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Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier

Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier

Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier

Laugh Lines: My Life Helping Funny People Be Funnier


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With his tender, funny memoir of four decades in the business, Alan Zweibel traces the history of American comedy

Alan Zweibel started his comedy career selling jokes for seven dollars apiece to the last of the Borscht Belt standups. Then one night, despite bombing on stage, he caught the attention of Lorne Michaels and became one of the first writers at Saturday Night Live, where he penned classic material for Gilda Radner, John Belushi, and all of the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players. From SNL, he went on to have a hand in a series of landmark shows—from It’s Garry Shandling’s Show to Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Throughout the pages of Laugh Lines Zweibel weaves together his own stories and interviews with his friends and contemporaries, including Richard Lewis, Eric Idle, Bob Saget, Mike Birbiglia, Sarah Silverman, Judd Apatow, Dave Barry, Carl Reiner, and more. The book also features a charming foreword from his friend of forty-five years Billy Crystal, with whom he co-wrote and co-produced the upcoming film Here Today that stars Crystal and Tiffany Haddish. Laugh Lines is a warmhearted cultural memoir of American comedy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419735288
Publisher: Abrams Press
Publication date: 04/14/2020
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,061,196
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Alan Zweibel is an original Saturday Night Live writer who has won multiple Emmy and Writers Guild of America awards for his work in television. He also collaborated with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award–winning Broadway play 700 Sundays and won the Thurber Prize for American Humor for his novel The Other Shulman.

Billy Crystal is an American actor, voice artist, comedian, writer, producer, director and television host. He has received many awards for his work, including six Primetime Emmy Awards and a Tony Award. He gained prominence as a comedian in the 1970s and 80s in part because of his work on Saturday Night Live.

Table of Contents

Foreword Billy Crystal xi

Preface xv

Chapter 1 The Catskills Comics (Writing for the Wrong People) 1

Chapter 2 The Club Year (A Large Jew Sweating) 23

Chapter 3 Saturday Night Live (The Early Part of the Early Years) 43

Chapter 4 Saturday Night Live (The Later Part of the Early Years) 72

Chapter 5 Former SNL Writer (Looking for New Voices) 91

Chapter 6 Lightning Strikes Again (It's Garry Shandling's Show) 102

Chapter 7 Good Sports (Writing for the Wrong People … Again) 138

Chapter 8 Crashing and Burning in Another Genre (North Goes South) 149

Chapter 9 Bunny Bunny (Even in Death Gilda Saves My Ass) 163

Chapter 10 700 Sundays (Billy Crystal and the Rise of the One-Man Show) 174

Chapter 11 Unfinished Business (Saying Goodbye to Garry) 193

Chapter 12 Another Kind of Collaboration (Dave Barry and Others Who Spend Their Days Alone) 200

Chapter 13 Giant Shadows (Lessons from Heroes) 210

Chapter 14 In Progress (Here Today) 217

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