Cover image for Live from New York : an uncensored history of Saturday Night Live
Title:
Live from New York : an uncensored history of Saturday Night Live
Author:
Shales, Tom.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
594 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316781466
Format :
Book

Available:*

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PN1992.77.S273 S52 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PN1992.77.S273 S52 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PN1992.77.S273 S52 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PN1992.77.S273 S52 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PN1992.77.S273 S52 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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PN1992.77.S273 S52 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

WHEN A YOUNG WRITER named Lorne Michaels talked NBC executives into taking a chance on a new weekend late-night comedy series, nobody really knew what to expect-not even Michaels. But Saturday Night Live, launched in 1975 and still thriving today, would change the face of television. It introduced brash new stars with names like Belushi, Radner, Chase, and Murray; trashed taboos that had inhibited TV for decades; and had such an impact on American life, laughter, and politics that even presidents of the United States had to take notice. Now, Pulitzer Prize-winner Tom Shales and bestselling author James Andrew Miller bring together stars, writers, guest hosts, contributors, and craftsmen for the first-ever oral history of Saturday Night Live, from 1974, when it was just an idea, through 2002, when it has long since become an institution. In their own words, dozens of personalities recall the backstage stories, behind-the-scenes gossip, feuds, foibles, drugs, sex, struggles, and calamities, including personal details never before revealed. Shales and Miller have interviewed a galaxy of stars, including Mike Myers, Chris Rock, Bill Murray, Tom Hanks, Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin, Jon Lovitz, Jane Curtin, Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Dana Carvey, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Garrett Morris, Molly Shannon, Damon Wayans, Chris Elliott, Julia Sweeney, Norm Macdonald, and Paul Simon-plus writers like Al Franken, Conan O'Brien, Larry David, Rosie Shuster, Jack Handey, Robert Smigel, Don Novello, and others who got their big breaks as part of the SNL team. The Coneheads, the Blues Brothers, Buck-wheat, Wayne and Garth, Hans and Franz, the Cheerleaders, Todd DiLaMuca and Lisa Loopner, "Cheeseburger cheeseburger," Mango, the Church Lady, Ed Grimley-they're all here. And for every fabulous character on-screen there was an outrageous maverick, misfit, or rebel behind the scenes. Live from New York does what no other book about the show has ever done: It lets the people who were there tell the story in their own words, blunt and loving and uncensored.


Author Notes

Tom Shales won his Pulitzer Prize for television criticism in the Washington Post and also writes for Electronic Media. He received his bachelor's degree from American University in 1973.
James Andrew Miller has written for the New York Times, Life, Newsweek, and other publications, in addition to numerous projects for television and motion pictures. He received his B.A. from Occidental College, an M.Litt. from Oxford University, and his M.B.A. from Harvard University


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Cultural icon Saturday Night Live seems to get almost as much attention for its anniversaries and retrospectives as it does for its current shows. It has also been the subject of several books. But even those who think they have heard all the stories will be impressed by the work Shales and Miller have done to pull together this oral history that covers the last 27 years of laughs and groans. Actors, writers, producers, staff, guest hosts--all weigh in to give readers an in-depth, revealing portrait with a you-are-there quality. There's also more dirt here than there are stars in the SNL firmament: the rivalries, the fights, and the romances, although that may be too, well, romantic a word. Founding (and current) producer Lorne Michaels comes across as a particularly fascinating character, a father figure to some, a preening enigma to others; the final chapter, which is entirely devoted to what people think of him, doesn't seem nearly enough. Eddie Murphy refused to cooperate with the authors, and it would have been fun to hear from some of the show's lesser lights, but like the proverbial box of chocolates, this is full of tasty tidbits and hard to put down. --Ilene Cooper


Publisher's Weekly Review

This oral history of NBC's Saturday Night Live is the juiciest treasure trove of backstage gossip, sex and drugs since The Andy Warhol Diaries. With almost three decades' worth of memories from cast members, celebrity hosts, writers, crew and network execs, readers get first-hand reports (often contradictory) on the volatile, competitive, grueling and often drug-fueled process of creating a weekly, 90-minute, live comedy show. While the cast and writers changed over the decades there were two constants: the universal loathing of guest host Chevy Chase and the power of producer Lorne Michaels ("I think he picked the right profession," assesses Jane Curtin, "because he gets to lord over people who want to kneel at his feet and he doesn't acknowledge them-which makes them work harder."). Regulars like Dan Aykroyd, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Billy Crystal, Bill Murray, Al Franken, Martin Short as well as guest hosts like Tom Hanks, Penny Marshall, Alec Baldwin, Carrie Fisher, Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin contribute sterling anecdotes that are alternately hilarious, touching, upbeat and scathing. With the exception of Eddie Murphy (who's positively portrayed), virtually the only missing voices are of those who have passed away (the editors use only interviews conducted for the book and not vintage interviews with John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Phil Hartman or Chris Farley). Scandals, infighting and plenty of showbiz dirt make this a guilty-pleasure page-turner from start to finish. Photos not seen by PW. Agent, Sloan Harris. (Oct. 7) Forecast: Little, Brown editor Geoff Shandler got the buzz going on this book at Book Expo in May, and a first serial in this month's issue of Vanity Fair has heightened the buzz to a roar. Ubiquitous media coverage and rave reviews should rocket this one onto bestseller lists. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Finally ready for prime time? Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists give us the story behind the show. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

A history of Saturday Night Live that finally reveals what really went on backstage, on the set, in the writers' offices, and on the town.SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE changed the face of television: it introduced brash new stars, trashed TV taboos, and had an impact on American life, laughter, and politics.Dozens of stars, writers, guest hosts, contributors, and craftsmen recall the backstage stories, behind-the-scenes gossip, feuds, foibles, drugs, sex, struggles, and calamities, including personal details never before revealed. Stars interviewed include Mike Myers, Chris Rock, Bill Murray, Tom Hanks, Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin, Jon Lovitz, Jane Curtin, Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Dana Carvey, Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Garrett Morris, Molly Shannon, Damon Wayans, Chris Elliott, Julia Sweeney, Norm Macdonald, and Paul Simon--plus writers like Al Franken, Conan O'Brien, Larry David, Rosie Shuster, Jack Handey, Robert Smigel, Don Novello, and others who got their big breaks as part of the SNL team.Live from New York does what no other book about the show has ever done: It lets the people who were there tell the story in their own words, blunt and loving and uncensored. Excerpted from Live from New York: An Uncensored History of SNL by Tom Shales, James Andrew Miller All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Prologuep. 3
1. Exordium: 1975-1976p. 13
2. Heyday: 1976-1980p. 95
3. The Stars Come Out: 1980-1985p. 190
4. Behemiel Rising: 1985-1990p. 293
5. Overpopulation: 1990-1995p. 356
6. Still Crazy After All These Years: 1995-p. 425
7. Lornep. 523
SNL Cast Listsp. 567
Indexp. 573