Behind the Laughter: A Comedian’s Tale of Tragedy and Hope

HI everyone! I have a very inspirational memoir to tell you about today. Behind the Laughter: A Comedian’s Tale of Tragedy and Hope by Anthony Griffith,Brigitte Travis-Griffin with Mark Caro.

*Disclosure: I received this book for free as part of The Book Look Bloggers book review program. I am not required to write a positive review, all opinions are my own.

When I saw the title and name, I immediately thought, I liked Andy Griffith as Opie’s Dad on The Andy Griffith Show. When I got the book, I realized I had the wrong guy. Anthony Griffith is also a comedian and has been for over 30 years. Many have not heard of him because he is a clean comic and it seems like all the foul-mouthed ones get famous.

He grew up on the South Side of Chicago and worked hard at his craft. He was finally able to achieve his dream of appearing on The Tonight Show. He did this more than once and it led to several other gigs including acting in films. Sadly, as his career was reaching a high, his personal life was at an all time low.

He was married to the love of his life, Brigitte and still is to this day. She co-wrote this book and they take turns telling their story. Their baby is born very sick and died of cancer at age three. He never told anyone about this tragedy as he didn’t want pity. Eventually, years later, he tells all while speaking at a Moth presentation. I don’t want to cry so I did not watch the video of it, but if you are interested, click here.

On top of all that, he also has MS. He kept that as a secret for years, but eventually told the public because it has made him almost blind and tough to get around. The book may sound sad, but it is uplifting to read about how the couple get through all this together and both live full lives helping others.

I review for BookLook Bloggers

We are joining Comedy Plus’ Happy Tuesday Blog Hop.



  1. It is these type of things that always make me feel blessed. Thanks for the review. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy and Sawyer

  2. Sounds like the story of a struggle to get through the tough times with the help of family and faith. I like hearing success stories!

    Hugs, Pam

  3. You find some good books, Ellen. I am mostly reading blogs lately. I think this book would have been a tough read for me. I try to stay with happy things but I realize not all of life can be happy. Sounds like this couple is making it together through the sad with humor and the love they have for each other. You have to admire them.

    1. I don’t like sad, but the way this was written, it didn’t bother me. XO

  4. It seems that a lot of folks who become good comedians come from rough circumstances, and they’ve learned that comedy pulls them through it. Comedy can be used to be mean too, as I found out growing up with snarky friends. I just never was quick enough, glib enough, and therefore was one who was preyed upon, so to speak. Here’s hoping the authors have found peace in the sadness.

  5. This is a great review! To be honest, it sounds like a great book to read. He sounds like an interesting man. So sorry he & his family have been through so much!

    I’ve noticed that many times, comedy is birthed out of pain. It’s often a coping mechanism and a gift they feel able to offer the world. Thank you for bringing awareness to this book! ♥

  6. Life can have so many challenges for some. Great job on this review and I think I would enjoy this video. Some folks don’t want pity. Those are the best kind.

    Thank you for joining the Happy Tuesday Blog Hop.

    Have a fabulous Happy Tuesday, Ellen. Scritches to all the kitties. ♥

  7. This sounds like a great, inspiring book! He sounds brave and positive, and I prefer clean comic to foul-mouthed ones 🙂

  8. Wow! What a story. I don’t feel up to watching the video either, but thank you for sharing it. Oh, and I can totally see Penny achieving world domination. ~grin~ Be well!

  9. It does sound like an inspirational story. I so much prefer clean comics to the ones with raunchy acts. Great review.

  10. You choose the best books to read! I don’t get into biographies or memoirs much, but probably should!

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