In a career spanning more than 30 years, David Letterman redefined the modern talk show with an ironic comic style that transcended traditional television. While he remains one of the most famous stars in America, he is a remote, even reclusive figure whose career is widely misunderstood. In Letterman, Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic in the history of the New York Times, mixes groundbreaking reporting with unprecedented access and probing critical analysis to explain the unique entertainer's titanic legacy.
"Fails to Capture What Made Letterman Great"
In 2005, Dave Chappelle left show business at the height of his fame, giving up a small fortune and the hottest new television show in many years. In so doing, he transformed from being one of the greatest comics of his generation into one of the most enigmatic ever. In Searching for Dave Chappelle, Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic in the history of The New York Times, sorts through the myriad theories and examines what happened to this singular artist.
Much has been written about the storied New Hollywood of the 1970s, but while Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola were making their first classic movies, a parallel universe of directors gave birth to the modern horror film - aggressive, raw, and utterly original. Based on unprecedented access to the genre's major players, New York Times critic Jason Zinoman's Shock Value delivers the first definitive account of horror's golden age.
"A good listen, but narrow in scope"
"A Lot More Going on Than Four-Letter Words" is from the November 11, 2016 Entertainment section of The New York Times. It was written by Jason Zinoman and narrated by Fleet Cooper.
"Hating Hillary Clinton: Female Comics Skewer the Sexism of the Likability Trap" is from the October 9, 2016 Lifestyle section of The New York Times. It was written by Jason Zinoman and narrated by Caroline Miller.
At a sleepy show last month in the grim basement of the Broadway Comedy Club, a Midtown spot that feels frozen in time from the 1980s comedy boom, Julio Torres looked at his feet, speaking to a small crowd in a near monotone. “The hardest part about being vegan is the apologies,” he said, to silence. “People ask if I miss meat or dairy. I miss being liked.”
"Meet Julio Torres, the New 'SNL' Star No One Sees" is from the January 13, 2017 Entertainment section of The New York Times. It was written by Jason Zinoman and narrated by Paul Ryden.
As a small kid growing up in the 1980s, I truly believed that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus was the greatest show on Earth.
"The Circus Is Leaving Town. Forever." is from the February 24, 2017 Entertainment section of The New York Times. It was written by Jason Zinoman and narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel.