Sunday, September 19, 2004

 

Funniest Line In A Decent Book on Saturday Night Live.

My bedtime reading right now is Live From New York, a collection of anecdotes from the cast and crew of Saturday Night Live, compiled by authors James Miller and Tom Shales.

Full disclosure: I hate Tom Shales, a.k.a. the Washington Post's television critic. Can't stand him. Pompous ass who thinks I Love Lucy is the funniest thing to ever make it on television. Critic who has never gotten the Simpsons, South Park, or Family Guy. Complete and utter tool. Thankfully, the book has very little of his writing; but when it does, oh God, it's some awful c%&*sucking.

I'm only a little bit into the book, just getting past the point where the first episodes of the first season of SNL are airing. So far it's an engaging read, composed mostly of short paragraphs related by the likes of producer Lorne Michaels, NBC executive Dick Ebersol, and cast members like Dan Akroyd. However, I'm sure the stories will get repetitive, as even now they're all a variation on:

"It's hard working for Lorne. He's strange/difficult/a pain in the ass/etc."

Anyways, I'm a lifelong fan of the show who enjoys bitching about how bad the show is as much as I enjoy praising it when it's brilliant. Improv never really sparked my interest; unlike my buddy Polak who did improv, and did it well for years up in Boston. I've always thought of myself as a more of a stand-up comedian. Not only am I more of a loner, but performing by yourself means never having to share your cocaine. But I am still impressed by how a group of people can work together to make people laugh.

BTW, here's the funniest story in the book so far (How do I know? Not only did I laugh at the story, it's repeated verbatim by some reviewer on Amazon as *their* favorite story in the book), from SNL first season writer Alan Zweibel:

"It's like when I was doing Garry Shandling's first series, we wanted to have Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop on. I said, 'Of course we'll fly you out', and she said, 'Well, what about Lamb Chop?'

What *about* Lamb Chop?!? She says that Lamb Chop gets a seat. I swear to God, I almost threw my back out giving her the benefit of the doubt that she wasn't insane. I laughed and she said, 'Lamb Chop doesn't sit in the back'. I said, 'If I'm not mistaken, are we talking about the same Lamb Chop? Because, you know, it's a sock! It's a sock with a button, okay?!?' And it ended up we didn't use her because it was too insane."


It's a sock with a button, you freak.

Anyways, it's worth picking up if you're a fan of the show. At the very least, it's "anthology" character makes it a good bathroom read.

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