From the Publisher
"Constantly entertaining....It's revealing, it's funny, it's mesmerizing." ---Entertainment Weekly
"A guilty pleasure of the highest order....Live From New York shines." ---Lev Grossman, Time
"A sharp-clawed, incisive account of how nearly three decades' worth of comic talent has emerged from a single television show." ---Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Tremendous fun." ---Rob Walker, Newsday
"A patchwork of backbiting, humor, intelligence, backbiting, gossip, backbiting, and backbiting." ---Newsweek
"Refreshing....Shales and Miller paint a detailed landscape portrait of what has become an American cultural icon, one that will guide any attentive reader to a fuller understanding of comedy, TV, and the culture itself." ---Steve Johnson, Chicago Tribune
Live from New York is a titillating bonanza of behind-the-scenes tales from the legendary Saturday Night Live. Tom Shales, the Pulitzer Prizewinning television critic for The Washington Post, and his coauthor, James Andrew Miller, interviewed all the surviving writers and cast members -- with the exception of Eddie Murphy -- and culled from them a fascinating and page-turning oral history of the groundbreaking show.
SNL fans, beware: this audiobook, while chock full of dishy dirt on everybody from Chevy Chase to Jimmy Fallon, requires a little playing along on the part of the listener. Shales and Miller went to great lengths to compile this work, but unfortunately, for this audio version, the oral history is read by stand-ins masquerading as Bill Murray, Lorne Michaels, Jimmy Fallon and others. So listeners have to imagine that it's really Chevy Chase speaking, not an audiobook reader who sounds nothing like him. A narrator introduces each chapter, helping listeners orient themselves, and then reads each person's name before that person speaks. Hearing the narrator pronounce, "Dan Aykroyd, actor:" and then hearing the voice of a complete stranger (there are no liner notes explaining who's reading which parts) tell of his memories of the show is somewhat disconcerting. The actors' deliveries range from the lackadaisical to the high-strung. Despite the obvious troubles of not having the book's contributors read their own parts, the book's content is terrific, with tons of behind-the-scenes gossip and juicy tales of backstage goings-on. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Forecasts, Sept. 9). (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
The story of Saturday Night Live (SNL) is well known-its unique blend of live comedy and popular music broke the mold of network programming when it began in 1975. Yet this history of the program isn't repetitive. Shales, a TV critic at the Washington Post, and Miller (Running in Place) interviewed SNL's former and current cast members, writers, musical guests, and other associates and compiled their quotes to forge an illuminating oral account that offers a unique perspective on the inner workings of the show and its stars' many interactions. The book is organized into eras, which allows readers to skip around, as does an index of cast members by season (though a list of writers associated with each season is missing). Written with the cooperation of longtime producer Lorne Michaels, this is highly recommended for all public and academic libraries.-David M. Lisa, Wayne P.L., NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.