Thirty-Nine Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL from Someone Who Was Thereby Tom Davis
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Thirty-Nine Years of Short-term Memory Loss is a seriously funny and irreverent memoir that gives an insider’s view of the birth and rise of Saturday Night Live, and features laugh-out-loud stories about some of its greatest personalitiesAl Franken, Lorne Michaels, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Michael O’Donoghue, and Chris Farley. Tom Davis’s voice is rich with irony and understatement as he tells tales of discovery, triumph, and loss with relentless humor. His memoir describes not only his experiences on the set of SNL but also his suburban childhood, his high school escapades in the 60s, his discovery of sex, and how he reveled in the hippie cultureand psychoactive drugsfrom San Francisco to Kathmandu to Burning Man over the last four decades. Hysterical, lucid, and wise, Thirty-Nine Years of Short-term Memory Loss is an unforgettable romp in an era of sex, drugs, and comedy.
Writing for Saturday Night Live during the sketch show's legendary early seasons may be Davis's claim to fame, but this captivating memoir is about much more, including his suburban Minneapolis childhood, couch-surfing through his hometown, San Francisco, and New York City during the 1970s, and a life-long friendship with comedian-turned-political commentator-turned (probable) Senator Al Franken. Of course, that doesn't stop Davis from hooking readers at the outset with the true Coneheads origin story, involving Dan Aykroyd, LSD and a trip to Easter Island. Later, Davis recalls poignantly Aykroyd's eulogy at John Belushi's funeral, which began, "I so did not want to have to do this." Davis also speaks reverently of Lorne Michaels, despite their (often hilarious) professional differences. Davis's portrait of Franken, though, is most endearing. Fellow Minneapolisians, Franken and Davis were a comedy team throughout their young careers; Davis recreates their partnership in rich, funny details, bolstered by transcripts of their recent e-mail correspondence. Though it features some lurid and hysterical SNL stories, Davis's memoir is less a backstage expose than a winning coming-of-age story featuring a funny Midwestern kid following his unlikely dream to the top.
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- Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Meet the Author
Tom Davis won four Emmy Awards during his twelve seasons as a writer at Saturday Night Live, which included the first five years of the show.
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