might lead them to think otherwise.” Rogen and Goldberg were fascinated by Kim Jong Un in particular because he was their age and they had similar interests: “American movies, televisions shows, basketball.” They were also interested in the fantastical stories about him: “They said he could golf a perfect game every time; that he had assassinated a unicorn by hand; that he never went to the bathroom, because he had no butthole.” Rogen and Goldberg also came to another realization:
Knowing everything we know about celebrities—how vain they are, how easily manipulated and impressed they are, how much they like OTHER famous people—we realized: If an American celebrity came to North Korea and met Kim Jong Un, they’d probably be shocked to find themselves really liking the guy.
Here is a brief summary of what happened after the first draft of the film script was completed: Sony immediately wanted to make the movie, which is rare in the film industry. The studio wanted James Franco to be cast in it and they also suggested that the fictional dictator be changed to Kim Jong Un. In June 2014, a trailer for the movie was released. Not long after that, a North Korean representative sent a letter to the UN asking the United States “authorities” to ban the production and distribution of the film and if they didn’t they would be “fully responsible for encouraging and sponsoring terrorism.” Rogen and Goldberg then began dealing with Michael Lynton, who was head of Sony at that time. They all met with a representative from the RAND Corporation, who not only informed them that it was obvious North Korea had hacked into Sony’s servers in order to view the film, he also gave them a report of what was most offensive about the movie: how accurate their depiction of Kim Jong Un was, actual imagery that was used of Kim Jong Il and Kim Sung Il, and the fact that Kim Jong Un’s head is blown up at the end of the film.
Over the next few months, minor changes were applied. One of them was removing the name “Sony” from the film since the company is Japanese in origin and the assumption was made that by doing this it would somehow soften political tension, images of Kim Jong Il and Kim Sung Il were slightly altered—but the most complicated change was the exploding head. At first, Lynton suggested that they not kill Kim Jong Un, but that was an impossible request seeing as how it was a major aspect of the plot. Eventually they toned down the dictator’s death so it didn’t look too obvious that his head was being exploded. Another adjustment Rogen and Goldberg made that Sony did not make was hiring cybersecurity to keep their networks secure.
During a Q and A with Rogen and Lynton in November 2014, North Korea hacked Sony’s servers and stole a treasure trove of information that was leaked to the press, who took that information and publicized it. This caused Lynton to have second thoughts about the head explosion in general, but it also caused him to pressure Rogen in a way that was inappropriate:
LYNTON: Look, we’re going to put together a version of the death where the whole thing is obscured by fire, so you don’t actually see anything. And also, because of the hack, the press now knows that there’s been some back and forth about this, so if you are asked about this, I need you to say you wanted to do it.
ME: But I don’t.
LYNTON: Yeah. But it’s best for the movie if you just say you do.
At first, Rogen reluctantly agreed to do this precisely because the head of Sony was pressuring him in regards to his film, but very quickly changed his mind, especially after a new version of the head explosion was all CGI flames and he was expected to approve it from a phone. He told Lynton, “I can’t lie. We either leave the shot how it is, which I already don’t love, or we can change it. But I’m not gonna pretend it was my idea, and if anyone asks me, I’m gonna be honest and say you made us change it.” Lynton was surprisingly okay with Rogen’s decision not to lie, and this is for one big reason: Sony was planning to pull the film, and they did, after there were threats of violence made against theaters that showed it. Here is the dialogue that unfolded between Rogen and Lynton after the announcement to pull the film:
ME: You specifically promised me you wouldn’t pull the movie. You knew all of this was going to happen.
LYNTON: Nobody could have known this was going to happen.
ME: Actually, the RAND Corporation, who you hired, knew this was going to happen, and they told us as much about five months ago. I was there! That’s why I hired cybersecurity, and I wasn’t hacked!
LYNTON: Look, right now you feel we’re making a mistake. But you’re alone in that feeling. Everyone I’ve talked to feels we’re making the right decision. Industry-wide, it’s being viewed as the wisest choice.
ME: I really think it’s wrong, and I’m gonna come out and say it, unless we work on a way to let the theaters that want to show the film be allowed to show it and we find a streaming platform to release it before the end of the year.
LYNTON: Again, I understand that right now you feel like we’re making a mistake and new actions need to be taken, but let’s just wait a day. Tomorrow, President Obama is giving his year-end press conference. Let’s see if this comes up, see what he says, and move forward from there.
