Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live Audiobook | Tom Shales, James Andrew Miller | Audible.com
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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

3.7 (403 )
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  •  
    Tim Seattle, WA, USA 12-22-02
    Tim Seattle, WA, USA 12-22-02
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    "Interesting inside look, so-so presentation"

    I definitely enjoyed listening to this book, mostly for the insightful, interesting, behind-the-scenes look at SNL. The accounts from the various cast members, especially the early ones, confirmed what I had suspected about the show.

    I *really* wish that the narrators had simply read the quotes of the various writers, hosts and cast members. In imitating people whose voices you knew well (such as the various cast members) they came off as caricatured, often oddly similar, voice impressions and overall detracted from listening experience and content of the book. The narrators take artistic license by interpreting and adding dramatic emphasis, emotion, etc. to the quotes of various people that I question would have been there had the actual people spoke.

    Overall, I good listening experience to learn more about the makings of an American pop culture institution.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff La Grande, OR, USA 10-27-09
    Jeff La Grande, OR, USA 10-27-09
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    "Very good listen, but left me wishing it had more."

    Probably more like 3.5 stars instead of 4 but still really good and if you're a fan big of SNL it really hits.
    The book details the ins and outs and minor details of SNL from it's inception till present day. But I kept wanting more of a focused story from the years I grew up on, which will most likely be the same for anyone listening. The first cast gets the most page time, but even that could be it's own incredible book.

    The book spends a lot of time on the early years which is great, but that attention to detail for the later years is glossed over through the rest of the book which is too bad. I wish the same amount of detail that went into the first cast and SNL's opening years showed up in the later years as well. That of course would have made the book four times the size it is now though.

    The dynamics of how the cast works, writers write, and how the show comes together is fascinating, but I still wanted more about the show I love so much and the book never seems dive as deep as you want into any given set of cast members, besides the first for obvious reasons.

    The reading of the book is very well done. There are numerous people doing all of the different quotes throughout the book from cast members and writers, to studio execs. It sounds like they try to match the person they're imitating every once in a while which is kind of weak, but nothing that throws you out of the book. Very easy to listen to and sounded great.

    This is a must read/listen for any SNL fan.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, USA 02-04-04
    Steven HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA, USA 02-04-04
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    "Fascinating Book, So-So Narrative"

    I agree with the other reviewers that the people who read quotes from cast members' and writers' interviews probably misinterpreted the quotes by placing the emphasis in the wrong places. This detracted slightly from the book's presentation, as did the slightly off attempts to impersonate the voices which we all know so well. Still, the content of the book was fascinating, and this book was extremely well written and researched. I was not looking for sensationalism, or "an expose." This book offers the facts, interpretations and experiences of the cast members over the years and presents them in a frank, factual and entertaining style. The writing and the narration, even with the possible problems with the quotes, made this one of the most interesting audiobooks I have heard in a long time. But I am a fan and was interested in knowning about all the backstage drama at SNL.

    This book explains how and why the show got so bad at points, and how and why it got better. It explains the concept for the show and the network's meddling and occasionally necessary interference. It discusses the interrelationship of the cast members, writers and producers throughout the years. I found it fascinating. If you liked the show, you'll like the book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lamkini Atlanta 04-11-12
    lamkini Atlanta 04-11-12
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    "Honestly, Not Great - Only For The BIGGEST Fans"
    Would you try another book from Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller and/or Christopher Burns and Eric Conger ?

    Doubtful


    Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller again?

    Doubtful


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

    I think if you're going to try to have lots of different voices for so many different people like that, you've got to have so many more narrators than they did for this audiobook. It was embarrassing to hear the same african-american guy doing all the african-american guy voices, and it was lame to hear the same "young sounding guy" do a couple of the voices back-to-back without even trying to sound different.Some of the voices have accents that the real-life people they're representing don't even have! Honestly, this was not good.If I hadn't been a lifelong, gigantic fan of SNL, I never would've even finished listening to this.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It actually reads like an interview-heavy documentary. I'd have MUCH rather seen the real people talking than hear these awful voice overs from other actors.


