Subbed titles: A variety show for re-named books

Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

He has a title role!

The Kensington comedian behind the daily blog “Better Book Titles” will release his own tome this week, a collection of famous book covers given what he says are better, more accurate labels. The creator of “Never Flirt with Puppy Killers and Other Better Book Titles,” which will launch with a variety show at Littlefield in Gowanus on May 10, says his book deal was a happy consequence of wanting to make people laugh.

“I wanted to make somebody’s day easier, I wasn’t looking for any monetary compensati­on,” said Dan Wilbur.

A stand-up comedian since 2005, Wilbur conceived the blog while playing a video game that, he realized at the end, involved assassinating the Pope. The game’s title, “Assassin’s Creed,” had definitely buried the lede, he said.

“I thought it shouldn’t have such a pretentious title, and that’s where the idea started,” said Wilbur. Instead, it should have been titled “Kill the Pope,” he said.

Wilbur, an avid reader, set out to more accurately label books instead of games. Each of his re-titles hilariously condenses the lessons of the book, sparing people from having to thumb through the pages.

Some of books in his title wave include “My Dad is Cooler than Your Dad” for Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Skipping Dinner is Like Dropping Acid” for Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Wilbur will unveil his magnum opus with a book-themed variety show featuring a slew of comedians, including Erik Bergstrom, band Reformed Whores and funnywoman Janeane Garofalo, who he knows from the city’s stand-up circuit.

The evening will also include an interactive segment, in which audience members hand Wilbur a book and make him come up with a new title on the spot. A librarian from the Brooklyn Public Library will have a shelf full of books to choose from, but those seeking to stump the comedian are welcome to bring their own page flippers.

Just like he summarizes books with simple, catchy titles, Wilbur condensed the reasons people should pick up his book to a single sentence.

“You should buy ‘Never Flirt with Puppy Killers’ because I’m starving and I need your money and need you to buy this or I won’t be able to live my comfy life,” he said.

“Never Flirt With Puppy Killers and Other Better Book Titles” launch at Littlefield [622 DeGraw St. between Third and Fourth Avenues in Gowanus,]. May 10 at 8 pm. $8 ($15 with a book).

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: