Discover the powerful story of stand-up comic Anthony Griffith, and how to navigate grief through persistence, faith, humor and love.
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I was living every comic's dream...with a nightmare attached.
Anthony Griffith, a stand-up comic from Chicago's South Side, has lived on the borderline of comedy and tragedy. At the very time his career as a stand-up comedian was taking off, and he had finally achieved his dream of appearing on The Tonight Show, he was also enduring and unimaginable personal nightmare: his two-year-old daughter, Brittany Nicole, was dying from cancer. While Anthony performed under bright lights, he struggled not to succumb to the darkness of losing a child.
Behind the Laughter asks, When your world is falling apart, how do you keep going? It's the story of how Anthony and his wife, Brigitte, learned to endure the most painful of times and emerge on the other side of the "zombie years."
This memoir is deeply moving yet also humorous-packed with laughs as Anthony takes us from his gun-toting grandma's home to Chicago's white and black comedy clubs, then to Hollywood, and to the world of network television. The surprising twists along Anthony's path highlight the power of God that goes before us and prepares the way-a truth that later encourages Anthony and Brigitte after Brittany's death and moves them to reach out and comfort others going through similar difficulties.
With humor and deep insights into the human spirit, Behind the Laughter explores the bonds of not only parent and child but also husband and wife. While Anthony and Brigitte's story is uniquely theirs, it elicits powerful, relatable emotions and lessons that are universal and inspiring.
Anthony Griffith, a successful stand-up comedian for more than thirty years, made his way from Chicago's South Side to the city's comedy clubs and out to Los Angeles, where he performed multiple times on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and later with Jay Leno. He has been featured in specials for Comedy Central, HBO, and Showtime and on The Arsenio Hall Show. Also, an actor, Griffith has appeared in several movies, including Panther, Tales from the Hood, and Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and received a Daytime Emmy for his performance in the TV movie Our Father. Griffith also performed in the TV series Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Bernie Mac Show.
Dr. Brigitte Travis-Griffin
Dr. Brigitte Travis-Griffin is a clinical psychologist specializing in a concierge delivery system of therapy for entertainment and creative professionals. She and Anthony Griffith have been married for more than thirty years. Their daughter, Brittany Nicole, lost her fight with cancer at the tender age of three. Brigitte received her PsyD from Alliant International University, Los Angeles, and her BS from UCLA.
Mark Caro is co-author (with Anthony Griffith and Brigitte Travis-Griffin) of Behind the Laughter: A Comedian’s Tale of Tragedy and Hope (Thomas Nelson, 2019) and author of The Foie Gras Wars, winner of the Great Lakes Book Award for general nonfiction and two Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. He also co-wrote (with musician Steve Dawson) Take It To the Bridge: Unlocking the Great Songs Inside You. After more than 25 years of covering film, food, music and murder trials for the Chicago Tribune, he currently writes about entertainment and culture for such outlets as The New York Times and Chicagomagazine. He’s also a regular guest host on WGN Radio and created and hosts the popular “Is It Still Funny?” film series in Chicago.
Author photos credit: Dawn Bowery