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You're Lucky You're Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom | [Phil Rosenthal]

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

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 America's best-loved show for nine years with more than 17 million viewers. As the number-one sitcom, it received more than 70 Emmy nominations, including two wins for best comedy.
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Publisher's Summary

For nearly 10 years no TV comedy was a popular or beloved as Everybody Loves Raymond.

In You're Lucky You're Funny, Phil Rosenthal, the creator and executive producer of the show, tells the behind-the-scenes story of the making of a number one smash-hit sitcom. Based on Ray Romano's actual life, the show also took much of its material from Phil's equally, and hysterically, dysfunctional family characters and experiences.

Besides being one of the funniest books ever written about television, You're Lucky You're Funny is one of the most illuminating, Phil offers an unprecedented look at the making of a hit show, considering everything from casting to writing to production to managing egos to keeping a series fresh after it has comfortably settled in for the long haul.

For anyone who loves comedy, for the millions of devoted fans of Everybody Love Raymond, and for all the aspiring writers who are edging their way toward Hollywood, You're Lucky You're Funny will be a gift and an inspiration.

©2006 Phil Rosenthal; (P)2006 Phoenix Audio

What the Critics Say

"Like listening to a very long and funny stand-up routine." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (151 )
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  •  
    Margaret Campbell Palm Coast, FL USA 11-05-06
    Margaret Campbell Palm Coast, FL USA 11-05-06 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For Raymond Lovers"

    For anyone who really enjoyed the Everybody Loves Raymond series, this book is an absolute "must". Probably the most enjoyable audiobook I have ever purchased. Absolutely could not put it down. From this book I learned that a huge amount of the material in this series has serious ties to the real-life stories of Phil Rosenthal and Ray Romano. Absolutely GREAT listening!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toni Houston, TX, United States 09-25-09
    Toni Houston, TX, United States 09-25-09
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    "Amusing, with mysterious pauses"

    Maybe it's the nature of the author-narrator's obsession - episodic television - but there are regular quiet spaces of a few seconds each. I'm used to pauses meaning something, and here they don't. Perhaps they're only meant to make the audiobook longer. Or not.

    Listeners who are used to a smooth, or smoothly dramatized, flow of words may find the pauses as distracting as I do.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 04-07-14
    Peter 04-07-14 Member Since 2011

    An Editor living in NYC. I grew up listening to Radio Plays and have found a love for audiobooks and podcasts.

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    "Everybody Loves Rosenthal"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If they enjoyed Everybody Loves Raymond, then I would recommend this to them. I've gotten my Dad to listen to it, actually. Rosenthal has a firm tongue in cheek way of reading his book that makes it charming.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of You're Lucky You're Funny?

    I enjoyed hearing him recall his mis-adventures before he got working in TV. His Night at the Museum was quite memorable.


    What about Phil Rosenthal’s performance did you like?

    Hearing it in his own words made it more enjoyable for me, as I've only seen him perform in a handful of movies before.


    Any additional comments?

    I sought this book out because I'd seen his documentary 'Exporting Raymond' and had seen him perform in 'The TV Set' movie. I like his take on life and humor and felt that his book would have the same tone and was not left wanting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    123 07-15-13
    123 07-15-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Reads like Cinderella for comedy writing"
    Any additional comments?

    For anyone getting into comedy writing, sitcoms, or show business in general, Rosenthal’s story feels a little like a magical fairytale. I loved hearing how his career took off, and how all of the pieces came together to create and sustain a successful and long-running sitcom. There are a lot of great tips sprinkled throughout as well. The author was great as a narrator; his tone was pleasant and conversational, and his passion and excitement for the field and his experiences really came through. On a technical note, there are quite a few long pauses (like 5-10 seconds) sprinkled throughout the audio -- I thought it was my app at first, but got used to it. One suggestion: Skip Chapter 9. The majority of the chapter is a painfully detailed account of a bad vacation he took with his family, and I’m not sure why it was included. It wasn’t funny or insightful, the whiny tone contrasted with the other chapters, and there was no real tie-in to the rest of the book that made it necessary to listen. Don't worry, the rest of the book is still worth the download!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Anderson Los Anchorage, AK 05-10-13
    E. Anderson Los Anchorage, AK 05-10-13 Member Since 2002

    Panic Blog

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    "Very Informative and hilarious to boot!"

