Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny” as Want to Read:
Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,122 ratings  ·  161 reviews
Growing Up Laughing is a compelling autobiographical journey--hilarious and heartfelt, intimate and inspiring. It is a book that only Marlo Thomas could write.

For as long as Thomas can remember, she's lived with laughter. Born to comedy royalty--TV and nightclub star Danny Thomas--she grew up among legendary funny men, carved much of her career in comedy and, to this day,
ebook, 256 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2010)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Growing Up Laughing, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Growing Up Laughing

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,963)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Although I was a bit disappointed, after reading the book to its conclusion, I have revised my review. This autobiography was humorous, but not as humorous as I’d hoped for. I found the first half of the book slow-going, but half-way through, the author caught my attention with her touching account of life with -and without- Danny. Marlo Thomas provides a minimal but touching glimpse into what her family life was like growing up as the daughter of the famous comedian, Danny Thomas, constantly su ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
This book could have been so much better with a little editoral advice. An author has to catch the reader's attention and then hold it; but this book's lack of structure disrupts any kind of flow. There is no chronology, even though it's nominally about Ms Thomas' life. I found it frustrating to just get interested in a passage or interview, turn the page--wham! into a totally different subject, time frame, or whatever. I enjoyed it at first, but by the end it had become difficult to stick with ...more
Lisa N
A glimpse into Marlo Thomas’ glamorous childhood and acting career. She grew up in Beverly Hills a few doors down from Elizabeth Taylor and went to school with the children of Gary Cooper and Bing Crosby. At home, she was surrounded by legendary comedians.

The book is a superficial hodgepodge, perhaps more of a tribute to her father, Danny Thomas, than anything else. Her story is intermingled with brief interviews from several comedians, along with several jokes thrown in. I really enjoyed her s
Susie Lindeberg
I simply loved this book. I watched "Make Room For Daddy" and then "That Girl" while growing up. "That Girl" & Mary Tyler Moore were idols to little girls with big dreams that didn't necessarily include the traditional family life. It's SO NICE to read a book about a celeb from the celeb's kid that portrays a wonderful, loving relationship. I know this book was written by his daughter, but it does sound like Danny is someone I would have liked in real life. This book brought many smiles to m ...more
A predictable and disappointing memoir by Marlo Thomas,mostly about her father,entertainer Danny Thomas but quite superficial.I usually avoid celebrity biographies and this confirms that choice.
Sad. For a woman who broke ground in TV and started a revolution in the industry, you learn nothing of that. Instead u get what seems is a somewhat fabled recollection of her childhood (she glosses over any misdeeds her father had with the family). There is barely a mention of "That Girl" and her other TV work, which is what we want to know about. One would almost think she is not fond of those years and the ground she broke. Instead we get interviews with celebrity comics, which I still can't f ...more
I bought this book on a whim because I was a fan of That Girl and Phil's show. It was better than I expected. Marlo talks about growing up in luxury in Beverly Hills, but not in a bragging kind of way. You hear a lot of people who grew up poor say they didn't know they were poor when they were kids because everyone they knew was in the same boat. Marlo has the same attitude about growing up in a wealthy suburb. She didn't know any other way of life. She also talks about what it was like having h ...more
May 09, 2011 Ann-Marie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I absolutely loved this book! It is a wonderful combination of autobiography, a view of the comedic talent of her father, Danny Thomas & the others of his generation (Syd Caesar, George Burns, etc) and interviews with current comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, Steve Colbert, Jon Stewart. Interspersed with the interviews and the story of her life. Marlo gives us some of the funniest one-liners and stories of these amazing talented funny men and women ...more
Nature vs. Nurture. What is the secret behind the talent of the incredibly funny people that, with a single word or look, can render us uncontrollable with laughter, grasping our sides in near-pain as we roll in the aisles? They render us powerless with their words and lighten our worlds for just a brief moment in time, allowing us to forget - or even find the humorous in - the trials and pains of life. Are their skills inherited from funny parents? Are they adaptive responses to a difficult chi ...more
As summer turns to fall, find a moment to read this book. By turns it is wickedly funny, charming, AND heartbreaking. But for me, it was a warm fuzzy. Here is a strong, independent, vocal woman who keeps her identity within a strong marriage, has strong family ties and gives back to the community AND the world. Oh, if there were more role models and mentors like Marlo Thomas. I never missed an episode of "That Girl" when I was a kid because I SO identified with her. I knew there was MORE out the ...more
I thought the jokes were the best part of the book. I also liked the interviews with the comedians except for the woman who didn't want to be interviewed which might have worked out loud, but on paper was teeeeddiouuus!