At this point it should be clear to readers that Lynton made three big mistakes: 1. He did not hire cybersecurity to ensure that Sony servers remained safe after he was warned to do so by RAND, whom he hired to help troubleshoot the situation. 2. He pressured Rogen to lie about making changes to the head explosion scene (a change he never wanted to make in the first place), and 3. Pulling the film. Instead of own up to his mistakes, he chose to attempt to manipulate Rogen into going along with them: “Look, right now you feel we’re making a mistake. But you’re alone in that feeling….Industry-wide it’s being viewed as the wisest choice.” And not only that, he was leaving it up to President Obama (who he knew and was a big supporter of) to affirm his decision to bow to the will of North Korea, whose dictatorial leaders were getting exactly what they wanted, which was for the film to never be seen. Here is what Obama had to say about it:
We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States. Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they don’t like or news reports that they don’t like. Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended. So that’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about.
Once Lynton heard this response, he called Rogen see about getting the film shown in theaters that wanted to show it and getting it put up on a streaming platform. It took the President of the United States to criticize Sony in order for Lynton to ultimately do the right thing and show the film.
What is unfortunate about this situation is the fact that Michael Lynton, head of Sony, became the bigger problem than North Korea precisely because he had not safeguarded the company against hacking and was ultimately intimidated by the North Korean dictatorship. He became the bigger threat to Rogen because he pressured him to make changes to his film that he never would have made on his own. However, there is an even worse conclusion to this experience: the film was viewed negatively. After The Interview was released in December 2014, the negative reviews came rolling in and Rogen was personally affected by it (and rightly so):
The question of “Was it all worth it for this movie?” became a popular one. If critics had liked it more, would it have been more worthwhile? Because it didn’t align with their taste, it wasn’t? That conversation was frustrating, and frankly quite painful. But getting shitty reviews always hurts. I’m not sure if critics don’t realize how much their words can hurt someone or they just don’t care? Maybe they see brutal criticism as a painful but necessary part of our lives, like going to the dentist? All this is to say that it actually hurts.
The film was absolutely criticized because of aesthetic differences, although many of the reviewers also used this situation as an opportunity to eviscerate Rogen and Franco for their brand of vulgar, offbeat humor. Political satires are rarely understood by mainstream audiences and the problem with The Interview is that it was a humorous political satire created by successful young male actors/writers/directors who had mainstream appeal. This is really what upset most critics, the fact that Rogen, Goldberg, and Franco could pull off a satire, that they could take their style of humor and deepen it with political humor, and it caused these critics to exaggerate their style of humor in unattractive ways that caused a mainstream crowd to react negatively to it. This review encourages readers to seek out the negative reviews and see for themselves (Here is a good starting point: The Hollywood Reporter).
However, as Rogen points out, “…what hurt more than critics talking shit was other comedians talking shit.” As bad as the negative reviews were, the comedians who should’ve been showing support and solidarity for Rogen, Goldberg, and Franco decided to aid the media in the evisceration process. The most egregious example comes from an opening monologue joke told by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the 2015 Golden Globe Awards. Rogen talked about the event, but did not include the joke, so here it is in its entirety:
TINA: Tonight, we celebrate all the great television shows we know and love, as well as all the movies that North Korea was okay with.
AMY: That’s right, the biggest story in Hollywood this year was when North Korea threatened an attack if Sony Pictures released The Interview, forcing us all to pretend we wanted to see it.
TINA: North Korea referred to The Interview as ‘absolutely intolerable’ and ‘a wanton act of terror.’ Even more amazing: not the worst review the movie got.
