Hotel California

June 6, 2021

Actor-writer Seth Rogen recalls tales from his life – from his childhood in Vancouver to his career in Hollywood – in his first book.

Following in the footsteps of many comedians before him, Seth Rogen has now penned a humorous collection of essays including recollections from his past in his memoir.

Book: Yearbook

Author: Seth Rogen

Following in the footsteps of many comedians before him, Seth Rogen too has now penned a humorous collection of essays. The Canadian-American actor shares recollections from his past in Yearbook, an amusing memoir that proves that i) Rogen’s life has been quite … eventful, and ii) a disproportionate number of these events have had something to do with drugs. Because it’s Seth Rogen. What else would you expect!

Rogen humorously relays various experiences from his life and career, delivering stories with the same brand of wit that has come to define his cinematic work.

We read about his love of comedy and how he started doing stand-up when he was thirteen, primarily using his grandparents as his comedic inspiration. After the cancellation of both his Judd Apatow television series, Rogen’s career sees a turning point when he lands a writing job at Da Ali G Show. The actor touches upon a few of his subsequent film and television projects. Some – like the disaster that was The Green Hornet and the hullabaloo around The Interview – are dissected in some detail. Others – like Superbad and Pineapple Express – are only mentioned in passing. Along the way, we also find out about his weird (and not entirely flattering) encounters with the likes of Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Nicholas Cage, and Tom Cruise, who each prove to be peculiar in their own way.

He also recalls befriending Sammy Fogell and Evan Goldberg at a Bat Mitzvah; needing rescuing after a trail trek gone very wrong at summer camp; learning karate; meeting and dating his now-wife Lauren Miller; as well as various other incidents from his life. His Jewish identify often comes up, and he speaks out about the anti-Semitism that he has had to face.

A recurring topic that weaves into pretty much all aspects of the narrative is his love of weed. He talks about the negative stigma that surrounds a substance that he considers “additive to [his] journey”, and opens up about his many, many, (many!) experiences with drugs, from putting himself in life-threatening situations for the acquisition of weed to taking too many hallucinogenic mushrooms in Amsterdam and doing too much acid at Burning Man.

If you don’t want to read about “hungover, weed-brownie stupor[s]”, then this is not the book for you. And if you have a low tolerance for profanity, then you might want to give this effort a pass.

His memoir will not convert detractors who don’t enjoy Rogen’s brand of irreverent, stoner humour, but if you are a fan of his comedic style, then Yearbook will provide you with a couple of hours of amusing anecdotes from the life of an atypical Hollywood star. Rogen’s tone is warm and amicable, and Yearbook is a fairly quick read. Given how little he speaks about some of his projects though, the book leaves you with the sense that Rogen still has many more stories to tell.

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