Happy People Are Annoying

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Release Date: 
March 14, 2023
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In his coming-of-age memoir, Happy People are Annoying, Josh Peck takes his readers on the jagged journey of his young life, up to his current 36-year-old self, now a popular social media influencer, with millions of millennial and centennial fans. It is they who will gravitate to this book to search out the secrets long hidden behind Peck’s humor and ever-smiling façade—his trademarks of a long career as a popular child actor.

By the time Peck was eight years old, he was doing stand-up comedy, and by 15, he had his own television show. But behind the scenes, his single mother struggled to pay the rent and both Josh and his mother had serious eating issues. As a chubby (really obese), funny kid, fast on his feet, Peck was an instant hit with audiences and was hired as a young actor for many sitcom television shows. His role in the Drake and Josh Show (2004–2007) cemented his popularity and his resume as a child and adolescent star sparkled, in spite of his lack of formal theater training.

By 2005, Peck knew he had to shed weight: He wanted to be a more-healthy role model for his fans and was tired of pouring himself into a corset before each show. Soon his audiences were aware he was losing weight and by the time the Drake and Josh Show ended, he’d shed over 100 pounds. But his obsessive-compulsive and addictive personality soon sought relief from the traumas of his childhood in alcohol and drugs. Resolute to conquer his demons, he worked hard to be sober, and has been for the last 13 years.

Overcoming food, alcohol, and drug addictions are not easy accomplishments for most people, especially those plagued by adverse childhood experiences. Peck’s father disowned him while he was still in the womb, his mother worked hard to support herself and her child, and Josh suffered from low self-esteem, insecurity, and anxiety. Having few adult role models and little formal education, Josh struggled with goal-setting as well as expressing his emotions and thoughts. Many readers will want to know more about just how he was able to control his desires for food, alcohol, drugs—and what he was thinking as he went through the process of shedding these harmful behaviors. But Josh either doesn’t want to share much with the reader or he is not mature enough to do the deep reflection demanded of living through serious problems.

When Josh Peck pens another memoir in 25 years, he’ll be in a better position to fully explore his demons, his feelings, and the meanings he attaches to his life choices.

As Josh’s acting opportunities waned, he turned to technology, a likely choice for a millennial. Being entrepreneurial, Peck found ways to make money through advertising on his You Tube series. By 2019, he was making seven figures, had a wife he adored, a young son, and a huge internet following. As he reflected on his life, he was satisfied, happy that he had finally found love and created a meaningful role for himself that gave him a huge platform as well as a stable and robust income. Finally, Josh was aware that he actually liked himself and didn’t have to perform for external praise. He had learned to create his own happiness.

This “feel-good” child-actor memoir will delight Peck’s fans while leaving others looking for more information, more answers. While the author has proclaimed his satisfaction with his current life, he continues to seek the deep meanings, and like so many of us, continues to evolve and discover himself.