Patrick Borelli’s one-man show on book covers gets the Jimmy Fallon treatment

I hope Jimmy Fallon paid comedian Patrick Borelli to do part of Borelli’s one-man show about book covers. Oh, wait. He has paid Borelli? Borelli is on staff with Late Night with Jimmy Fallon now! Great news, then! Hooray for Patrick! Score! It’s still kind of weird, though, to see Fallon read and talk about some of these books just because I’ve already seen and heard Borelli talked about them in his show, “You Should Judge a Book By Its Cover.” 

I emailed Borelli overnight while the show was on, but since he has a day job writing for the show, he probably sleeps like a normal person now, and he got back to me today. He said he retired his bit and repackaged it for Fallon. He also told me:

“I’ve always been very fascinated with book covers. The covers I gravitate to are the ones at the opposite ends of the spectrum. I love the razor sharp, perfectly-realized, gorgeous covers from designers like Rodrigo Corral or John Gall. And swinging in the other direction, I love the perfectly awful cover that is not only poorly designed but is also, in general, conceptually flawed. The best bad book covers have multiple things going wrong, like an awkward title, a strange font, poor composition, bad color choice, terrible artwork‚Äîall the elements are off and they congeal in such a beautifully awful way. Listen to me prattle on about book covers. Just throw out all the preceding sentences and use this one: Bad book covers are funny.”

Here’s the clip from Fallon:

And here is the opening video to Borelli’s old one-man show, which also includes some commentary from book-design critics about “Cooking With Pooh.” Roll it!

I hope we can look forward to more Not Reading Lists in the future!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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