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“What My Dad Did: My Theory of Joke Writing” is a memoir chronicling the journey of Chris Cotton through the ranks of professional comedy while also telling the story of his father, Henry S. Cotton Jr., a public school teacher raising a family and rising from poverty. The book uses a beat sheet format to tell the “Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How” to draw a correlation between a father and son and two different moments in time. The inspiration Henry provides for Chris is rooted in personal struggle and a yearning for living a meaningful life. “What My Dad Did: My Theory of Joke Writing” is an outlet for Chris to speak to anyone working to achieve their dreams in the face of adversity. This true story is ultimately about finding one’s own voice without having to sacrifice one’s morals. Chris’ travels to New York and the impact of social media on the comedy scene are paralleled by his father’s growth as an educator and the gentrification facing their Philadelphia neighborhoods.