Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyThis lavishly illustrated scrapbook recreates hundreds of Saturday Night Live's best moments, while for the most part omitting the vapid filler that usually makes up much of the late-night comedy/variety TV program's fare. Published to commemorate SNL's 20th anniversary, this entertaining album features more than 200 color and black-and-white photographs, as well as scripts and synopses of memorable sketches. Seasoned with backstage lore and stars' reminiscences, the book includes profiles of recurring characters, parodies of TV commercials, a rundown of guest musical performers, interviews with writers and producer Lorne Michaels and a list of guest hosts. Cader, president of Cader Books, has produced a number of SNL books; Baskin is SNL's photographer and art director. $250,000 ad/promo. (Oct.)
Library JournalMore than "authorized" history, this is an almost word-for-word, bit-by-bit account of what editor Cader presumably considers the "best of" Saturday Night Live (SNL), the preeminent television comedy experience since Watergate. Quite simply, if you watch the show you've already read this book. Since creator/producer Lorne Michaels has lent his name to this project, there is no intriguing skinny. The book's presentation of the famous skits' scripts together with photographs by the show's "official" photographer is as loudly amusing and embarrassingly boring as the original. There are a few surprises: the Frank Sinatra scripts were far more inspired than Joe Piscopo's rendering, and Dana Carvey animated the church lady concept beyond what the text can indicate. Ultimately, though, this is a scrapbook, and public libraries would be better off with the original SNL videos. (For those who need to see and read it all over again, the book will also be packaged with a CD-ROM for $89.95.)-Scott H. Silverman, Bryn Mawr Coll. Lib., Pa.
School Library JournalYA-A heavily illustrated tie-in released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the perennially popular TV show. The volume is filled with trivia about all aspects of the program-cast members, hosts, musical guests, etc. The bulk of the book is taken up with sketches-either summaries or full scripts; it's hard to imagine any YA not finding a favorite character. Every page is filled with photographs. Many of the stars have gone on to even greater fame, such as Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Billy Crystal, and Mike Myers. There are also interesting sections on how the show is produced and the famous commercial parodies. Sure to be popular, and to inspire lots of laughs.-Mathew Singer, Chapel Square Media Center, Reston, VA
Ilene CooperWeren't we just celebrating 15 years of "Saturday Night Live"? Maybe it just seems that way because the show kept promoting that anniversary well into 1991. Well, it's now been 20 years since the show debuted, and the publishers of this flashy, illustrated scrapbook are here to tell us that their book is the "official" publication of SNL's twentieth anniversary. Even with its bona fides established, the book has one major problem. It's not funny. Most of the text is made up of summaries of SNL sketches. Imagine trying to explain every one of the show's skits, especially to people who may never have seen them. You'd get something like this description of a "Coffee Talk" episode featuring Mike Meyers as Noo Yawker extraordinaire Linda Richmond: "[Linda] and her best friend, Sheila Arnstein (Kirstie Alley), discuss Barbra [Streisand]--her great body, her great hands, her forthcoming movie, "The Prince of Tides". . . . They reminisce about "The Way We Were" and Redford's beautiful "goyishe punim". They are joined by Sheila's husband, Saul (Phil Hartman), `"a zhlub"' who circles the block for hours to get a good parking spot." I'm falling over with laughter, aren't you? Even last year's miserable SNL season was funnier than this. The book's best element is its wanna-take-another-look layout, featuring terrific photos by Edie Baskin. Despite this book's flaws, it's certain to generate interest among the show's many fans. Libraries will need copies to fill requests, but the only way to really get the flavor of this 20-year television phenomenon is to watch the reruns.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 10.63(w) x 11.02(h) x (d)
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