• Gasping for Airtime

  • Two Years in the Trenches of Saturday Night Live
  • By: Jay Mohr
  • Narrated by: Jay Mohr
  • Length: 2 hrs and 40 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 06-22-04
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars (163 ratings)

Regular price: $13.97

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Publisher's Summary

When 21-year-old Jay Mohr moved from New Jersey to New York City to pursue his dream of stand-up stardom, he never thought the first real job he'd land would be on Saturday Night Live. But, surprisingly, that's just what he did. What followed were two unbelievable, grueling, and exciting years of feverishly keeping pace with his talented cohorts, outmaneuvering the notorious vices that claimed the lives of other cast members, and struggling at all costs for the holy grail of late-night show business: airtime.

In Gasping for Airtime, Jay offers an intimate account of the inner workings of Saturday Night Live. He dishes on the guest hosts (John Travolta, Shannen Doherty, Charles Barkley), the musical guests (Kurt Cobain, Steven Tyler, Eric Clapton), and of course his SNL castmates (Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers and David Spade). Refreshingly honest and laugh-out-loud funny, this audio will appeal to both fans of Jay Mohr and to devotees of Saturday Night Live.

©2004 Giraffe Productions Inc. f/s/o Jay Mohr (P)2004 BBC Audiobooks America

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Audiobook...

The other book "Live from New York" is a great book on SNL but more historical. This one is right inside, from waking up and taking the subway to NBC to being in the pitch meetings. Mohr mixes in some impersonations (no Christoper Walken though..darn!) and his style of writing is excellent, you end it really wanting to hear more. A great book on what it's like to be on the "inisde" of SNL, the good and the bad.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Teeps
  • Mobile, AL
  • 12-30-06

Great

This book was a great look into the cutthroat world of SNL. The author is obviously biased, but his account is fair, honestly criticizing himself and never blaming others for all of his unsuccessful moments. Very cool listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Hood River, OR, USA
  • 12-28-05

Worth a listen...

This is a good audiobook. Jay Mohr narriates it himself, which adds a lot to the experience. It's a good peek into how the creative process works at SNL, and how much pressure the staff is under to generate the best work each week.

My only complaint is that this is an abridged version of the book, and it feels like it. It seems too short, and I could not shake the feeling that there was more behind each story that wasn't being told. My guess is that those missing details are in the book, just not in the this audio version, which is a shame. If you're a fan of the show, I consider this a very good listen regardless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Honest insight.

If you've ever wondered how the SNL sausage is made, listen to this. Jay Mohr tells it like he saw it, felt it, and lived it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Short, but funny

Any additional comments?

I enjoy non-fiction audio books read by the author. This was no exception. It's interesting to hear about behind the scenes of SNL. The title is great, you do feel like it's a war zone and you're right there with him stressing out about each skit.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

SNL feature? Have a sense of gratitude, sense of humor - this entitlement crap is ugly.

Frustrating to listen to. I have followed Mohr's career and was familiar with how SNL worked it's hours, with Lorne and Head Writer. Jay sounded entitled to the stage and took affront to each week his work wasn't chosen, all the while he admitted the sketches were often dumped, arbitrarily, last minute. He wanted to tantrum that he wasn't in any photos immortalized in SNL hallways from his first season? He admitted that once he learned he had no camera time, he left before the wave goodbye.

I would guess Jay Mohr wrote this, thinking he reached a balance between humility and personal angst. He was chosen as an SNL Feature, and while he sort of acknowledged that is a big deal on its own, he decided it was second class and he wouldn't stand for it. I have read very similar descriptions that delineate what is the SNL Work Week. My sympathies that he didn't care for it. I'm happy he stepped out so they could hire a Feature that was ready to do the work without the chip on his shoulder.

Good luck to you, Mr. Mohr. I know you continue to find successes in your stand up career, and I hope you appreciate every success as just that - something you earned and succeeded at, rather than something given to you because it's about time. Stop kvetching and enjoy people.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • DS
  • 02-15-13

SNL... sort of

Who is Jay Mohr? A guy who was hired by SNL and then couldn't seem to get on air... guess he wasn't good enough. I bought this because I'm an SNL fan but I learned very little about anything.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Maricela
  • Downey, CA, United States
  • 03-08-11

Great listen!

The first time I was introduced to Jay Mohr was through this book and since then, I've attended some of his live stand up performances. I love the way he writes and expresses himself. It was interesting to hear someone's perspective on what it was like to be on that show. I am not sure if it is accurate or not but it's his version of what happened. Very honest and entertaining.