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You're Lucky You're Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  365 ratings  ·  53 reviews
The creator and executive producer of Everybody Loves Raymond dissects the art of comedy and the making of a sitcom classic

In television, where programs can premiere and disappear in the same week, Everybody Loves Raymond reigned as Americas best-loved show for nine years with more than seventeen million viewers. As the number-one sitcom, it received more than seventy
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 19th 2006 by Viking Adult
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Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly my typical response to "Everybody Loves Raymond" is sighing "not everybody" as I change the channel. I got this mp3 on the cheap and was just hoping to have a few laughs amid what was sure to be a name-dropping, big-shot-Hollywood memoir, filled with crazy party stories.

I got my laughs. And tears. And some touching family stories, sentimental moments, and invaluable advice that extends well outside of television. There was only one "big-shot-Hollywood" story where Rosenthal uses a
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
I think Phil Rosenthal is a funny guy. There's no doubt in my mind had he not been writer and director of 'Everybody Loves Raymond', the show would not be as great a sitcom as it is. I've watched Phil in a documentary where he helps Russian TV get their version of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' up and running and that was funny, strange and interesting. Much of this book revolved around the making of 'Raymond' which I found interesting since I always liked the show. But my favorite part is his ...more
Matt Nix
Jan 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A fun read, and interesting if you're into TV writing.
Stijn Zanders
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was great to hear Phil Rosenthal read his own book, he's a funny guy to listen to.
Thomas Rogers
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal read on one of the greatest sitcoms that almost never happened.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book by Phil Rosenthal, the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, which is part memoir and part behind the scenes of the show. I wasn't an avid fan of the show (I didn't dislike it but it wasn't a show I tuned in to regularly) but I remember enjoying the show.

A few notes as I was listening to the audiobook:

1) The audiobook is read by Rosenthal and it is delightful. However, there are some awkward long pauses in between sentences to the point where you're not sure if the audiobook
Simon Lipson
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting stuff about Rosenthal's serendipitous journey, from nice Jewish middle-class New York potz (putz, for my American friends) to creator/showrunner of Raymond. A proper schlemiel who wanted to be an actor, he worked in a variety of crappy jobs while auditioning, performing in blink-and-you'd-miss-'em productions and, mainly, waiting for his opportunity. He discovered his real knack was for writing comedy when re-writing a part in a largely extemporised piece (for which someone else took ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Judging from this book Phil Rosenthal is a very amicable, compassionate, and funny human being. I picked up the audiobook version and it is very ably narrated by the author and also contains recordings of some important events in his life.
I found the material entertaining and very informative regarding the inside workings of the studio system. Mr Rosenthal is not afraid to use real names which i think takes real courage in his business.
The main point on which I would disagree with Mr Rosenthal
Peter Derk
Jan 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This book totally reminds me of this routine I had for a year or so in college, which I'm pretty sure started when I got a concussion.

I got up early for class. Then finished in the early afternoon. Then I'd eat a giant sandwich, and I'd sleep while DVD's of Futurama played on my computer, screen off, commentary tracks on.

Those tracks were mostly the writers talking about where the ideas for different episodes came from, and that's where a lot of this book goes too.

I'd sleep for a couple hours,
Leah Wescott
While I'm not a rabid fan of Everybody Loves Raymond, I'd never seen an episode I didn't enjoy and I was intrigued by the notion of learning about the behind-the-scenes leadership of the healthy creative writing environment. I'm thrilled I gave it a try. Phil Rosenthal is a smart, self-deprecating, hilarious, generous writer who broke Hollywood's standards by eschewing egos, focus groups and bureaucracy to see if valuing human connections and high quality writing might just work in something ...more
Sonia Reppe
Oct 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody Loves Raymond Fans
Everybody Loves A Funny Memoir

As a kid, Phil Rosenthal loved television with a passion. He learned how to turn that passion into creativity, and to make that creativity his way of earning a living. He is one of the best writers alive today, because he knows how to find the funny (as he says, "almost anyone's life can be turned into fuel for comedy); but also how to impart good themes and a value system at the same time: kindness, loyalty, forgiveness, love your family, enjoy your life.

