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Comedian and musician Reggie Watts shares his story of growing up in Montana as a biracial oddball struggling to navigate life, girls, drugs, and his own identity in America’s heartland—and having a blast doing it.
Reggie Watts is weird. But you knew that. Anyone who’s seen his multifaceted, entirely improvised comedy and music shows knows that. Reggie Watts is also from the town of Great Falls, MT.
These two facts are not unrelated.
Watts grew up in Montana in the ‘80s, half French, half American, half white, half Black, speaking a bunch of different languages and slipping between the orchestra geeks and the football jocks until he finally found a squad of fellow misfits with an affinity for trouble. It was a wide-open time and place that invited freedom and exploration—as well as car theft and the not infrequent use of recreational cough syrup. And it helped him become the uniquely strange creative voice he is today.
In Great Falls, MT, Watts takes us through his story, hitting on the culture shock he experienced after moving from Europe to the heart of America, where he was called racial slurs by neighbors but wasn’t Black enough for his father’s extended family. Where he fought with his authoritarian dad, built a new family of antiestablishment, post-punk oddballs—and ultimately knew he had to leave. But after Watts’s career exploded in Seattle and New York, ultimately scoring him a nightly place next to James Corden on The Late Late Show, he found himself drawn back to his hometown after the deaths of his parents. This is his love letter to the town that made him. But like love itself, it’s messy and complicated and dirty and beautiful—and as weird and wonderful as Watts himself.
About the Author
Reggie Watts is an internationally renowned musician/comedian/writer who starred as the bandleader on CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden and IFC’s Comedy Bang Bang!. Using nothing but his voice, his looping pedals, and his vast imagination, Watts blurs the lines between music and comedy with a resume that includes multiple specials and appearances across platforms such as Comedy Central and Netflix.
*A Vulture Best Comedy Book of 2023*
"Reminiscent of experimental meta-memoirs like A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Great Falls, MT is earnest, optimistic, and future-forward but also nostalgic for (and critical of) times gone by, particularly the ’90s grunge boom and that greater Pacific Northwest–based cultural moment." –Vulture
"Joyful" –The New York Times Book Review
“Fans of Watts will revel in this enjoyable stroll into the past, and those new to him could have no better introduction.” –Kirkus
“Watts is a droll, endearing narrator, delivering his account with the rapid-fire patter of a good improv act. Budding performers and comedy fans alike will find much to love.”–Publishers Weekly
"The rhythms, spontaneity, and wide-eyed curiosity of Watts’s singular musical-comedy act work monumentally well as a book... Most affecting: Watts’s visceral and immersive first-hand account of the ’90s grunge boom and the comedy scenes from later in that decade along with some sweet and honest passages about his parents." –Vulture, Best Comedy Book of 2023 Roundup
“It makes sense that one of our most original and surreal comedians would have an upbringing to match, having been forged in the crucible of Montana via Europe. Reggie’s telling of his story is a delight, exceeded only by my ability to use “crucible” in a sentence.” –Conan O’Brien
“This gripping memoir is equal parts relatable small-town upbringing and unfathomable noise-wizard jazz-clown origin story. Eleventy stars!” –Nick Offerman
“Reggie Watts fits in no box. He is no type of person. Find out how this fascinating and fascinated dude came to be by reading the combination of words he put together on the pages in this book and maybe you will love him like I do.” –Sarah Silverman
“Great Falls, MT deepens my understanding of Reggie Watts while keeping the mysteriousness around his incredible art intact. How did this brilliant, wonderful person get here? This book makes his path seem like something more logical than improbable. Of course he became this person! It’s the same way I feel about Liverpool and The Beatles, or Minneapolis and Prince." –Fred Armisen