Coffee table? Meet Chuck Lorre.
The prolific TV producer is making the leap from screen to page, signing a deal with a deal with Simon & Schuster for the release of “What Doesn’t Kill Us, Makes Us Bitter.”
The book will be the first ever print collection of Lorre’s cheeky vanity cards seen at the end of hit skeins like “The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Dharma & Greg” and “Mike & Molly.” Lorre has been including the vanity cards at the end of his shows’ episodes (for exactly one second!) since ’97. Each card offers an inside look to Lorre’s thoughts, inspiration and musings for his shows and once could only be consumed through deft pausing with VCR recording or DVR.
“What Doesn’t Kill Us, Makes Us Bitter” will be published in October and retail for $100. All proceeds from the sale will go towards the Dharma-Grace Foundation which was established by Lorre in 1999 to support the Venice Family Clinic.
Viewing the cards doesn’t require freeze-framing anymore, though, since Lorre has published the vanity cards on his own website. I did some digging and stumbled upon the vanity card that spawned the hardcover coffee book’s title, #345:
What doesn’t kill us makes us bitter. I used to believe that to be both funny and true. Years later I learned that pain could also be the touchstone for personal growth, which of course points back to the original saying, “what doesn’t kill us makes us better.” Not funny, but perhaps closer to the truth. Or at least the truth I choose to believe in these days. So, having recently experienced a bit of pain, am I better? Well, let’s review: I think I’m fairly immune to name-calling now. I’m not sure I could have made that claim a few months ago. I’ve also come to see that the things I used to think were big deals, are not. Problems appear to be relative. If you have a big one, it makes all the others seem almost charming in comparison. And finally, when your life takes a path you could never have foreseen, it’s humbling. In a good way. It’s kind of like a friendly reminder from the universe that while you may think you have the starring role in the movie of your life, you’re actually just a bit player trying to grab a quesadilla off the craft services table when no one’s looking.
So, to sum up: I now have a thicker skin, I’m less likely to sweat the small stuff, and, perhaps most importantly, I have a renewed sense of humility. All in all, better. That being said, I still try to stay reasonably bitter in order to maintain my eligibility in the Writers Guild of America.
The vanity card ran at the end of “The Big Bang Theory’s” episode “The Engagement Reaction” on May 12, 2011, when the Charlie Sheen “Two and a Half Men” fiasco had finally begun to cool off. Vanity cards from the months of the highly-publicized debacle often served as diary entries of sorts for the producer. No word as to whether Lorre will ever write a tell-all about his years in Hollywood and the Sheen meltdown, but “What Does Not Kill Us, Makes Us Bitter’s” vanity cards, when taken together, may be as close as we’re ever going to get.
Plus, your house guests will probably like reading it.