AMY: So, who’s here tonight, Tina? So many great stars…
Not only is this a bad joke because it’s more of an insult than an actual joke, it was THE FIRST JOKE OF THE MONOLOGUE (after Fey referred to the audience as a “bunch of despicable, spoiled, minimally talented brats”). This was bad news for Rogen (and everyone involved with the film) because absolutely everyone who was interested in watching the Golden Globes was watching it in that moment. According to James Hibberd of Time.com, 19.3 million viewers tuned into the Golden Globes that year and the awards show generated 2.6 million tweets. So, their “joke” was basically the nail in the coffin for the film. Additionally, the YouTube video of the opening monologue has generated 6.1 million views. This means that the “joke” insulting The Interview has gone on to be seen by millions more viewers since it first aired in January 2015. What’s even worse: Fey and Poehler missed an opportunity to do good feminist work on one of the biggest platforms available to them (the Golden Globes) by uplifting the two main actresses in the film: Lizzy Caplan who played Agent Lacy and Diana Bang who played Sook-yin Park. Both characters played instrumental roles in the film: CIA Agent Lacy recruits entertainment talk show host Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapaport (Seth Rogen) to assassinate Kim Jong Un after they secure an interview with the dictator; Sook-yin Park is the chief propagandist for North Korea and love interest of Rapaport who is actually against the dictatorship and plays a pivotal role in the film by convincing Skylark and Rapaport not to kill Kim Jong Un, but rather, expose him on television to the entire population of North Korea (24 million people) and the rest of the world. Instead, Fey and Poehler chose to insult the film, thereby insulting not just Rogen, Goldberg, and Franco, but screenplay writer Dan Sterling, as well as the other actors and actresses in the film, including Randall Park, who was born to Korean immigrants in Los Angeles, and Diana Bang, who was also born to Korean immigrants in Vancouver. It goes without saying that those two actors in particular got lost in the mix during a controversy that was initially caused by North Korea, and no one seemed interested in pointing to them, their Korean roots, or their thoughts and feelings about the situation (here are a few exceptions: The Los Angeles Times, Cosmopolitan, Collider). Fey and Poehler could’ve highlighted these facts in a humorous way and empowered not only the film but the actors/actresses involved, but instead chose to be insulting.
What is even more interesting: President Obama gave more support to Rogen and Franco than their fellow comedians: “I think it says something about North Korea that they decided to have the state mount an all-out assault on a movie studio because of a satirical movie….I love Seth and James, but the notion that that was a threat to them, I think gives you some sense of the kind of regime we’re talking about here.” According to Rogen, the Fey/Poehler “joke” was “particularly painful, not only because I look up to them so much but because I knew they were right and that the movie itself wasn’t as good as it could have been.” This is where Rogen’s perspective may be misplaced because he was relying on other comedians to affirm the film in order to feel like it was a success, and because he did not get that validation from comedians like Fey and Poehler, he had difficulty seeing that The Interview was actually not just a good film but a good political satire, which is something Fey and Poehler should have picked up on since they spent a good portion of their careers telling political jokes on SNL. It is absolutely accurate to say that The Interview is on par with other Rogen/Goldberg films. It is in the same vein of humor, style, and taste, but here, it made a good leap into political satire, and it is disappointing that comedians like Fey and Poehler, who should’ve been on Rogen’s side, should’ve noticed the satirical elements of the film, chose to help bury it rather than uplift it. Their only goal at the Golden Globes (which they hosted three years in a row from 2013-2015) was to tell ten minutes of irritating jokes to a room full of mostly film and television actors/actresses who pretended to like hearing them. It is interesting that they would use a film and television awards show to insult a film that literally deals with the problematic nature of celebrity culture. Fey and Poehler also missed an opportunity to address that aspect of the film in humorous ways, and therefore, are ultimately the biggest killers of The Interview rather than North Korea, Michael Lynton, or the critics, because they bashed a film (in front of millions of people) that they should’ve been comedically-inclined to support.
Another experience Rogen dealt involves a difficult discourse with the co-founder and former CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey. In the chapter titled “Verification” Rogen starts off with a joke about why people hate Jews:
I think one of the reasons people hate Jews is because we pass for non-Jews. We’re interlopers. Shhh…we could be anywhere. And we might look like white Christians, but we don’t believe what they believe, which just freaks the fuck out of people. There’s almost an implicit deception at play. People feel tricked by Jews. And people only like being tricked by magicians and wizards, who, not coincidentally, are very likely visually based on Jews.
After the paragraph, he includes a picture of a wizard and a Hassidic Jew standing next to each other and the resemblance is humorously similar. However, the chapter shifts toward the serious issue of anti-Semitism. Rogen began experiencing harassment from white supremacists on Twitter and decided to DM Dorsey to discuss the issue. Dorsey shrugged him off, so Rogen decided to tweet about it. As a result, Dorsey called him on the phone, wherein he explained to Rogen how Twitter verification works (the process of getting the blue check mark). At first he just gave verifications out to his friends, then it expanded after a natural disaster; government institutions started getting verified to offset fraudulence. However, what is most important to know about verification is that if a user has the blue check mark, it amplifies that person’s message. Since Rogen had Dorsey on the phone, he decided to confront him about President Trump’s abusive and harmful tweets. Here’s the conversation that took place between them:
ME (TRYING TO SOUND SMART): You’re aware that, almost weekly, the president is in blatant violation of your terms of service with regard to abusive behavior, threats, and harassment, and that kinda tells everyone that you don’t care about your own terms of service. It seems like you’re choosing what to enforce and not enforce, and right now you’re not enforcing very much regarding white supremacy.