The later part of Marlo's life feels a bit rushed, and left me wondering how much acting she's doing now versus writing and charity. I would have liked a bit better summation of her life today since her childhood was so clearly written about.
Kathleen Meacham
If you are looking for a traditionally written biography, then this is not the book for you. I read all 379 pages of it, and still do not know very much about Marlo Thomas. How can this be, you ask -- doesn't the title include the words "My Story"? The style of the book is that Marlo sprinkles a little of herself between other chapters which are based on interviews that she has done with various comedians -- Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Alan Alda, etc. She wants to know how they became funny, wh ...more
A little disappointing. The writing is a little bland, and not hilarious, considering it's about growing up surrounded by funny people. Still, if you LOVED "That Girl" and grew up with all of these comedians, it's a sweet and light reminiscence piece that you can dip into from time to time if you don't feel like reading it all the way through.

To be fair, I loved the parts about the old days, especially about the "the boys," Sid Caesar, George Burns, Milton Berle, Carl Reiner, and all, and how th
I am a fan of both Marlo and her father, so this book was easy to read and enjoy.

The biggest reinforcement for me was that to be funny today is much different than years ago. I think the book's structure was very non-traditional. It is not my favorite style, but it was unique and different to read.

Looking forward to reading more about Marlo herself.
I loved watching Marlo as That Girl. It was a great show when I was a little girl. Definitely had to read her book once I spotted it at the library.

Great book. Lots of laughs. I love that she gave credit to the comedians of today while paying respects to the comedian icons she grew up around.

Definitely worth a read.
Dennis Raffaelli
Some of the stories about her dad are interesting. Some of the people she interviews are not that great. Some of the jokes are vulgar.

I did like the part where she describes her relationship with the actor that played her father in That Girl.

When I was a young man, I had a crush on Marlo Thomas, but in real life, she is no Ann Marie.
This would have gotten five stars if the author had told more about herself. Marlo Thomas reveals a lot about her father, her mother and her growing up lives with a whole slew of comedy geniuses as her "uncles" around the house, she doesn't share as much of herself like how tough it was to get "That Girl" made and her current life. If you're a fan of Danny Thomas you'll delight and tear up at the poignant vignettes sprinkled throughout the book. I also wasn't as happy with one of her chapters an ...more
I remember as a child watching Make Room for Daddy with my family and loving the show. I really don't remember it except for Danny Thomas chomping on his cigar and yelling at Uncle Toonus. Perhaps I loved the show so much because I identified with Angela Cartwright, because my Dad too traveled a lot. Staying up late and watching comics and hearing my Dad laugh are happy memories, so of course I picked up the book. After all, who didn't want to be "That Girl" growing up?
I really enjoyed the book
Julie Mendel
What an uplifting memoir! A typical memoir is one of the hard childhood or the rough rough road from drug abuse to sobriety but Marlo Thomas has delivered a memoir that is uplifting, accepting the life she was born into and celebrating the awesome friendships and relationships she was awarded simply for being born to Danny Thomas.