    Any additional comments?

    The fact that SNL and its history is enthralling all by itself is the only thing that makes this book even sort of worth listening to. There are some really interesting and worthwhile moments in this book, but the audiobook performance is abysmal.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill BROOKLYN, NY, United States 04-05-12
    Jill BROOKLYN, NY, United States 04-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Surprisingly Boring"
    Would you try another book from Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller and/or Christopher Burns and Eric Conger ?

    I would probably stay away from these authors. The narration was ok.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller again?

    Probably not.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was weird. There were like 6 different narrators, alternating the quotes by the actors and writers. It was weird to have someone else do the voice of an actor you know, but fine. At times, I felt the narration was over-acted, but I got used to it.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Live from New York?

    The book is basically just a series of quotes that tell the story. That's fine, but I think it could have moved faster if they summarized more and used fewer quotes. The early years were especially boring to me, but maybe that's because I don't remember them.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a big fan of SNL and I'm glad I know more about the history of the show now. It was just a little tedious at times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mia United States 11-15-11
    Mia United States 11-15-11
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    "Read This Book, Don't Listen"

    For me, the problem is with the format. I am very famiar with the voices of the people being portrayed and as a result I was distracted by the narrators. For example, it was very distracting to have someone other than Eddie Murphy read words as Eddie Murphy. Even worse, you'd have the same voice for many different people. This particular book would be best read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Penny Saugus, MA, USA 01-14-03
    Penny Saugus, MA, USA 01-14-03
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    "Live from New York"

    Great book for anyone who loves or ever loved Saturday Night Live. Found it very interesting to find how it was created and why at times the show seemed to falter! Great listining. :)

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristina Calgary, Alberta, Canada 11-05-13
    Kristina Calgary, Alberta, Canada 11-05-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Live From New York was amazing"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Live from New York to be better than the print version?

    I really enjoyed the audio edition since there were multiple people that helped write the book there were also multiple voices that help read the book as well. Having all these voices help me picture the people being interviewed. It also gave me a visual throwback to the skits and times that the people hosted or were a part of the SNL cast.

    Listening to the audio book has also inspired me to pick up the print version as well.


    What other book might you compare Live from New York to and why?

    This book not only gave a history to the show but also to the City and what everyone was going through during different times.

    To me this book is SNL's biography.


    What does Christopher Burns and Eric Conger bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    You are able to feel all the emotion that everyone was going through when they talk about significant moments in their history and in the show's.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It was very moving when old cast members/hosts/producers would talk about a cast member that passed away. During these parts the book get's views from a lot of people and you are given a great insight to what they were going through at that difficult time.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this book and will for sure pick up a print copy as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MICHELLE Tampa, FL, United States 08-07-12
    MICHELLE Tampa, FL, United States 08-07-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Loved it!"

    I wish there was more of this book - I could have listened all day to former SNL castmates and writers sharing their experiences. At the very least, you'll walk away from this highly-entertaining read with a new respect and admiration for Saturday Night Live. For the audio version, some contributors to the book are combined so hearing the same voice read for multiple characters could be a bit distracting at first. However, well worth getting past! Great behind-the-scenes look and highly-entertaining listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Carlsbad, CA, United States 05-28-12
    Robert Carlsbad, CA, United States 05-28-12 Member Since 2011

    Carlsbad Rob

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    "Entertaining History"

    I highly recommend this audio novel but have one reservation. Blue tooth streaming in my car tends to drop off every time there is a pause in an audio. Between songs you don't notice it, in most audio novels its barely noticeable. In this one, however, it drops off each time they mention the name of the speaker. Not knowing who said what makes the story far less enjoyable. If you don't have this problem, ignore my review, the audio is brilliant fun over the iphone headset. If you do, well you've been warned so you might look for a solution before you buy (perhaps avoid streaming and run it directly).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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