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

SNL fans, beware: this audiobook, while chock full of dishy dirt on everybody from Chevy Chase to Jimmy Fallon, requires a little playing along on the part of the listener. Shales and Miller went to great lengths to compile this work, but unfortunately, for this audio version, the oral history is read by stand-ins masquerading as Bill Murray, Lorne Michaels, Jimmy Fallon and others. So listeners have to imagine that it's really Chevy Chase speaking, not an audiobook reader who sounds nothing like him. A narrator introduces each chapter, helping listeners orient themselves, and then reads each person's name before that person speaks. Hearing the narrator pronounce, "Dan Aykroyd, actor:" and then hearing the voice of a complete stranger (there are no liner notes explaining who's reading which parts) tell of his memories of the show is somewhat disconcerting. The actors' deliveries range from the lackadaisical to the high-strung. Despite the obvious troubles of not having the book's contributors read their own parts, the book's content is terrific, with tons of behind-the-scenes gossip and juicy tales of backstage goings-on. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Forecasts, Sept. 9). (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Given access by Lorne Michaels himself, two journalists with TV connections Miller has produced two TV series, Shales is TV critic for the Washington Post recount this show's 25-year history. (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