CLE Reads: Damn Right I'm From Cleveland

Dec. CLE Read: Damn Right I’m From Cleveland by Mike Polk Jr.

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winners!

Between the usual stress of the holidays and what happened last week, I don’t think I’m alone in thinking we could all use a little laughter right now.

So I figured I’d pick a book for my December CLE Read that lightens the mood. And there was Mike Polk Jr.’s Damn Right I’m From Cleveland to the rescue.

If you’re a Clevelander who spends any amount of time online (which I assume you do since you’re on a blog right now), you’re likely familiar with Polk’s Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video.

I first saw it courtesy of Scott’s Animosity Pierre comedy team who seriously still quote it to this day when they visit.

However, between other viral videos like One Semester of Spanish – Love Song or his ode to the Factory of Sadness and his sketch comedy work with the award-winning Last Call Cleveland, Polk isn’t a one-hit wonder.

Repeatedly named one of Cleveland’s best comedians, Polk’s comedic chops caught the attention of local publisher Gray and Co. who invited him to put it all down in writing.

And so we have just over 100 pages of hilarity, equal parts broad and subversive, poking fun at everything Cleveland – including himself.

It may be a quick read, but each 2-page spread got a laugh out of me that lasted long after I put the book down. My personal favorites:

  • Cleveland Thrifting Like a Pro (which I had to keep Scott from reading so that he wouldn’t immediately go on a shopping spree)
  • Potential Cleveland Bumper Stickers (“Cleveland: We’re Just Crashing in Canada’s Basement Til We Can Get Our Shit Together”)
  • 3 Plans to Resurrect Downtown Cleveland (I think the urban paintball arena would have more than its fair share of fans)
  • And this…

A Better Cleveland Flag from Mike Polk’s Damn Right I’m From Cleveland. Godd-Dawg!

A Browns fan by birth not choice, Polk also mines a lifetime of tortured sports memories for laughs. I even learned a few things – like the fact that the ultimate Cleveland sports fantasy Major League isn’t even about a championship game, just a pennant.

Some Cleveland supporters may cringe at what Polk writes or give him flack for making fun of the city.

They should get over it.

Good comedy is rarely ever nice and with Polk it comes from a place of love. Polk notes in his introduction that this city with “a rich history and a promising future” is like a younger sibling he can tease “because we’re family and that’s what we do. But if some asshole from Indianapolis mouths off about it, I do not hesitate to set him straight.”

Damn right.

You can purchase Damn Right I’m From Cleveland from Cleveland publisher Gray & Company for only $14.95 or find it in local bookstores:

I’m also giving away two copies to add a bit of humor to your holidays.

There are 5 Easy Ways to Enter the Giveaway!
Leave a separate comment on this post for each entry.

1) For one entry, leave a comment on this post recommending a Cleveland book you’ve read or want to read.

2) Follow @ClevelandBooks and @ADHicken on Twitter and leave one comment here letting me know you did both.

3) If you’re a fan of Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook, leave a comment on this blog post letting me know. If you’re not yet a fan, you can become one here.

4) Twitter users can also get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “I want to win @clevelandbooks’ Damn Right I’m From Cleveland. Enter @ADHicken’s giveaway for your chance to win:”  (Each day you do this, you must leave a new comment.)

5) Subscribe to receive Clue Into Cleveland blog posts by email or via the RSS feed and leave a comment letting me know you did. This can include signing up to receive email notifications in the top-right “Subscribe” section of this page.

You have until Monday, Dec. 24 at 11:59PM to enter. On Christmas Day, I will select 2 winners using and will announce their names on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry.


This is the latest in my CLE Reads series. Check out my previous installments:

I’ll be back next month with Women Behaving Badly: Cleveland’s Most Ferocious Female Killers.

Disclosure: I was invited to review a copy of Damn Right I’m From Cleveland and give away 2 copies. The opinions expressed here about the book are 100% my own.
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  1. I love Jeannine Garsee’s Say the Word and Before, After, And Somebody in Between – both books take place in Cleveland.

  2. I’m about to read Cleveland Christmas Memories, so excited!

  3. Following both on twitter @ktoinCLE

  4. Annnnnd I tweeted. :) Great giveaway!

  5. “cleveland’s west side market: 100 years and still cooking” is on my must read list for 2013!

  6. p.s. i also receive your emails =)

  7. Following both!

  8. I would love to read THIS book!

  9. I give the google reader loving

  10. Oh and I’m subscribed to the bloggy blog!

  11. I am a fan on Facebook.

  12. Does American Splendor count as a Cleveland book? I think so.

  13. I am now a loyal and devoted follower.

  14. It was fun when it all began, I was a regular Clue Into Cleveland Fan.

  15. I retweeted the heck out of you.

  16. And, lastly, I signed up for RSS.

  17. Hmm! the CL focused/based book – I really liked Les Roberts’ “We’ll Always Have Cleveland”. And of course Bridget Callahan’s “Cleveland Is Your Best Friend!”

  18. And of course – I follow the blog, subscribed and on facebook!

  19. it would be great to get the book – Mike Polk is hysterical. His sketch troupe is coming to Playhouse Square, right? Last Call Cleveland?

  20. Karen Lauterwasser

    I am a fan of all of Les Roberts’ mysteries. I grew up in Cleveland but now live on the east coast instead of the North Coast. Would love to spend some time turning the pages of this book and laughing about Cleveland!

  21. I like you on facebook.

  22. Being a true crime fan, “Maniac in the Bushes” is a good one.

  23. Pingback: Ohio Blogging Cookie Swap: Recap and Recipe | Clue Into Cleveland

  24. follow you on twitter!

  25. Follow ClevelandBooks!

  26. I am of fan of yours and you! Think you are absolutely adorable!

  27. I follow both on Twitter!

  28. I would love to read the 100th anniversary West Side Market book

  29. Like you on Facebook!

  30. AND I am subscribed to your blog!

  31. Pingback: CLE Reads: Women Behaving Badly - Clue Into Cleveland

  32. Pingback: Clue Into Cleveland: CLE Reads - The Lake Erie Monster

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