    Wrapped in a memoir is a wealth of information about how TV works (or worked during the Raymond years). I love the fact that instead of quoting from speeches he's given, the book contains the actual recordings of the speeches themselves. Well done, Mr. Rosenthal, well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Las Vegas, NV, United States 02-12-13
    Jan Las Vegas, NV, United States 02-12-13 Member Since 2011
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    "I was lucky to find this book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Phil Rosenthal has mastered the art of story telling. I never watched a full episode of Raymond, until after I I heard Phil discuss the making of the episodes. I then watched the first season on Netflix and I got an amazing education of the art of writing comedy for television.

    If you thing you might want to write for TV or for yourself for that matter, this is a must have in your library.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a very real book. There are no made up lines just to fit into the book. Everything that Phil talks about is meaningful to him and he presents his material in a light and funny manner, without ever getting jokey.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not sure what my favorite scene of the book would be, although there are quite a few moments that I remember reading and thinking this is very interesting.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud more than once from reading this book. It is heartfelt and genuine,


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Marina del Rey, CA, United States 01-30-13
    Aaron Marina del Rey, CA, United States 01-30-13
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    "We're lucky he's funny!"
    Would you listen to You're Lucky You're Funny again? Why?

    I've already listened to this twice!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Phil Rosenthal has an incredible story and it's very inspiring for those of us who are working on creating a career as a writer or actor.


    Have you listened to any of Phil Rosenthal’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the first book of Phil's that I've listened to, but I've seen every episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, his TV series, multiple times and consider it to be the best-written, best-acted, best-directed sitcom of all-time.


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

    I was touched when Phil talked about his family and how ultimately family is the most important thing to him, and it's his experiences with his family that inspired his TV series.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must read for anyone who wants to break into the entertainment industry, as well as anyone who wants to hear the inside scoop from one of TV's most successful showrunners.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil Hudson OREM, UT, US 10-19-12
    Phil Hudson OREM, UT, US 10-19-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great For Anyone Interested in Show Biz"
    Would you listen to You're Lucky You're Funny again? Why?

    Yes. This book, amid the funny storytelling is ripe with insider info into how Hollywood works. As a wannabe writer, this helped me see the inside a little bit better than I would have expected.


    What other book might you compare You're Lucky You're Funny to and why?

    Bossy Pants by Tina Fey - Both give great insights and explain how their lives led them to a life of comedy and helped shape their artistic talents in the television format.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed-out-loud several times. Great story telling.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely worth the investment!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Fremont, CA, United States 09-10-12
    Larry Fremont, CA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2008
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    "He's funny and a nice guy too"
    Would you listen to You're Lucky You're Funny again? Why?

    Yes - Phil Rosenthal has the DNA of a storyteller. It's a good thing to have if you are writing stories. I never watched Raymond, but this book is a look into that alien world of Show Business through the eyes of a talented and funny storyteller. Hearing an autobiography read by the author adds a lot to the experience.
    I like this book.


    What other book might you compare You're Lucky You're Funny to and why?

    I've listened to Dick Van Dyke, Adrien Barbeau, and Kristen Chenoweth read their books and enjoyed them immensely too.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Cover to cover - it's enjoyable.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The funniest people are behind the camera.


    Any additional comments?

    Phil is a performer as well as a talented artist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill BROOKLYN, NY, United States 03-26-12
    Jill BROOKLYN, NY, United States 03-26-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great if you love sitcoms"
    If you could sum up You're Lucky You're Funny in three words, what would they be?

    Educational, humorous, engaging


    What was one of the most memorable moments of You're Lucky You're Funny?

    I liked the audio of his various speeches (Emmy's, Hofstra...)


    Have you listened to any of Phil Rosenthal’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The making of the last great traditional family sitcom.


    Any additional comments?

    I've never been a huge fan of Everybody Loves Raymond, I've always just thought it was a cute show and watched it sometimes in syndication. However, I love sitcoms in general (although I'm over the multi-camera format now, as is most of America I think). This book was just great if you're curious about how you get to make a sitcom. His early life was interesting enough but I really got into it when he started getting into the Raymond years. I might listen to it again at some point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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