You're Lucky You're Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom [NOOK Book]

Overview

The creator and executive producer of Everybody Loves Raymond, on how to make a sitcom classic and keep laughing



This laugh-out-loud memoir takes readers backstage and inside the writers’ room of one of America’s best-loved shows. With more than 17 million viewers and more than seventy Emmy nominations—including two wins for best comedy—Everybody Loves Raymond reigned ...
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You're Lucky You're Funny: How Life Becomes a Sitcom

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Overview

The creator and executive producer of Everybody Loves Raymond, on how to make a sitcom classic and keep laughing



This laugh-out-loud memoir takes readers backstage and inside the writers’ room of one of America’s best-loved shows. With more than 17 million viewers and more than seventy Emmy nominations—including two wins for best comedy—Everybody Loves Raymond reigned supreme in television comedy for almost a decade. Phil Rosenthal was there at the beginning. United by a shared lifetime of family dysfunction, he and Ray Romano found endless material to keep the show fresh and funny for its entire run. Alongside hilarious anecdotes from the series and his own career misadventures prior to working on the show, Rosenthal provides an enlightening and entertaining look at how sitcoms are written and characters developed. You’re Lucky You’re Funny is an inspiration to aspiring creators of comedy and a must read for the show’s millions of devoted fans.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In 1996, TV scriptwriter Rosenthal created Everybody Loves Raymond by stirring the standup comedy of Ray Romano into his own family memories. With Rosenthal as executive producer and inexperienced actor Romano basically portraying himself, their successful sitcom found an audience of 17 million viewers and ran for nine seasons (1996-2005), receiving over 70 Emmy nominations. Rosenthal offers a comedic chronicle of his own life, weaving wit and humor into every page. After a Bronx boyhood as a "shrimpy little nothing," his high school obsession with TV led to college theater, odd jobs (museum guard, deli manager) and a New York acting career that bottomed out. Arriving in L.A., he discovered it was "suburbia without the urbia," and after five years of grinding out scripts for now-forgotten sitcoms, he lit the Romano rocket. Rosenthal details it all character development, devising dialogue, casting, table reads, run-throughs, doing publicity and dealing with interfering studio executives. Aspiring TV comedy writers and producers will see this as a valuable textbook of insights from an insider, while fans now buying DVD sets will welcome the vast array of amusing anecdotes and background information. Rosenthal also pokes the dark underbelly of "phoney baloney Hollywood," so parts of this book are like listening to a very long and funny standup routine. (Oct. 23) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The creator/executive producer of TV's popular Everybody Loves Raymond tells how he became the guy in command of a winning sitcom. Forget childhood hopes of a career as cowboy, fireman or lion-tamer. Young Rosenthal wanted to be on television-that's where the laughs were. Out of the Bronx and into TV came our hero, if not on-screen, then as show-runner. In the '90s, he moved to California, where he eventually began to thrive in situation comedy. Here, he discusses the Raymond pitch and the pilot, the casting and testing, the crew and suits and table readings, as well as the process of directing, editing and writing. Indeed, this could be an essay on the art of writing comedy for television. Like Raymond, he's a family guy. He loves his wife (actress Monica Horan, who played Amy on the show), his kids and everyone connected with the project that, after nine successful seasons, shut down last year. But remember, there's still life in syndication. Fans seeking deep insight into star Ray Romano won't find it here. A little more is revealed about Rosenthal's fellow writers who, as may be expected, are a bit nuts. Scripts, he says, start with situations derived from their lives. Written with what-a-schmuck-I-am wit, this is passable entertainment, a kind of communiqu‚ from the Writers' Room.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101043189
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 731,330
  • File size: 265 KB

Meet the Author

Phil Rosenthal is the creator and executive producer of CBS's Emmy Award-winning Everybody Loves Raymond. Rosenthal also directed a video with President Bill Clinton, cowrote the Writers Guild Award-winning telethon America: A Tribute to Heroes, and appeared in Spanglish and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 5 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2007

    Like vacationing with a funny friend

    I picked up Phil Rosenthal's 'You're Lucky You're Funny' for research, as I needed a bit of background info for a novel I'm writing. My intention was to skim it and move on. After one page, however, I knew I wasn't putting down this book until I'd read every delicious word. It's not only hilarious, but so charming I feel like I've just spent a vacation with a favorite friend. A very smart, very funny favorite friend. Plus, it taught me more about the inside world of sitcoms than I'd even hoped. * * * But even if you're just in it for the laughs, this book is worth the price. Hell, the fruit-of-the-month story alone is enough to make me recommend it. And that's not even the funniest part (for my money, it's his description of the 'all-inclusive' vacation from hell). * * * I read this in hardcover, but see that it's also available in audio format, which I think might be a lot of fun, as well. I listened to a clip, and Phil Rosenthal has a delightfully anachronistic Old New York accent--kind of a cross between Top Cat and Nicely Nicely from Guys and Dolls. So whether you read or listen, you're in for a great trip. * * * -Ellen Meister, author of Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA

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