Jim Carrey: Kanye West Is One of the Great Characters of Our Zeitgeist

Carrey spoke to Bill Maher about his newly published work of pseudo-autobiography, “Memoirs and Misinformation.”

Jim Carrey remains one of comedy’s great chameleons and his latest feat of shapeshifting is as the author of a new work of pseudo-autobiography, titled “Memoirs and Misinformation.” Published by Knopf on July 7 the book is a fantasy centered on a wealthy, privileged, and jaded actor named “Jim Carrey” adrift in the excess of Hollywood, with characters such as Nicolas Cage, Charlie Kaufman, and Gwyneth Paltrow floating in and out. Carrey spoke about the book on the latest episode of “Real Time with Bill Maher” with the eponymous talk show host. Watch the clip below.

Despite all the namedropping, and creative liberties, Carrey said no one is mad about their portrayal in “Memoirs and Misinformation.” “Nic Cage loves it, he’s out of his mind over it. He thought it was awesome. He was like ‘go forward!’ Immediately he was honored by the whole process. Joe Dangerfield sent me lovely emails about how much he loved it, and how much Rodney Dangerfield would have loved it.”

Maher also read a passage from the book “pointing to the fact that it’s so hard these days to do parody. You cannot stay ahead of how weird shit is.” Reading from an excerpt centered on an alien invasion, Maher said, “At the end, Kanye West says, ‘You need not be afraid. They speak to me in supernatural voices. I am one with their jam.’ And I am not sure he didn’t say that this week!”

“It’s a very strange thing where parody becomes very parallel with reality,” Carrey said. “But we’ve got to mark these things, you know. [Kanye West] is one of the great characters of our zeitgeist at this moment and I wanted him to have a place in it. No matter what he’s doing. I can’t figure it out.”

Kanye West recently made headlines for an announced presidential campaign that culminated, so far, in a chaotic rally in South Carolina earlier this month. The event, which saw West pontificating on everything from Harriet Tubman’s role in the Underground Railroad to his views on abortion, led to a significant discussion on social media about West’s state of mind; West has admitted to being bipolar. His wife, Kim Kardashian West, later came out asking for empathy as the family dealt with West’s mental health.

Describing his book previously, Carrey said, “There’s nothing, at this point in my artistic life, more boring than the idea of writing down the actual events of my life in some chronological order… Trying to expand my brand. This is not that…Jim Carrey in this book is really a representative — he’s an avatar of anybody in my position. Of the artist, of the celebrity, of the star. That world and all its excesses and gluttony and self-focus and vanity.”

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