Live from New York
Dozens of stars, writers, guest hosts, contributors, and craftsmen (as read by professional narrators) recall the backstage stories, behind-the-scenes gossip, feuds, foibles, drugs, sex, struggles, and calamities, ...more
The next cast all expected to get famous, and hardly any of them did. Lorne left the show, and so did the rest of America. Eddie Murphy gets discovered, Joe Piscopo becomes creepily possessive of hi ...more
In 2014, in time for the 40th anniversary of the longest running variety series in televi ...more
I think it could have been shorter if it had been edited better. This was only the second "oral history"-stylee book I've read (the other was Gonzo) and it wasn't put together nearly as well. The interstitial writing was so pandering and complimentary that it made me want to barf. And the interviews themselves were very repetitive (newsflash: Lorne Michaels doesn't ...more
Like many of my generation, I grew up badgering my parents to stay up late enough to be able to watch such characters as Roseanne Rosannadanna and The Blues Brothers, then abandoned the show when creator Lorne Michaels and the original cast left 5 years later. Though I didn't start watching it again regularly until ...more
This book was interesting, but the worshipful quality of it was annoying as hell. It's just a TV show. It's not changing the lives of anyone except its stars. But in this book, it's portrayed as one of the most significant things to happen in the U.S. Whoever criticizes the show is wrong, and wrong to do it, and any star who criticizes ...more
1) Writing about music may be like dancing about architecture but talking about comedy is, for me, really, really interesting. Even if you're only getting one more studied pose from comedians and writers, stuff like this and Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee are almost more fun ...more
The first time I learned about this book was in looking to find out more about the long and storied history of Saturday Night Live after the 40th Anniversary episode. And a history of the show as told by those who lived it? That's exactly the sort of book I was looking for.
My experience with SNL is remarkably limited. I mostly watched the re-runs in high school when they were on cable and really only with the cast I was most familiar with (late 90s and early 2000s). I d ...more
"I always said I would love to have done SCTV. There were smarter producers and smarter people involved." --Tim Kazurinsky
"I like it when people leave because that's what makes Saturday Night Live work. If you had the same cast that you had from the '70s, this show wouldn't be around." --J ...more
In ad ...more
Shales and Miller are waaaay too close to their subjects, and as such treat their heroes/friends like they were delicate flowers. There are, to my mind, only 2 interesting anecdotes beyond the navelgazing. The first involves poor Garret Morris, who apparently freebased so often in his office that the maids were afraid to ...more
The book was fun for the bits of insider-y gossip it offered--everybody ...more
I'm a big fan of oral memoirs (Talking Irish: An Oral History of Notre Dame Football is a favorite of mine) so I knew I'd like the style of this book. My brothers and I grew up watching SNL and renting every "Best of... " video that we could get our hands on, so I know that I went into this with a more nostalgic view than some people. That being said, I truly enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and I felt like I was sitting at a panel listening to some of the greats talk about their experienc...more
The beginning is a lot about creating SNL and the not ready for primetime players, which I loved. I have a real thing for Gilda Radner.
The second half, after Lorne Michaels comes back to the show, is just so so gossipy. So gossipy. Not a lot of substance, unless you count backstabbing as substance.
Worth it for the first half, but you can probably quit when you get to th ...more
Sometimes the show was a huge success, sometimes a miserable failure, and most of the time somewhere middling in between. The running joke about ...more
The authors let the writers, actors, executives and hosts tell you the story from memory, so we hear from Chevy Chase, Bill Pullman, Al Franken, Lorne Michaels, Tom Hanks and many others what it was like to work there, to see amazing people like Belushi and Phil Hartman, to fall for Gilda, to be in a live show.
It starts being super fun because there are drugs and s ...more