Seth Rogen

By – October 25, 2021

It’s fair to say that Seth Rogen’s mem­oir radi­ates off shelves. It’s hard to look away from its bright blue pack­age with red-aqua text that vibrates from its sur­face. Take off the dust jack­et and there’s anoth­er lay­er — a bub­blegum pink cov­er with a grid of illus­tra­tions. They’re the char­ac­ters of an excit­ing life that you’ve yet to be intro­duced to. This is Seth Rogen’s Year­book.

Year­book does have every­thing you’d expect from an actor and writer who recent­ly launched his own weed-focused lifestyle brand. This book is noth­ing short of a bud­dy telling you the fun­ni­est sto­ries. Which is why — A+ aes­thet­ics aside — the best way to con­sume Year­book is in audio­book form. It’s best to hear these tales from the man him­self. And his par­ents. And famous friends like Nick Kroll, Simon Hel­berg, Jason Segel, and more. An audi­ble descrip­tion boasts to fea­ture over eighty voic­es, which sounds like a per­fect­ly chaot­ic for­mat for the ride Rogen brings his audi­ence on.

Each tale, shroom trip, and deba­cle is made hilar­i­ous by the cast of char­ac­ters teased on the book’s cov­er. Friends from grow­ing up in Van­cou­ver, coun­selors from Jew­ish sum­mer camp, Nicholas Cage, and the Mohel who asked four­teen-year-old Rogen to ghost write jokes for him. Wait, that last one wasn’t on your Seth Rogen mem­oir bin­go card? Mine either.

Of course, there are lots of anec­dotes from Rogen’s famous come­dies like Super­bad and This is the End. Fans will also be delight­ed to final­ly get the sto­ry behind that infa­mous movie, The Inter­view, or rather, that time Seth and his cre­ative part­ner Evan made a movie that caused North Korea to threat­en the Unit­ed States. Oba­ma even got involved. It was a whole thing.

If you came to this book look­ing for sto­ries that are famil­iar, weed-laced, and have a healthy dose of raunch­i­ness, that’s def­i­nite­ly what you get. Year­book is the chance of a life­time to get a front row seat to the shenani­gans of Seth Rogen in all his forms.

Emi­ly Mari­noff is a cul­ture writer and audio pro­duc­er. Her writ­ing has appeared in Roads & King­doms and Buz­zfeed, and she cur­rent­ly makes pod­casts at iHeart­Media. She is espe­cial­ly enthu­si­as­tic about bread making. 

Discussion Questions

Seth Rogen, an unapolo­getic Jew, knows how to tell a sto­ry. In his mem­oir Year­book, the actor-pro­duc­er-direc­tor dis­cuss­es his fam­i­ly and for­ma­tive years, includ­ing his youth­ful and not-so-youth­ful drug foibles, his rela­tion­ship with com­e­dy and fame, and his reac­tions to anti­semitism. Rogen does not pre­tend to be a lit­er­ary styl­ist, but a large part of what makes his book so engag­ing is the con­ver­sa­tion­al, unfil­tered way he tells his sto­ries, which loose­ly fol­low the nar­ra­tive arc of his life. It’s not all light insid­er sto­ry­telling; in one chap­ter, Rogen describes con­fronting Twit­ter founder Jack Dorsey about the platform’s ele­va­tion of right-wing anti­se­mit­ic groups and indi­vid­u­als, which helped foment the poi­so­nous atmos­phere lead­ing to the Jan­u­ary 6, 2020, insur­rec­tion at the U.S. Capi­tol. The back-and-forth between the two is fas­ci­nat­ing, if ulti­mate­ly frus­trat­ing. Set­tle into your arm­chair, pick up this book, and get ready to laugh. And groan.