The Book of David

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From award-winning comedian, director, writer, and producer David Steinberg comes the totally original, utterly blasphemous, and hysterically funny memoir of a young man who emerged from a traditional Jewish childhood to become an international star — all because, it seems, he kept God in stitches.

David Steinberg was raised in Winnipeg, Canada, by parents who expected little from him. And no wonder. Instead of studying Talmud in order to become a rabbi, he chose to major in ...

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Book of David

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From award-winning comedian, director, writer, and producer David Steinberg comes the totally original, utterly blasphemous, and hysterically funny memoir of a young man who emerged from a traditional Jewish childhood to become an international star — all because, it seems, he kept God in stitches.

David Steinberg was raised in Winnipeg, Canada, by parents who expected little from him. And no wonder. Instead of studying Talmud in order to become a rabbi, he chose to major in Martin and Lewis with a minor in basketball. As David imagines the story of his life (since his success otherwise makes no sense), God one day spotted him on the playground and decided that this young man with no ambition could go far with His help. Sure enough, God soon had David on network TV and Broadway, and selling out nightclubs across the country — as well as being pursued by hot starlets.

The Book of David is David Steinberg's hilarious trip down memory lane, assuming that the lane has a biblical address. This wild riff on the Old Testament is guaranteed laughter.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Much funnier than the Bible. Much wittier. And...more accurate, especially the showbiz parts. God and David Steinberg go way back, and it's great to see them together again, hilarious as ever. One of them curious, human, and extraordinarily witty, and the other...God."
— Garry Shandling

"David's book reminds us, once again, what a great and original comedian he is. A wonderfully inventive piece. I had no idea David was Jewish."
— Billy Crystal

"Funny! David Steinberg is a credit to his people, actually to all people, and the spelling and grammar in this book are incredible."
— Robin Williams

"That this is David Steinberg's first book, big surprise. That his first book is funny from beginning to end, no surprise at all!"
— Paul Reiser

"For years, David Steinberg and I have compared notes on our mutual disdain for any form of hard work. Now I am shocked and outraged to discover that he has gone ahead and written a book, an excellent one at that, filled with wit and erudition. In short, he has betrayed me and every lazy man who once counted him as a cohort. Every shiftless layabout shall now know the truth: that David Steinberg is a highly motivated purveyor of quality...he's dead to me."
— Larry David

Kirkus Reviews
Late of many appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and two-drink-minimum gigs, comedian Steinberg tells the story of his life as though it were ripped from the Old Testament. Beware of a joke that groweth old upon constant repetition. Such is the lesson to be learned from this memoir, which doth predicate itself upon the supposed humor of a comic pretending to speak to God, referring to himself in the third person and to his routines as, nay, not standup, but "sermons." So it was that in a bygone time, young David came to be in that remote and ridiculous land of Winnipeg, which entailed much wailing and gnashing of teeth before he traveled to comedy's Promised Land, Second City in its glory days. Improvisational comedy success lead to his knowing of many maidens (the time was the Sexual Revolution, and they revolted). Steinberg then made the pilgrimage to California, where he sat at the right hand of Carson. Steinberg's sentences beget other sentences, and still more sentences after them, until a great many sentences are upon the page, and the reader is afflicted with dismay and lethargy, so full are these sentences with willfully anachronistic details and repetitions of a non-funny nature. Merits divine chastisement.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743272322
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 6/12/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,148,867
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

David Steinberg, now in his fifth decade as a major entertainer and comedian, was a regular substitute host for Johnny Carson, and appeared with Johnny more than anyone except Bob Hope. As a standup, he had four number one comedy albums and two network television shows, and was a leader of Second City during its heyday. He went on to help write and direct such television megahits as Curb Your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, Mad About You, Friends, and Designing Women. He is also executive producer, creator, and host of Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg. Over the last forty years, he has worked with nearly all of entertainment's funniest performers and comedians.

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Read an Excerpt

The Book of David

By David Steinberg

Simon & Schuster

Copyright © 2007 David Steinberg
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780743272322

Chapter One

In the beginning -- well, maybe it wasn't exactly the beginning. It could have been closer to the middle, or, depending on what happens in the Mideast, nearer the end than anyone would care to think about, which is how de Nile got its name. But it was sometime after that pleasant Sunday during the Big Bang years when the Eternal One, blessed be He and His name which you are not allowed to utter aloud or even spell out completely, had taken the formless, black, cold earth and exhaled holy carbon dioxide into its lungs (technically not CPR, because earth wasn't yet alive), declaring that there would be light -- but not just any light; it should be a particular light, not too bright yet good for reading. And God called this light "day," though of course it is not called day in every language. In Szechuan, for example, the word for day is not pronounceable by nonnative speakers, but since only heathen unbelievers (will they be sorry) live in China, God chose to call the light by its verbal symbol in English, which until recently was the main language of the formerly God-fearing United States. (See: Day of Reckoning.)

