British comedian Steve Coogan performed his first ever New Zealand gig in Christchurch last night to a very receptive crowd. Certainly from where I was sitting there was a lot of laughing, guffawing and giggling to be heard and much rapturous applause at the end.
Coogan portrayed several characters during his performance but by far the most successful was his Alan Partridge persona. To be sure, nobody rocks a bottle green double-breasted blazer with brass buttons quite the way he does. Who else would? During this part of the show Alan presents his own special brand of “self-help” seminar entitled “Alan Partridge will rock you into FORWARD SOLUTIONS” and who wouldn’t want guidance in their life from someone as grounded and wise as Alan Partridge? Well, most people probably. If you’re willing to follow his advice then you really do need help.
All of which reminded me that the self-help industry is pretty good subject matter for mickey taking what with its often overblown rhetoric and enormous popularity. If you are looking for some reading material that turns the self-help genre on its head then try the following –
- The Battersea Park Road to enlightenment – In which author Isabel Losada takes a humorous look at her search for enlightenment via such methods as colonic irrigation…yay!
- The self-destruction handbook : 8 simple steps to an unhealthier you – A lot of people have self-destructive tendencies but are you realising your full potential in this area? This book tells you how.
- I moved your cheese – My favourite anti-self-help book ever which lampoons the much better known but not nearly as funny Who moved my cheese?.