Debra Fordham
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this audiobook! Phil reads it himself and even includes audio sound bites from various speeches he's given. Felt very personal and chatty. And Phil is HILARIOUS. Really knows how to tell a story. And his story really is "regular guy makes good". Inspiring that for once, a nice guy finished first -- since that really never happens much in Hollywood. My only question regarding this book is whether or not it would be interesting to anyone who either isn't a fan of "Everybody Loves Raymond" or ...more
Elizabeth Gambeski
Sep 23, 2012 rated it liked it
ok. i just want to start by thanking phil rosenthal and his crew for Everybody Loves Raymond. so many wonderful laughs. days without network tv were never dull when filled with Raymond on DVD. it seems like it never gets old. that being said, i expected this book to mak me double over in laughter, just as the show did. well, as you might imagine, the book is about all the hard work that made that amazing comedy possible. the book is only funny when it mentions a well-known show bit. even so, it ...more
Krishna Kumar
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Phil Rosenthal is the creator and writer of the famous sitcom, "Everybody Loves Raymond". This book is his biography from his childhood to his years on the show. I heard the audio version of the book and it was really funny. Filled with anecdotes and delivered with his Bronx accent, Phil talks about the various aspects of producing the show from writing to managing the crew. It does help if you have seen the show because he talks about how some of the more famous episodes were created from ...more
Mar 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
I was a big fan of the show "Everybody Loves Raymond," so this was fun to read. The book is a memoir of the creator of the show. The creation of the sitcom was a part of the book. He tells how they found the cast and how the premise for the show was based on his and Ray's real families. Things that happened in their lives with their wives and kids would end up on the show. I liked his attention to details and how they tried to make the characters as real as possible.
If you are interested in
April Burk Clark
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this audiobook. The author/narrator was warm, funny, anecdotal... I hadn't seen many episodes of "Everybody Loves Raymond" and I didn't need to in order to enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at the making of a popular sitcom. Now that I finished the book, I watched the first two episodes on Netflix and felt like an insider, knowing how some of the lines came about. I recommend this book if you have any interest at all in the entertainment business.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This might be among the funniest books I have ever read. After reading this book, I am convinced that Phil Rosenthal might be one of the funniest people on the planet. But interspersed with the seemingly endless anecdotes is advice and insight, not just on show business but on human nature and the idea of family. I am not really a huge "Raymond" fan, but after reading this I am certainly going to revisit the series.
May 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
I am an spiring comedy wiriter, so I found this book to be pretty inspiring as well as cautionary. If the "suits" in the business are as back biting and deplorable as Rosenthal paints them, I may have to remember to, "be careful what I wish for".

Anway, this is a breezy, fun read and loaded with a lot of funny anectdotes. Anyone interested in "the business" or a fan of the show should check this out.
Great fun for fans!

Everybody Loves Raymond is one of my all-time favourite TV shows; I own the entire series on DVD and the episodes still make me laugh out loud even all these years later!

Some parts of this book were better than others, but if youre a fan like me youll agree that on the whole it was entertaining and well worth the time.
Paul French
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great look behind the scenes of a hit sitcom. Phil Rosenthal is known for running one of the best writers' rooms in recent years. He was insistent that his writers worked regular hours because how could they write about real life if they weren't actually living it? It's a funny book, no matter how you feel about the show itself.
Scott Smith
For my media class this week we are focusing on Everybody Loves Raymond. This is a nice little book by the shows creator about his funny life and how the show came into being. It is pretty funny, and also some interesting insights into the world of US media.
Dec 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Funny, interesting, neat "behind-the-scenes" book. The author is a hoot, of course, and reading the book made me want to rent the EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND DVDs to see the episodes mentioned in the book.
Dec 21, 2007 rated it liked it
This is an autobiography and how-I-did-it book by the creator of "Everyone Loves Raymond." It's a fun, easy read if you're OK with his ba-dum-bum, Borscht Belt writing style. I enjoyed it because I'm a fan of the show and it had a lot of interesting behind-the-scenes TV-business stuff.
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great book from the exec director of "Everybody Loves Raymond". I loved watching his path from kid who got by be funny and loved to watch sitcoms to one who created one of the best. Esp loved all the insight into what makes good comic writing and good quality tv.
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
An excellent book that is part biography and part description of the making of a sitcom. Loved it even more as because you feel that you know the author personally and you enjoy knowing the back story.
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is HILARIOUS. I mean, I laughed out loud numerous times. I am a huge fan of Everybody Loves Raymond but this book is a must read for anyone wanting to become a writer/producer of sitcoms/television. A MUST read! Great book, quick read. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.
Feb 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: writer!
A good peek into putting together a shew and someone with opinions about tv that you'll like. Also, a good description of getting an acting career "just struggle for 10 years, be a writer for 5, make a hit sitcom, write that for 9 years, finally do a movie" That is a crap paraphrase.
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audio book narrated by the author. Very funny. It's not fair that one guy has had so many great experiences.
Christal (Badass Book Reviews)
Really funny! I think it would be entertaining even for those that aren't familiar with the Everybody Loves Raymond tv show.
Debbie Carnahan-Nichols
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hollywood writers, TV fans
Shelves: 2010-reads
An insider's account of "Everybody Loves Raymond," from casting to writing for 9 years.
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Television writer and producer who is best known as the creator, writer and executive producer for the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.

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