Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Night Jimmy Fallon Dissed Me...

It's been an interesting year. Overall, I wouldn't rank it in my top ten best years ever, but there've been a few shining moments and amusing times to keep it from being a complete disaster. The important thing in life is not to lose your sense of humor, because really, life is funny and absurd. But no matter what, the best source of humor is always yourself. If you can't laugh at yourself, I don't think you should feel that good about laughing at other people.

So imagine my surprise this week when I was on Amazon and happened to see a Listmania! book list with my book Queer Hauntings staring back at me under the title "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Now, I watch about as much television as a blind man, but I thought something had to be wrong. There's no way... right? So, I did a little searching and discovered Fallon's ongoing segment of his "Do Not Read List" of funny, weird, and downright strange books. And there it was: on August 29th, Jimmy held up my book.

Now, I know some people might be outraged; nasty emails must be flying around from enraged writers horrified to hear that someone made fun of their work. And there are other books, like this one, that probably could've used just as much (if not more) razzing. For me, it was basically shock... followed by a bit of chuckling as I watched. Why? Because he basically said all the things I've heard, all the jokes passed around, since I wrote the book! Even I had to admit that while writing it, there's a certain level of absurdity that comes along with writing something as bizarre and unexpected as a book about gay ghosts. In fact, I tried as much as I could not to write something too serious. After all, the topic just can't be taken that seriously!

It did help things fall into place for me, though. About a week ago, I was on Amazon and by book sales had suddenly skyrocketed. I just assumed it was with Halloween coming up. Now, I have a better idea. Although really, I didn't think that many people tuned in to Jimmy Fallon or any other late night shows. Let's face it: SNL was his peak. Still, his ratings have rebounded on Late Night... he even earned an Emmy nomination for it.

As they say, "all press is good press." Things like controversy, humor, and absurdity sell. How else could people like Sarah Palin sell any copies at all? And it wasn't even bad press. He never actually attacked the book; he just had a good laugh at the basic idea of it. So, I don't hate you, Jimmy Fallon. You might be on par with Conan O'Brien in the comedy department, but I don't hate you. I'm happy I could provide you with some good joke material just this one time. And in return, in those two short minutes, you probably provided the most publicity my book has received in the past two years.


Sheila Baum said...

Sorry Ken, but Fallon is hilarious! The clip about your book cracked me up. But, who cares if it sells 50,000 copies!

Ken Summers said...

I think 50,000 is asking a bit much. Even 100 might be aiming too high. LOL But if it suddenly flew off the shelves, I'd think my publisher would write to me asking what the hell happened!

Oh, I had a good laugh about it too. Of course, for me, it's old jokes. I've heard them for the past two years!

Erin Garlock said...

Congrats on the free weird publicity.

Jeanne said...

Wow! Great free publicity. I know I check out books on those late night talk shows -- even if they're dissed!

Ken Summers said...

Apparently, lots of other people do too! It did wonders to boost sales on Amazon. Still not a bestseller for sure, but it was good to get it noticed.