JACK: Yeah. I really hear that. We have to rework the verification process from the ground up.
ME: When do you plan on doing that?
JACK: Umm…yeah…We don’t know right now. First and foremost, I think our communication is failing us.
ME: I kinda think what you’re communicating is failing you.
JACK: Well, first and foremost, we’re dedicated to promoting healthy conversation.
ME: Huh? What?
JACK: Healthy conversation. A healthy dialogue. Conversation…
ME: How do you promote healthy conversation?
JACK: We’re working on that.
It is interesting to note that Dorsey is endorsing the opposite of healthy dialogue by not addressing Rogen’s concern about President Trump being in violation of Twitter’s terms of service regarding abuse and harassment or the problem of white supremacy being allowed to flourish unchecked on the social media platform. Here is the next part of the conversation:
ME: Okay…well, in the meantime, do you plan on de-verifying some white supremacists? Just so their message isn’t amplified? I’d imagine it’s easy to monitor their tweets to see if they’re abusive or harmful.
JACK: We don’t have the resources to do this.
JACK: We really just don’t have the resources to do that at this time.
ME (TRYING NOT TO CONDESCEND TO A GUY WHO CREATED A BILLION-DOLLAR COMPANY): Uh…well, I run a small company, and even I know that “I don’t have enough employees to make sure my highly profitable platform is operating in a way that won’t get people murdered and Nazis won’t come into power” is not a great excuse. I mean…how about you hire more people? Like a “No Nazis” group?
JACK: We’re looking into that.
Here, in this part of the conversation, Rogen tells Dorsey exactly how to solve the white supremacy issue on Twitter: de-verify white supremacists. When Dorsey claims he doesn’t have enough employees to do this, Rogen suggests another solution: hire more people. This is an issue that seems like it has a very basic solution and that’s because it does. Readers should understand that Rogen is having to use the memoir-medium to communicate a real-life conversation he had with the CEO of Twitter who was unable to come to this basic truth and the reason why will be revealed in the last part of the conversation:
ME: I mean, this isn’t some nebulous, abstract problem. Honestly, in less time than it’s taking for you to talk to me, you could just ban or at least de-verify, like, fifteen dangerous white-supremacist accounts. That could save people’s lives. I’ll tell you who they are right now while we’re on the phone!
JACK: But remember, Seth…
I awaited his amazing founder wisdom.
JACK: Twitter is a mirror of society.
Dorsey’s response is not only mind-blowing, but strangely accurate. Twitter is a mirror of society: white supremacy constantly goes unchecked by those who have the power to address it and eradicate it, not just with immediate action, but with the understanding that white supremacy is systemic. If it is all tangled up in the social/political climate of contemporary society, the absolute same is true for social media platforms like Twitter. However, Rogen takes Dorsey’s logic even further: “You might want to think that, but like any creation, Twitter is an expression and representation of its creator…So, Twitter is a mirror of you. When people are saying Twitter is a cesspool—that’s you.” Rogen is right to confront Dorsey with the brutal truth: his failure to address and handle white supremacy is personal in nature. This is not to say that Dorsey himself is a white supremacist, but what it does suggest is that people, whether they be CEOs, politicians, comedians, or average citizens, have a responsibility to address how they contribute to racism, sexism, and heterosexual violence or allow it to exist in their personal lives. Dorsey contributed to white supremacy by doing nothing about it, more than likely because, as Rogen brilliantly pointed out, he is the creator of a social media platform that mirrors what he sees and experiences in the world. If he sees that white supremacy is going unchecked, he feels no responsibility to check it in his personal or professional life, therefore, he perpetuates a system that is riddled with racism and inequality.