Then did God declare that there should be a firmament in the midst of the waters, as if He had a choice unless He wanted His peoples to be fishes (but let's not skipahead). Forsooth, you should know that He did indeed consider such a state for a while before deciding against it on the grounds that He needed a drier place to live. Thus, on the second morning He gatherest up the waters together in one place, so He could keep an eye on things when He eventually commanded man to evolve and crawl out of the primordial ooze onto dry land; for that to happen, of course, He had to actually have dry land. Capisce? He called the dry land Earth, this time with a capital E, in order to confuse writers and students and Green Party functionaries with the difference between Earth and earth -- as in He and Him and His inscrutable sense of humor. Lo (and behold), on the Earth, God discovered that He had a Green Thumb. You want to talk creativity? Stuff grew everywhere, some of it poisonous, but no matter. He pronounced it good, because He does not have self-esteem issues, even though His own backstory is a little vague (How did I get all this power?).

Now cameth the third morning. He was groggy, for He had stayed up all night fretting and thinking about what to do next -- waiting, if you must know, for inspiration. Oh then did His voice thunder onto the landscape, which was already overgrown and in need of pruning: "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light upon the earth."

All of which is to say merely that He created the sun and moon and stars (He was not, at first, a God of few words). And that was pretty good, too, or at least He thought so until He realized how all that good light was going to waste -- and trees were falling in the forests without Immanuel Kant hearing them.

Thus, on the fourth day He filled the air with bugs and birds, and the oceans with some good Northern whitefish but also a lot of traife, and He commanded them to multiply, and they listened and they obeyed, especially the bugs, so that now it's so bad some days in Miami, you could be forgiven for spraying a few of God's creatures that have been just a little too fruitful. Understand ye that, at the time He animated all of His creatures, God wasn't really into considering the consequences of His actions or focus-grouping them, for He was too involved in His many works, thinking how He really had it going now. And that explains the context in which He created beasts and other violent things to run around killing and eating each other.

For some reason, He thought that that was good, too. (He has never acknowledged that the law of the jungle may have been a mistake, not even when Rousseau came up with a better idea. Except for some Freudian guilt over the casualty toll from an early flood, He obstinately insists that first drafts are for sissies and lesser gods.)

But then did something begin to gnaw at Him, and it was not one of His beasts; He sensed a vital piece missing from the master plan. Hallelujah, yes: Man! He would create man, and -- once again evincing that mischievous ear for language -- man would be both man and woman. That should hold them for a while, He thought. And yet, His emptiness persisted -- an incredibly big emptiness. What is that missing link? He wondered as His anthropomorphic fingers stroked His untouchable chin, feeling the pressure to create something big and new and yet coming up empty, for He could not manage to think outside the box. Thus did He ponder whether God can create an image that He cannot live up to.

And then after a good night's sleep He slapped his forehead and remembered what He had chosen to forget: Yes, He would invent free will and implant it into man so that man could disobey Him -- and in that way the real fun of being God and having a front-row seat at billions of small Greek tragedies over countless millennia could begin in earnest. It was sublime. It was transcendent. It was foolproof. It would be a living hell.

But wait, for in an inspired coda God decided to create man in His own image.

"Now that's good," He pronounced, clapping His unknowable hands in joy -- and inadvertently causing a thunderstorm that wiped out sixty-one species, including a plant that would've one day cured cancer, which He had also invented on the assumption that man would enjoy the discovery process.

But what now had He wrought? Winners and losers. God, you see, is a master of disguise. Brad Pitt and Rasputin? Both are made in His image. Angelina Jolie and Phyllis Schlafly? Yea, they too.

And so, chaos began to reign, which meant that God's work was at last done. It had taken six days, and He was quite naturally exhausted. On the seventh day He slept in -- right through dinner. Some say He's been asleep ever since, but some are going to have a nasty surprise waiting for them on the other side.

Anyway, when the time was right, He created the Steinbergs.

Poor God.

Copyright © 2007 by David Steinberg and Joel Engel


Excerpted from The Book of David by David Steinberg Copyright © 2007 by David Steinberg. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 3 of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2007

    A laugh a minute

    I was really looking forward to this book and I was not disappointed. Actually, the book was much funnier than I thought it would be because I was not sure if the idea about having David be a character in the bible was funny, but it is and it is very funny. There were a few pages and a chapter or two that I did not laugh at much, but otherwise I was laughing or chuckling or something all the time. My wife kept poking me because I was reading in bed and my laughing was keeping her awake. Bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2007

    Painfully Funny

    Being only twenty years old, a recent episode of The Jon Stewart show was the first time I was exposed to the humor of comedian David Steinberg. Finding him to be quite funny, I went and bought his first book. It was no disappointment. A compilation of side-splitting anecdotes and witty, satirical jokes, it was truly hilarious!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

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