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
"The juiciest treasure trove of backstage gossip, sex and drugs since The Andy Warhol Diaries." (Publishers Weekly)
This really can't be considered a book, per se. All it is, really, is a collection of quotes which have been copy and pasted into a text document. Period. I could have done that.
Great stories but the voices used to portray the quotes were horrible and distracting. I learned a lot about SNL but wish they should have had someone actually portray the voices more authentically.
This book starts out very interesting but gets a little long winded and when it finally winds up I was glad it did. The early days of SNL was the most interesting. The first cast were the ones I grew up with and there was actually very little revealed in this book that hasn't been common knowledge for many years. I was surprised at a few things and especially all the negative comments about Chevy Chase even from some of the more recent cast members.
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.
The narration in this book is just awful. "Readers" are used to portray real life actors, comedians, musicians, etc. and it's just horrible. The person who reads the Billy Crystal excerpts is particularly annoying. The effort put into immitating people is so distracting and off-putting, that at some point, I almost just threw in the towel and gave up the book.
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.
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).
We've heard it all before. This book is a big disappointment because we learn nothing we haven't been subjected to for years by gossip scribes. I mean, Jane Curtain doesn't like John Belushi! Janeanne Garafalo feels women got the short end of the stick on SNL! Chevy Chase is an arrogant wannabe! Wow, who would have guessed?
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