The five main characters from the FX show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia—Charlie, Mac, Dennis, Sweet Dee and Frank—are some of the worst people ever portrayed in a TV series.
Each is delusional and profoundly narcissistic, which serves each character well in the service of their various schemes (except for the illiterate Charlie, who is just sort of a beautiful mystery), and yet somehow, even within the context of a group of mean alcoholics running a crappy bar in nondescript industrial Philly, they are remarkably unsuccessful people. Which makes their new self-help book, “The 7 Secrets of Awakening the Highly Effective Four-Hour Giant, Today,” that much more intriguing.
Suffice to say that fans of the show will like the book. I did. But my purpose here isn’t to review The Gang’s foray into the written word. (Or drawn “word,” in Charlie’s case. Bless him). I’m here to relay the nuggets of decent advice I somehow did find in those pages. Here they are:
“When considering marriage, the first thing you need to do is create a framework for thinking about whether or not you should actually do it. The first question you have to ask yourself is “Am I totally high on crack?” If the answer is no, then the next question you should ask yourself is “Why, if I’m not totally high on crack, am I even thinking about getting married?” –Dennis
“If you wanna get by in this life, you better get yourself a good sidekick.” –Frank
Butch Cassidy knew this. So did Batman. So does everyone who gets elected President of the United States. Sidekicks are cool.
“Friends come in all shapes and sizes. Mostly they’re people-sized, but not always. Sometimes friends are shaped like other things. Like a bird with teeth, or a jar of glue, or a block of cheddar.” –Charlie
While I in no way recommend making friends with a jar of glue, I like this one because of the message of inclusion. Friendships come in odd forms and sometimes from unlikely places. Unlikely friends can be some of the best friends of all.
“As any exceptional actor will tell you, the most important element of acting is honesty. If you can fake that, you’re golden.” –Sweet Dee
An excellent piece of classic acting advice. Unfortunately, it honestly definitely did not come from Sweet Dee. Maybe George Burns, maybe somewhere else.
“If you steal and you don’t get caught, you don’t have to go to jail.” –Frank
I’m assuming you don’t need me to spell this one out for you. Pretty straightforward.
“Let’s face the facts: There are two kinds of people in this world: those who sweat the small stuff, and those who have the balls not to.”-Dennis
Keeping focused on the big picture and not getting bogged down in petty things takes chutzpah. Or courage. Or audacity. Or "balls,” I guess, if you’re Dennis.
“Basically, less evolved dudes tend to get weirded out if they can tell you’re wearing mascara. Go easy.” – Mac
All things in moderation. Plus there's an implicit reminder not to be a judgmental dolt.
“A shush is the social equivalent of a slap in the face.” –Dennis
You know it, I know it, so just, if you’re going to do it, be prepared for the repercussions.
“It is illegal to keep a hummingbird as a pet in the United States of America, and any attempt to do so may be punishable by fines, imprisonment, death, or all of the above. If you have hummingbirds in your house, you should put this book down and go get rid of that bird immediately. Or suffer the consequences of the law.” –Charlie
That’s just good solid advice right there. And mostly true, actually.
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