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Review: Through Tick & Tinn: The True Story Of The Greatest Unknown Comedy Team Ever Known by Josh Hickman


Say “Martin & Lewis,” they’ll say, “A phenomenon!” Say “Rowan & Martin,” they’ll say, “Laugh-In!” Say “Tick & Tinn,” they’ll say, “You mean the tailors?” Finally, Josh Hickman bravely attempts to right a tragic comedic travesty which has persisted in the annals of entertainment for decades longer than it should have. Unmercifully digging through personal interviews, yellowed press clippings, grainy videotapes, scratchy kinescopes, scratchier comedy albums, and reams of questionable anecdotes, Mr. Hickman has managed to do the unthinkable—to piece together the most coherent portrait possible of the life of one of the last great comedy teams of the era. 

Through rifts, marriages, divorces, and an infamous accusation of joke-theft, Jerry Tick and Larry Tinn persevered undaunted, spreading laughter through memorable challenges such as “The Pope Lick Monster” controversy, Jerry’s comedy cult involvement, and facing on live television Hobarth Goetz, “The Man Who Couldn’t Laugh.” (less)


I'm not the biggest comedy fan but I do love a good laugh. I had no idea who Tick & Tinn were going into the book, so this was an interesting experience reading about them. They are definitely characters from a different time that at first, I was sort of offended and not at all humored by their experiences. Then, like everyone has a story, I started to see them through a different lens. I don't know what happened but as the book went on, they started to grow on me and I even chuckled here or there.

They definitely went through the grind. I don't recall how the author became interested in writing about them but they both came from some challenging pasts and like other comics, turned tragedy into laughs. Much of their experiences seem a little too good to be true but considering Jerry, anything was possible. They didn't have the sort of careers as megastars of their time but did good as a duo generating interest with signature skits. I really think the author did a great job for the limited information available to give us a glimpse into who they were from his perspective. Like a I said, at first I didn't like them but they grew on me as the book went on but was bummed that there wasn't any information that I could find to see them. Even though the author gives us a great visually on them, places and event, it would've been nice to see pictures to match the face with the words. I should note, I read the digital version so I could be wrong that the actual book might be different. Still, I'd love to see what they looked like.

Overall, it was an interesting experience going through their lives. I thought the book really dove well into their personalities and experiences to bring to life these comedians. If you love comedians and enjoy that era of that sort of comedy, this might be one that you may be interested in checking. 

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