Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny

Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny

3.6 82
by Marlo Thomas
     
 

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Growing Up Laughing is a compelling autobiographical journey—hilarious and heartfelt, intimate and inspiring. It is a book that only Marlo Thomas could write.

For as long as Thomas can remember, she's lived with laughter. Born to comedy royalty—TV and nightclub star Danny Thomas—she grew up among legendary funny men, carved much of her

Overview

Growing Up Laughing is a compelling autobiographical journey—hilarious and heartfelt, intimate and inspiring. It is a book that only Marlo Thomas could write.

For as long as Thomas can remember, she's lived with laughter. Born to comedy royalty—TV and nightclub star Danny Thomas—she grew up among legendary funny men, carved much of her career in comedy and, to this day, surrounds herself with people who love and live to make others laugh. Thomas takes us on a funny and heartwarming adventure, from her Beverly Hills childhood, to her groundbreaking creation of That Girl and Free to Be . . . You and Me, to her marriage to talk-show king Phil Donahue.

Her youth was star-studded—Milton Berle performed magic tricks (badly) at her backyard birthday parties. George Burns, Bob Hope, Sid Caesar, Bob Newhart and other great comics passed countless hours gathered around her family's dinner table. And behind it all was the rich laughter nurtured by a close and loving family.

Growing Up Laughing is not just the story of an iconic entertainer, but also the story of comedy. In a voice that is curious, generous and often gleeful, Thomas not only opens the doors on the funny in her own life, but in a series of insightful and hilarious interviews also explores the comic roots of today's most celebrated comedians.

Editorial Reviews

As the daughter of famed comedian Danny Thomas, Marlo Thomas grew up in an atmosphere where primetime laughs came not just from TV, but also from frequent visits to her home from the likes of Bob Hope and George Burns. In her family, laughter became "the cushion for life," her father insisting that adults should laugh as frequently as children do. Growing Up Laughing is her tribute to her father and the philosophy of good cheer and good works that he instilled in her. This feel-good memoir possesses an activist side too: The former star of That Girl writes candidly about problems that women face in the workplace and elsewhere. A top-seller; now in a paperback and a NOOKbook.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401310639
Publisher:
Hachette Books
Publication date:
05/03/2011
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
712,762
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Marlo Thomas is the author of five bestselling books, including Free to Be You and Me and The Right Words at the Right Time. She has won numerous awards including four Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, the Grammy Award, the Peabody Award, and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame for her work in television, including her starring role in the landmark series That Girl. She is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She lives in New York with her husband.

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Growing up Laughing 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 82 reviews.
Annette627 More than 1 year ago
I grew up watching "That Girl" and "Make Room For Daddy" and when I first heard that this book was coming out...I could not wait to get it...Well let me tell you I enjoyed it so much and the memories it brought back were astounding. Get it...read it...and relive your own memories, you will not be sorry.
carolannyo More than 1 year ago
First read on my nook. Wonderful remembering things as I was growing up. I would highly recommend this and all the memories it brings back.
FeatheredQuillBookReviews More than 1 year ago
She grew up among the legends of comedy; Milton Berle, George Burns, and Sid Ceasar to name just a few. She was referred to as "Danny Thomas' little girl" or "That Girl." But through it all, Marlo Thomas has been her own woman, independent, opinionated, and very appreciative of her loving family. Growing Up Laughing is as much a story of Danny Thomas as it is of his daughter Marlo. The well-known actress recounts a myriad of stories of her dad, his career, and the company he kept within the pages of this book. There are many tales of Danny Thomas with "The Boys," (Red Buttons, Milton Berle, Art Linkletter, Don Rickles, Carl Reiner, etc.) that are both touching and humorous. It quickly becomes clear that this was a tightly knit group of friends. The Boys liked to hang out at Hillcrest Country Club and they wanted their friend Thomas to join them for Sunday afternoons at the club. The only problem was that the club was restricted to Jews and Thomas was Catholic. The board had to decide if an exception would be made and with all of Thomas' friends pushing for him, he was allowed honorary status. They went on to share many great times at the club. The Boys were also constantly trying to one-up each other, creating havoc as they all would surrender in laughter. The book is filled, particularly the early pages, with the exploits of these famous comedians and what they did and said to keep their friends in hysterics. Growing up in Beverly Hills, Marlo didn't have the typical middle-class American suburb upbringing, but rather the privileged childhood that came from her elite zip code. Still, Marlo and her two siblings remained amazingly "normal" and happy and avoided many of the pitfalls of other celebrity children they went to school with. Throughout the book, the reader gets a sense that her's was a happy life, full of laughter and love. If you're looking for ugly gossip on those famous comedians of the past, or of celebrities Marlo has encountered in her own career, you will be disappointed with this book. The author is at all times respectful of others and is far more interested in recounting the funny in life rather that the dirt. There's a chapter on "The Donald," (no, not that one, the one from That Girl) Ted Bessell, who played Donald Hollinger on That Girl. We also meet Lew Parker, who played Marlo's father on the show. We're introduced to many greats Marlo has worked with such as Orson Welles. In addition, Marlo recalls her awakening as a feminist and her fight for women's rights alongside Bella Abzug and Gloria Steinemn and her courtship with future husband Phil Donahue. Growing Up Laughing is not just a memoir of Marlo Thomas but a look at what "funny" is and what makes a good comedian. Interspersed throughout the book are interviews the author conducted with over 20 well known comedians. Through her questions, we get to see what in their backgrounds led to their life in comedy, how they struggled, and what they find funny. There are also a LOT of jokes in this book, some from Marlo but most from those comedians who have touched her life. You can't help but laugh as you read this memoir. Quill says: Funny and fun - a great look back at the comedians of the past, as well as an enjoyable look into Marlo Thomas' life.
T-Ma More than 1 year ago
When I was younger, I wanted to be Ann Marie from "That Girl". By the time I finished reading this book, I wanted to be Marlo Thomas!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
so enjoyed the different ladies lives and their courage and get up and go to change their lives. One really realizes all the strength we have when reading these ladies lives
Mcfan97 More than 1 year ago
Somehow went from a nice commentary on growing up the child of Danny Thomas to a feminism brochure...
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great story What A Beauitful Lady Love What she Does For St Judes We Need more Beauitful Ladies like Her in Hollywood like her I send money to StJudes to help the little ones with cancer Thank You And Your very wonderful Father
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Charlotte Silver More than 1 year ago
If you remember danny thomas and love comedians, in general, this is a fun book to read.
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