Once upon a time, I use to do stand-up comedy. I would get up a stage, in front of a room of strangers, with a bright spotlight shining on me, as I’d tell jokes for money. I know, it was a strange way to make money. I performed in the Quad Cities, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Chicago and St. Louis. I did this for five years and had a lot of fun doing it.
(What I looked like back then, when I performed comedy.)
It is kinda hard to describe my performance. It was a little bit of everything. I did prop jokes. I’d put a pot on my head and say, “I’m a pothead.”
I performed a song I wrote called “Joan You Make Me Moan,” which was broadcast about a dozen times on the Dwyer & Michaels show on 97X.
I guess you had to be there, to appreciate.
Eventually, I gave up stand-up comedy to write books.
I hope, you the reader will think I made the right decision.
(Another happy reader of LAUGHING IN THE DARK)
The reviews for LAUGHING IN THE DARK rolling in and the laughter keeps ’em rolling in the aisles:
Review by Don D’Ammassa
“The marriage of horror and humor has usually proven to be an uneasy one, but sometimes a combination of thrills and chuckles works. Author Michael McCarty demonstrates his talent for arranging successful combinations in the majority of these stories, a blend of new and reprint, mostly quite short. There are two dozen stories here in about 150 pages. Some of the titles hint at the jokes – “The Pet Exorcist Files,” “Stephen King and the Pit Bull from Hell,” and “Wile E. Wanker and the Death by Chocolate Manufacturing Plant.: Roald Dahl, Stephen King, William Peter Blatty, W.W. Jacobs, and Mary Shelley are a few of the writers who provide inspiration for these tales. They’ll tickle your funny bone rather than rip it out of your flesh, metaphorically speaking. 9/29/14”
Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
“Many of us have read horror anthologies from authors who are already established or those who are new to the genre. So for me at least it is very rare to read a series of short horror stories written by a former stand-up comedian.
The front cover does a lot to introduce Michael McCarty and his stories of humour, horror and the very voodoo inspired Professor LaGungo. As the picture, is a comedian doing his usual stand-up routine in front of an audience, he doesn’t look like an ordinary comedian – he is a skeleton smiling in front of an uneasy audience.
Damnation Books publish many anthologies including Mark McCarty’s A Hell of a Job and Partners in Slime which he co-wrote with Mark McLaughlin. In Laughing in the Dark, Michael McCarty co-writes some of the stories with various comic collaborators; his wife Cindy, Jody R. LaGreca, Sandy DeLuca and Mark McLaughlin. As Laughing in the Dark is the first anthology by Damnation Books that I have read, I have no other comparison book to base this one on, but the stories are bite-sized and are about themes that run through the horror genre, vampires, zombies, possessed pets, killer kittens, gator guys and even seven foot dancing cockroaches.
In Stephen King and The Pit Bull from Hell this story has a wannabe writer trying to emulate Stephen King’s life, thinking he can be as successful as him if he does. This is one example of how McCarty can take an idea and turn it into a funny story; the protagonist goes through hell trying to live up to King’s pedigree as a writer with disastrous consequences. McCarty takes standard horror ideas and adds his own flair to the characters and situations he puts them in. when a character interviews some of the best names in horror history, writers, devil worshippers, even Satan himself, it’s intended to end with a shocking, but humorous ending.”
Kindle & Trade paperback) http://www.amazon.com/Laughing-Dark-Michael-McCarty/dp/1629291269/ref=la_B001JS0L06_sp-atf_image_