How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs
  • How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs
  • How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs

How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs

4.1 6
by Kevin Pollak, Alan Goldsher
     
 

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Kevin Pollak is one of a kind. One of Comedy Central’s Top 100 Stand-Up Comedians of All Time, he’s a killer impressionist, a character actor with one of the longest, most respected filmographies around, as well as an Internet pioneer. Like no one else, Pollak straddles the fence between Hollywood and new media—and without injuring himself in the

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Overview

Kevin Pollak is one of a kind. One of Comedy Central’s Top 100 Stand-Up Comedians of All Time, he’s a killer impressionist, a character actor with one of the longest, most respected filmographies around, as well as an Internet pioneer. Like no one else, Pollak straddles the fence between Hollywood and new media—and without injuring himself in the process. Hilarious, raw, and revealing, How I Slept My Way to the Middle winningly combines never-before-heard stories featuring A-list entertainers, fan favorites, and Kevin’s own thoughts about how he made it. Pollak is laughing proof that if you follow your gut and believe in yourself, you can do anything you want—except have a rational conversation with Rip Torn, who’s an evil, paranoid $#!%.

 

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Pollak, the busy character actor and comedian, recounts his career in show business in this fitfully amusing but innocuous, mostly forgettable memoir. Despite the salacious title, Pollak is unfailingly inoffensive and upbeat in this collection of anecdotes detailing his film career and friendly working relationships with such luminaries as Tom Cruise, Bruce Willis and Jack Nicholson, all of whom are lauded as wonderfully kind, supportive, consummately professional peers. Readers hoping for dirt will be disappointed, though the author does have some mildly unkind things to say about Michael Clarke Duncan and Adam Shankman. The bulk of the book consists of fond reminiscences of hanging around on set with fabulous celebrities, harmless practical jokes and lucky breaks. While Pollak is an engaging raconteur on the page, the material here is too thin to really sustain interest--a story about Nicholson indulging Pollak's star-struck mother is typical of the fare on offer--and a creeping sense of smug self-regard casts a bit of a pall over the course of the narrative. The most compelling passages concern the author's pre-fame days, including a legitimately riveting account of the teenage author, already in possession of a killer Peter Falk impersonation, hijacking a concert performance by Rich Little. For the most part, though, Pollak waxes rhapsodically about the wonderful qualities of his more famous peers and dishes about backstage shenanigans on the sets of his most prominent films, including A Few Good Men, The Usual Suspects and The Whole Nine Yards. The effect is that of a pleasant talk show chat stretched over the course of a book. Pleasant but inessential.
From the Publisher
"Brilliant ... a book that should be given to all sourpusses because it is uproariously funny—laugh out loud until tears burn your eyes funny. ... The shrimpy kid who started out imitating Bill Cosby grew into a funny man with a yen for acting in movies, a journey his side-splitting memoir recounts in hilarious detail. ... There's so much dirt Pollak could have dished, but he keeps it positive with feel-good, riotous stories and fascinating Hollywood lore. Except for that one time Michael Clarke Duncan accused him of stealing his pocket cash.... —Shelf Awareness / Natalie Papailiou, author of blog MILF: Mother I'd Like to Friend"It's great stuff. ... We love it. ... Pollak has packed his book with not only amazing stories from his life (and there are many) but with enough celebrity anecdotes that this could almost be shelved with the quotation books. This is a very funny, real insider look at the 'business.'"—AmericasComedy.com"Entertaining ... He includes detailed jabs at actors like Rip Torn and the late Michael Clarke Duncan—amusingly uncensored recaps of bad behavior from eccentrics. ... Pollak's juiciest tidbits are simply as-told-to tales: Walter Matthau recapping a profanity-laden tape Fred Astaire sent him, a detailed explanation of Johnny Carson's stand-up booking process, long transcriptions of jokes he heard his collaborators tell. ... Packed with plenty of good trivia."—A.V. Club"The book is full of funny or surprising stories (sometimes they're both) and plenty of self-deprecating humor. Pollak is a working actor, not a star, and his book is all the more likable for it. A genuinely entertaining movie memoir."—Booklist"Amusing ... Pollak is an engaging raconteur on the page. ... The most compelling passages concern the author's pre-fame days, including a legitimately riveting account of the teenage author, already in possession of a killer Peter Falk impersonation, hijacking a concert performance by Rich Little."—Kirkus Reviews"If he writes as well as he imitates me, you're in for a good time."—ALBERT BROOKS"Kevin Pollak is a mastermind of smart and funny. He attacks my funny bone the way a pit bull attacks my anklebone."—STEVE MARTIN"Kevin Pollak is one of those guys who shows up in every corner of the Business of Show—hit TV programs, award winning movies, radio shows of every kind, and benefit dinners for worthy charities. I once saw him in the parking lot at Cirque du Soleil and hollered, 'Hey! Kevin!' but he didn't hear me. Like you, I wonder how he's made it to the Big Time. This book brings that mystery to a close."—TOM HANKS"Kevin Pollak does it all: He does impressions, he acts, he writes, he produces. He continues to impress with his unique and unabashed ability to use his friends' names for his sole benefit. A true Renaissance man."—TOM CRUISE"Unfortunately, as a personal favor, I allowed Leo Tolstoy a blurb calling War and Peace 'my most fun read ever.' That being the case, I am unable to say the same about How I Slept My Way to the Middle. Would that I had reserved that comment for Kevin Pollak, where the appraisal would be so much more deserved."—JAMES L. BROOKS"Unfortunately, I did a little digging, and Kevin Pollak's book was ghostwritten by a factory full of Chinese children hopped up on n-hexane. In spite of, or perhaps because of, that, I hear it's a great read."—HARRY SHEARER"Actor, writer, storyteller, stand up, chat-show host, man about town, the most wonderful company, and now memoirist. Is there no end to his deranged ambition? Clearly not. I did two pictures with him and count myself lucky I got off with just two. A book I just couldn't wait to put down."—GABRIEL BYRNE

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762780556
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
10/07/2012
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Johnny did his monologue, kibitzed with Ed, then spoke with his first guest. After a commercial break, it was time. Doc Severinsen cut off his orchestra at the perfect moment, and Johnny said, in that unmistakable Iowa/Nebraska accent, "Ladies and gentlemen, making his first appearance on the show, a young comedian who's in a new movie directed by Ron Howard called Willow. Please welcome, Kevin Pollak." The audience let out a collective cry of, Who the hell is Kevin Pollak?—or at least that's what I imagined—then applauded. I walked out from behind the curtain (which I'd rehearsed 5,000 times in my bedroom mirror, no exaggeration), waved to the audience (also rehearsed), and unbuttoned my jacket (rehearsed).Oddly, I wasn't nervous, but rather excited, as excited as a kid making his first trip to Disneyworld, or a kid trying to fall sleep on Christmas Eve, or just about any guy who's about to lose his virginity.

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