Rogen calls out a few white supremacists in his book: “Ron Paul tweeted a violently anti-Semitic cartoon, and a verified user named “Roosh” was spreading the idea that all mass shootings were perpetuated by Jews. Another user was offering to pay the legal fees of anyone who assaulted me….” He also pointed out that white supremacists started attacking him after he confronted Ben Carson who made the claim that “Jews could have protected themselves better during the Holocaust if they’d had easier access to guns.” This erroneous claim that the problem of genocide isn’t about racism, but the lack of guns in society further points to Dorsey’s attitude toward white supremacy: it is a thing that exists, but should never be confronted. Rogen talks about the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburg in 2018 as being the culmination of misinformation that spread (and continues to spread) across Twitter (he was in Pittsburg when the shooting occurred). Rogen is correct, but his thought needs to be taken further. The reason white supremacy is hard for people like Dorsey to confront is because they do not understand the basic tenet of free speech: “Don’t yell fire in a movie theater.” Freedom of speech does not apply to purposely misleading people and creating potentially dangerous situations. According to Rogen, the shooter “thought Jews were facilitating the entrance of terrorists into the country—an idea that’s perpetuated by countless verified Twitter accounts, right-wing news outlets, and GOP politicians and without Jack doing anything to stop the spread of these lies, all he was telling people was that they were NOT lies.” Rogen is right; Dorsey’s failure to deal with white supremacy contributes to acts of violence (like the Tree of Life shooting), but it also creates a gray area in regards to free speech and this is because he fails to understand what freedom of speech actually means. If he understood what it meant, he might have been more proactive in shutting down hate speech that harms society in devastating ways.
Rogen also points to the fact that Roosh (who, at the time of his writing, was still verified on Twitter) made the claim that “Jews committed the Tree of Life shooting themselves to curry political favor.” At the time of this review being written, Roosh is still verified. On November 15, 2022, he posted a screenshot (not a link) on Twitter of an article written in The Atlantic by staff writer Anne Applebaum titled “The Russian Empire Must Die.” Along with the screenshot, he wrote “Jews in the West like Anne Applebaum hate Russia and want to see it destroyed to remove the biggest remaining restraint to their desire for unchecked global hegemony.” It is obvious that this tweet is anti-Semitic and factually wrong. Additionally, because he only posted a screenshot, in order to read what the article actually talks about, viewers would have to search for the article themselves, which they more than likely won’t do. The article is about a small, but well-regarded school called the Moscow School of Civic Education, which opened in 1992, operated out of the apartment of co-founders Lena Nemirovskaya and Yuri Senokosov, and was forced to shut down in 2021 due to negative press about it in the Russian media. The co-founders were forced to move to Latvia where they continue to run seminars for exiles. The broader concern of the article is about how independent Russian thinkers (who have become either exiles or political prisoners) are looking for ways to end the Russian Empire so that it can become a legitimate country. It has absolutely nothing to do with Jews wanting Russia to collapse so they can gain more power on a global level. Rogen should not have to spend a chapter of his book talking about how he has struggled to get Dorsey to understand why white supremacy and anti-Semitism should be dealt with in tangible ways and that the easiest way to do it is to de-verify white supremacists. But that’s even too much to ask. It took Trump supporters attacking the Capitol on January 6, 2021 for him to finally ban Trump from Twitter. As Rogen pointed out, as soon as Trump was in violation of Twitter’s terms of service, he should’ve been banned. It makes no difference that he was the President of the United States; he was spreading hate speech. But as long as hate speech is still seen incorrectly as an aspect of free speech, the problem of unchecked white supremacy on social media, and in the larger society, will continue.
Although this review discussed some of the more serious aspects of Yearbook, overall it is an incredibly funny and insightful book. Rogen is utterly honest, and through his writing, shows further proof of why he has been one of the most important comedians in contemporary American society for the last fifteen years. He is forthright, vulgar, incredibly likeable, and stands up for himself in admirable ways. To conclude, here is a personal request he makes regarding Bob Dylan and a harmonica at the end of the chapter titled Rhymin’ and Stealin’:
POSTSCRIPT: A few years ago, a guy came up to me on the street and was like, “Oh man, a while back I was at the Grammys with my buddy who looks like you! You were there, too! You introduced Eminem! Anyway, at the end of the night a security guard came up to my buddy and handed him a harmonica and said ‘Bob’s a big fan of yours.’”
I’m only including this story on the off chance that the person who got the harmonica is reading this book. PLEASE GIVE ME THAT SHIT! You’ve had a good run with it! Let me have it. I’ll give you something else cool. I’ll make you four vases. Thanks.
November 28, 2022