NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NEW YORK Garry Shandling was a singular trailblazer in the comedy world. His two hit shows, It's Garry Shandling's Show and The Larry Sanders Show, broke new ground and influenced future sitcoms like 30 Rock and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and his stand-up laid the foundation for a whole new generation of comics. There's no one better to tell Shandling's story than Judd Apatow--Shandling gave Apatow one of his first jobs and remained his mentor for the rest of his life--and the book expands on Apatow's Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling. Here, Apatow has gathered journal entries, photographs, and essays for a close-up look at the artist who turned his gaze back onto the world of show business. Beyond his success, though, Shandling struggled with fame, the industry of art, and the childhood loss of his brother, which forever affected his personal and professional lives. His diaries show Shandling to be self-aware and insightful, revealing a deep philosophical and spiritual side. Contributions by comedians and other leading lights of the industry, as well as people who grew up with Shandling, along with never-before-seen pieces of scripts and brilliant jokes that he never performed, shed new light on every facet of his life and work. This book is the final word on the lasting impact of the great Garry Shandling.
In the mid-1970s, Jay Leno, David Letterman, Andy Kaufman, Richard Lewis, Robin Williams, Elayne Boosler, Tom Dreesen, and several hundred other shameless showoffs and incorrigible cutups from all across the country migrated en masse to Los Angeles, the new home of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. There, in a late-night world of sex, drugs, dreams and laughter, they created an artistic community unlike any before or since. It was Comedy Camelot -- but it couldn't last.William Knoedelseder, then a cub reporter covering the scene for the Los Angeles Times, was there when the comedians -- who were not paid for performing -- tried to change the system and incidentally tore apart their own close-knit community. In I'm Dying Up Here he tells the whole story of that golden age, of the strike that ended it, and of how those days still resonate in the lives of those who were there.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - "John Cleese's memoir is just about everything one would expect of its author--smart, thoughtful, provocative and above all funny. . . . A picture, if you will, of the artist as a young man."--The Washington PostThe legendary writer and performer of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame takes readers on a grand tour of his ascent in the entertainment world John Cleese's huge comedic influence has stretched across generations; his sharp irreverent eye and the unique brand of physical comedy he perfected now seem written into comedy's DNA. In this rollicking memoir, Cleese recalls his humble beginnings in a sleepy English town, his early comedic days at Cambridge University (with future Python partner Graham Chapman), and the founding of the landmark comedy troupe that would propel him to worldwide renown. Cleese was just days away from graduating Cambridge and setting off on a law career when he was visited by two BBC executives, who offered him a job writing comedy for radio. That fateful moment--and a near-simultaneous offer to take his university humor revue to London's famed West End--propelled him down a different path, cutting his teeth writing for stars like David Frost and Peter Sellers, and eventually joining the five other Pythons to pioneer a new kind of comedy that prized invention, silliness, and absurdity. Along the way, he found his first true love with the actress Connie Booth and transformed himself from a reluctant performer to a world class actor and back again. Twisting and turning through surprising stories and hilarious digressions--with some brief pauses along the way that comprise a fascinating primer on what's funny and why--this story of a young man's journey to the pinnacle of comedy is a masterly performance by a master performer.
"If you are among the multitudes who have a Bill Murray story (viz: 'I was in the airport bar, and who sat down next to me but Bill Murray?'), The Tao of Bill Murray will speak to you."--Elle "Murray is an endless delight, and his knack for bons mots and non sequiturs will keep readers laughing before revealing an unexpectedly poignant vision for happiness. . . . A fun and revealing look behind the charm and mythos of Bill Murray that will only strengthen his legend."--Kirkus Reviews "This book is bursting with anecdotes that underline Murray's unconventional and fun-loving life. . . . Murray's fans are sure to savor it] and walk away with a deeper appreciation of the actor and his work."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "I just can't fathom how anyone could not like the man. He lives as much as possible by his own rules; this is a guy who doesn't buy round-trip airline tickets because he prefers to make decisions on the fly. That old question of the three people you'd most like to have dinner with? I'd pick Bill Murray and leave the other two chairs empty just to see who he pulls over to join us. . . . You will love The Tao of Bill Murray. Period."--GeekDad "A hilarious read--occasionally heartwarming, sometimes head-scratching. . . . Sure to please Murray fans."--Library Journal