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Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live | [Tom Shales, James Andrew Miller]

Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live

A history of Saturday Night Live that finally reveals what really went on backstage, on the set, in the writers' offices, and on the town. Dozens of stars, writers, and guest hosts recall the backstage gossip, feuds, foibles, drugs, sex, struggles, and calamities of the show that changed television.
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Publisher's Summary

Saturday Night Live changed the face of television: it introduced brash new stars, trashed TV taboos, and had an impact on American life, laughter, and politics.

Dozens of stars, writers, guest hosts, contributors, and craftsmen recall the backstage stories, behind-the-scenes gossip, feuds, foibles, drugs, sex, struggles, and calamities, including personal details never before revealed.

Stars interviewed include Mike Myers, Chris Rock, Bill Murray, Tom Hanks, Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin, Jon Lovitz, Jane Curtin, Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Dana Carvey, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Garrett Morris, Molly Shannon, Damon Wayans, Chris Elliott, Julia Sweeney, Norm Macdonald, and Paul Simon - plus writers like Al Franken, Conan O'Brien, Larry David, Rosie Shuster, Jack Handey, Robert Smigel, Don Novello, and others who got their big breaks as part of the SNL team.

Live from New York does what no other book about the show has ever done: It lets the people who were there tell the story in their own words, blunt and loving and uncensored.

©2002 Thomas W. Shales and Jimmy the Writer Inc., (P)2002 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"The juiciest treasure trove of backstage gossip, sex and drugs since The Andy Warhol Diaries." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (582 )
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  •  
    Andrew Ontario, CA, USA 06-11-07
    Andrew Ontario, CA, USA 06-11-07
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    "Much like the show itself"

    I dont think you can grow up in America today without Saturday Night Live being part of your cultural heritage. As a young man born in 1982, it was definitely a solid part of my upbringing. It was a right of passage to get to stay up till 1130 and you really started to show your maturity when you could stay up for the whole show.

    This book recounts some of the wonderful stories behind the making of this iconic show. Much like the show itself, it is often witty, intelligent, funny, and cool but oftentimes just as misdirected, scatterbrained, misfocused, and boring. The book itself is definitely interesting. But something strikes me as a tad fishy when Jon Belushi gets nearly a total hour of audiobook time, and Phil Hartman gets a brief mention. The book obviously slants towards the original cast which deserves all of the praise they are given. My biggest problem is that I wanted to hear more about the early to mid 90s then just Chris Rock's struggle with race issues. I think the first two thirds of this book make the first half of a very interesting story, but Lorne and the gang would do well to step up and give us just as much background on later casts as the original 1975 cast.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara V Crandall 07-10-15

    I love listening to audiobooks on my commute! These books make the time fly by!!!

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    "Great listen for the SNL super fan!"

    I loved this book! Some of the other reviews commented on how the narrators didn't sound like the real people. Because you expected the real people to read their small section of an audiobook... C'mon. I loved all the narrations. Only problem was this was over too fast!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andria B. 05-19-15
    Andria B. 05-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Worth getting used to"

    It was very hard for me to get used to the different narrators "playing" different interviewees, but once I did, I thought it was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristy 04-07-15
    Kristy 04-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "The more you know"

    I love learning more about this amazing show. I've been a fan since the '90 when it was 'bad' but I thought it was amazing! I'm so happy it's on hulu so I can watch it whenever!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 03-13-15
    Anonymous 03-13-15
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    "Amazing"

    An unfettered view of late night TV. Spoken by people intricately involved in the process of making great television

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 03-06-15
    Ryan 03-06-15
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    "Great book"

    Great book although I wish there was an unabridged version. Very entertaining with great stories from behind the scenes of SNL.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick A. Bissonnette Marquette, MI, United States 02-26-15
    Rick A. Bissonnette Marquette, MI, United States 02-26-15 Member Since 2008

    Husband, Father, Grandfather, Bassist, Fan of Blues and Classic Rock, Avid Reader, Pharmacuetical Rep...

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    "Great listen for any SNL fan"

    I've been a SNL fan since I was a kid. This is a great listen for any SNL fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robyn A. Davidson Norfolk, VA, USA 01-19-15
    Robyn A. Davidson Norfolk, VA, USA 01-19-15
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    "Maybe Better to Read the Book"
    Has Live from New York turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Christopher Burns and Eric Conger ?

    Maybe it gets to an actual story part that would have been okay listening to narration but the huge chunk in the beginning with different narrators reading celebrity quotes was weird. Wasn't necessarily expecting all the famous people quoted but it was distracting to hear regular people doing vague, more exciting sounding impressions of those being quoted (SNL players, Lorne Michaels, and other celebrities).


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Stopped listening after about 30 minutes.


    Any additional comments?

    Bought this for a long road trip with my boyfriend. We're both interested in comedy and show biz type insider stories (listening to comedy podcasts, screenwriting, etc) and based solely on the description we decided to give it a go. I'd heard of the book and that it was good. But I wasn't expecting it to just be quotes from famous people read by various voice actors. It was cheesy and irritating and we stopped after about 30 minutes. I was very new to audible at the time and wish I'd known you can return a book. Still think the story may be worth reading one day because I'm interested in the genre but I didn't enjoy the audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Piedmont, CA, USA 05-23-03
    John Piedmont, CA, USA 05-23-03
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    "Great Job"

    I think the actors who recreated voices of people we know did an amazing job (sometimes having to re-create the voices of a character we know doing an impersonation of another celebrity!). Obviously, getting the original quotees would have been prohibitively expensive. As far as being somewhat melancholy in mood, as opposed to being a nice, packaged tribute, that's what the point of the book is... the show can be cancelled at any time without notice.. and that has been true for its entire turbulent history. It's never comfortable and nice.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Rocky River, OH, USA 02-28-03
    John Rocky River, OH, USA 02-28-03 Member Since 2001
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    "Funny and informative."

    It was enjoyable to relive some of my favorite SNL moments and to get a behind-the-scenes view of one of my favorite shows. It was not completely objective and certain characters did not participate. But, you get a much more complete view of the people that have made SNL such a successful show (and those who haven't).

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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