The book is truly a memoir and not a biography of her father; while Danny Thomas was clearly influential in her life, the book includes interviews with Ms. Thomas' con
Frankly it was a cute book but I personally like Marlo Thomas' stories more than the interviews with the comedians. I really enjoyed her tidbits about growing up in Hollywood and her career. Reading about her memories you can tell Marlo cherishes her family and their legacy. As for the other half of the book, I didn't really care for the interviews with various comedians. You can only read so many times about comedians finding inspiration from family and friends before it gets redundant.
I checked this out of my library after hearing Marlo do an interview to promote it earlier this month. Marlo's childhood, growing up as one of the daughters of Danny Thomas was quite extraordinary, and it was a pleasure to read about her wonderful memories and appreciation for her special childhood. I also enjoyed reading the interviews with so many of the comedy legends who were part of her childhood because of their close relationships with her dad and because of her own career. Like Carol Bur ...more
I was apprehensive about the way this book was laid out. The chapters alternate between Marlo Thomas' tales of growing up with her comedian father and the stories of other comedians like Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Kathy Griffin and Joan Rivers. However, not only did the format work, it prevented the book from being just another memoir about growing up in old Hollywood with a famous parent. What really impressed me was how each person articulated the importance being funny held in their lives. ...more
John Worthington
This was a fun read as Marlo Thomas talked about growing up with her dad, comedians Danny Kaye. She intersperses her story with interviews with other famous comedians.
A very positive book - an amazing woman, pretty great family, and interviews with a lot of funny people. Not quite LOL-funny, but still very enjoyable.
I enjoyed this book. It was light and lovely. I found, like with Child Star, that as a memoir it meanders and sometimes what makes sense to Ms. Thomas make me have to flip back pages to figure out what she was talking about. I liked some of the comedian/enne interviews, but not all. I don't know that I loved Ms. Thomas' interviewing style. I did enjoy the jokes smattered throughout and I loved reading the love that she had for her father and the respect that she had for him and the comics of his ...more
Interesting book, partly because she uncovers some wonderful information about many of today's comedians but also how comedy was different when her dad was in the business.
Marlo Thomas is an actress, author, feminist, and director of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. I have always been an admirer of Thomas and am even more so after reading her memoir. Thomas is an excellent writer and has done a terrific job weaving together personal anecdotes and interviews with comedians to capture the essence of laughter and comedy in only a way that Thomas can. Afterall, Thomas is the daugther of the late great comedian, Danny Thomas, from whom her passion for comedy ar ...more
I was excited to read this book because I remember loving "That Girl" and "Make Room For Daddy" and all the old comedians of that long ago era. It was an interesting read, although I found myself hoping the Marlo Thomas would "get real", which, sadly, she never did. I really wasn't looking for dirt, I'm just tired of people painting their lives with a brush of perfection. I do realize that she did not want to trash her family, and I appreciate that. The book was interesting and thoughtful with i ...more
I was given this book by a friend while I was on a trip. I was tempted to, you know, conveniently leave it in the rental car or airport. But when I finished the book I had brought for the trip, I was happy I had this to read. Oh my goodness, I'm so glad I didn't "lose" it. Part of the book is a memoir about her life growing up as Danny Thomas's daughter and telling the reader how she tried and succeeded in breaking into show business. But to me, the far more fascinating part of the book were the ...more
A charming little book. Marlo Thomas combines a memoir of growing up in Beverly Hills as the daughter of funny man Danny Thomas and surrounded by the giants of comedy like George Burns, Sid Caesar, Bob Hope, Milton Berle and Bob Newhart. She also includes stories of her own acting and writing career and marriage to Phil Donahue. In addition, there are interviews that Marlo had with the leaders of contemporary comedy--Chris Rock, John Stewart, Jay Leno, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, etc. to uncover ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 65 66 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • After All
  • Pieces of My Heart: A Life
  • Jeannie Out of the Bottle
  • Laughs, Luck...and Lucy: How I Came to Create the Most Popular Sitcom of All Time
  • Cloris: My Autobiography
  • One More Time
  • 'Tis Herself
  • Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering
  • Gracie: A Love Story
  • Blonde Ambition: The Untold Story Behind Anna Nicole Smith's Death
  • Here's the Deal: Don't Touch Me
  • Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford
  • With Love and Laughter, John Ritter
  • Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
  • The Garner Files: A Memoir
  • My Word is My Bond
  • American Prince: A Memoir
  • Mr. Strangelove: A Biography of Peter Sellers
Free to Be...You and Me (The Original Classic Edition) The Right Words at the Right Time It Ain't Over . . . Till It's Over: Reinventing Your Life--and Realizing Your Dreams--Anytime, at Any Age Free to Be. . .A Family - A Book About All Kinds Of Belonging The Right Words at the Right Time: Volume 2: Your Turn!

Share This Book