Beyond the Promised Land

My Journey to Comedy Freedom by Dream or Delusion


By Byron Bowers

With Julie Seabaugh

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$20.99 CAD

From a fearless comic known for tackling uncomfortable topics, a revealing and subversive memoir that explores Bowers’ life from his difficult childhood in Georgia up to his rise in the LA comedy world

Byron Bowers is often referred to as a Comics’ Comic. A veteran stand-up comedian and actor, he's known for gripping material covering spirituality, race, socioeconomics, gender roles—and for delivering a fair chunk of it unrehearsed and in the moment. But though his life today may seem promising, it wasn't always that way. After all, as Byron sees it, the best stand-ups spin comedy from their own perceptions of reality. and what better source material to mine than one's own struggles?

Growing up as an illegitimate child in conservative Georgia, Byron was accustomed to instability, passed from parent to parent before eventually being taken in by his grandmother. While experiencing heavy bullying from children his community, he bussed into a white school and instantly became a target of racism. Meanwhile, trying to handle his father's diagnosis with paranoid-schizophrenia, for which he was institutionalized, and his subsequent drug addiction.  Being left alone in the projects by his father, Byron realizing that the only person he could rely on was himself, Byron vowed to reshape his life—and get the hell out of Georgia. 

Willing to do whatever it took to make it out led to a basketball scholarship and set forth a new adventure—while also selling crack at a Christian university out of state. After being shot at and finding himself on the verge of either homicide or suicide, Byron stepped down as his college town's Second in Command and moved to Atlanta. Knowing business classes could foster a career in white-collar crime, he returned to college, becoming the first in his family to earn a degree. Upon graduation, Byron pursued stand-up comedy slowly moving up the ranks the Atlanta comedy scene due to his edginess. He decided to move to the West Coast to pursue comedy and became a regular performer at the hallowed Sunset Strip Comedy Store. From there, he evolved into a stand-out on the local stand-up scene, was the surprise winner of a strategic comedy competition, and even landed himself a few television credits—finally poised on the cusp of achieving success on his own terms.

Beyond the Promised Land dismisses the conventional wisdom that reality’s rules can’t be rewritten. Ultimately, Byron's is a story that educates, enlightens, and inspires anyone who refuses to let adversity stand in the way of not only their dreams, but finding peace along the way.

On Sale
Jan 13, 2026
Page Count
288 pages
Hachette Books

Byron Bowers

About the Author

Byron Bowers is a stand-up comedian, writer, and actor. He’s best known for his roles in Concrete CowboysHoney boy, The CHI, and as the voice of Nelson on HBO’s animated series, Ten Year Old Tom, for which he also writes. He is currently busy writing an autobiographical series he recently sold to Amazon Originals. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA.

As a professional comedy journalist of two decades, Julie Seabaugh has contributed to The New York Times, TheLos Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, TheHollywood Reporter, Variety,GQ, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and numerous other alt-weeklies. Her coverage of modern roasting culminated in 2018 book, Ringside at Roast Battle, and her love of Mitch Hedberg led to producing/hosting 2020’s Hope on Top: A Mitch Hedberg Oral History for SiriusXM. With Emmy-nominated filmmaker Nick Scown, she co-directed September 2021 feature documentary Too Soon: Comedy After 9/11 for Vice. The 50 Years of the Comedy Store six-LP vinyl box set (2022) features her liner notes; her Positive Connections: A Brody Stevens OralHistory debuted on SiriusXM in February 2023. The collection A Tight 20: Two Decades of Comedy Journalism is available now.

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