Maybe We'll Have You Back: The Life of a Perennial TV Guest Star

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Fred Stoller has played the annoying schnook in just about every sitcom you?ve seen on TV?Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Scrubs, Hannah Montana, My Name Is Earl?and was even a staff writer for Seinfeld, but he?s never found a solid gig. When it comes to Hollywood, it?s a case of always the bridesmaid and never the bride, except in his case he?s always the snarky waiter, the mopey cousin, or Man #2.

This hilarious and bittersweet rags-to-rags story of the hardest-working guy ...

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Maybe We'll Have You Back: The Life of a Perennial TV Guest Star

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Fred Stoller has played the annoying schnook in just about every sitcom you’ve seen on TV—Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Scrubs, Hannah Montana, My Name Is Earl—and was even a staff writer for Seinfeld, but he’s never found a solid gig. When it comes to Hollywood, it’s a case of always the bridesmaid and never the bride, except in his case he’s always the snarky waiter, the mopey cousin, or Man #2.

This hilarious and bittersweet rags-to-rags story of the hardest-working guy in showbiz follows Fred, who started his career as a stand-up comic, from set to set as he tries to find a permanent home for his oddball character. With candor, Fred shares stories of his great adventures pounding the Hollywood pavement, including a humiliating encounter with Billy Crystal, a disastrous one-night stand with Kathy Griffin, and plenty of awkward run-ins at craft service tables. And he always shares his ups and downs with his skeptical yet loving mother waiting by the phone in Brooklyn.

Everyone can relate to searching for a dream job or their next big break, and will root for Fred as he weaves his way through the cutthroat world of Tinseltown.

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Editorial Reviews

Whitney Matheson
“Do yourself a favor and pick up [Fred Stoller’s] book. Chances are, he's made you laugh several times over the last couple decades, even if you never knew his name. ”
Tom Snyder
“Fred is funny and unique, but still an everyman trying to get ahead we can all relate to. His outsider/insider look at showbiz makes for a fantastic funny read.”
Jay Mohr
“Fred is as good at writing jokes as anyone in the business in any era. He's also quite an underrated storyteller. He won't be after you read this book. Great writer, great comic, exceptional friend.”
Jeff Garlin
“Freddie Stoller is smart and handsome. As a matter fact the handsomeness gets in the way of the smart and funny. While reading this book, I couldn't help but think of
Freddie's good looks.”
Loren Bouchard
always liked Fred Stoller. Now I love Fred Stoller. Read this book,
and call me after. I want to talk to someone about it.”
Paul Feig
“I've listened to Fred Stoller's stand up for years and he's always made me laugh. I just read Fred Stoller's book and I laughed even more. I eagerly await his singing debut.”
Library Journal
Comedian and actor Stoller's book is a funny, lighthearted look at his life and his enormous body of work as a TV guest star. Fred started off as a stand-up comedian, but then segued into acting. The more than 60 guest appearances he has amassed include shows such as Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, Murphy Brown, Friends, Scrubs, The Nanny, The Wizards of Waverly Place, Wings, and The King of Queens. Stoller describes his childhood and his troubled relationship with his parents, his puzzlement over why he has never found a permanent home on sitcoms, and his many memories of working on amazing and not-so-amazing shows. Some of his hilarious stories include his year as a writer on Seinfeld, a humiliating (though brief) experience of working on a Seinfeld tour bus, dating Kathy Griffin, and a run-in with Billy Crystal. VERDICT Stoller's humorous take on life makes this a very enjoyable book. Recommended for those who love comedy, autobiographies, sitcoms, entertainment, humor, and stand-up.—Sally Bryant, Pepperdine Univ. Lib., Malibu, CA
Kirkus Reviews
A view from the trenches of show business by a comic actor straddling the line between success and obscurity. In the foreword, Ray Romano praises Stoller, who had an occasional guest role on Everybody Loves Raymond, as someone who "without fail…always ‘brought' the funny" and proceeds to describe this memoir as a "hilarious, honest look at the world of the working actor." The hilarity may be more of an inside joke; the author seems more concerned with illuminating the struggles of actors, and with settling a few grudges along the way (bad dates, unappreciative colleagues), than with delivering laughs. As he explains early on, "In the Screen Actors Guild, 90 percent of the active members are out of work at any given time and 10 percent work for less than eight weeks a year…I'm thrilled to be working in a union where only 2 percent of the members work." So even though he has "done more than sixty sitcom guest appearances," on hits such as Seinfeld (where he was also a writer for a season, an experience he chronicled in My Seinfeld Year, 2012) and Friends, he describes a life of uncertainty and insecurity, working with agents and coaches that he isn't sure are doing him any good and waiting for offers that might take months, even years to materialize. He reveals which casts were friendly and which paid little attention to a week's guest, he shares the joy of being well-fed on some (and not so well on others), and he frets over sharing a bathroom. Said one casting director after a typical audition, "That's an interesting way to go. It's supposed to be a typical, annoying comedian, but you read it as if you were a special-ed kid, who's pathetic and takes night courses on how to be a comedian." He explains to readers, "I was basically just being me." A lightweight, sometimes-funny showbiz memoir from a successful background player.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620877067
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/1/2013
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 937,905
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Stoller

Fred Stoller: Fred Stoller was raised in Brooklyn and started out as a stand-up comedian, known for his dating woes and his thrill-seeker persona (I drank milk that expired yesterday!). He appeared on many late night shows and has guest-starred in more than seventy TV shows and films such as Dumb and Dumber. Fred & Vinnie, the indie feature he wrote and starred in, won the Audience award at the Austin Film Festival. He chronicled his experience writing for Seinfeld in the bestselling Amazon Kindle Single My Seinfeld Year.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    A great peek behind the scenes with a working actor

    This was delightful. You may not know his name, but Fred Stoller is "that guy in that thing". You've probably seen him in a million different things, always the "funny bellhop" or the "annoying cousin". Reading his book was like having pie and coffee with a friend, while they spill all the most juicy and mundane details of the working grind in Hollywood, about craft services tables and which sets had decent dressing rooms for guest cast, and which principal cast were nice guys.

    Three cheers, Fred. You HAVE won the Hollywood lottery, just by hanging in there. Also, you are a saint with that mother of yours. Love hearing you in the podcast world. You were great on Alison Rosen's show!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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