Friday, March 9, 2012

Laugh Riot

I apologize for my absence... both in terms of my time spent on this blog, as well as the absence of mind recently. I am having an immensely hard time just keeping myself together... which is probably why I've been continuing to search for books that would have me busting at the seams.

After finishing Steve Martin's autobiography, I was led deeper into my father's bookshelves, where I found this: Live from New York, an Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller. While I searched for more of the funny, lightheartedness I had so begun to lack in myself, I found more of the serious work that Martin's book had contained. It was almost easy to see why SNL is lauded for its impressive political satire, because the extraordinary amount of politicking behind the wings would have made anyone an expert in the subject.

Starting with the show's inception in the mind of Lorne Micheals and the hand-picking of the original cast, this nonfiction circus - made up of carefully curated tidbits from the likes of cast members, guest hosts, producers, etc. - travels through the high points and the low points of its more than 30 seasons, from the Doumanian period and cast member deaths, to Wayne's World and Will Ferrel. While various historical moment's in the show's duration were remarked upon, and singers and guest hosts were celebrated and put down regularly, the book kept turning back to Micheals, the king of the show. All in all, it was a well-rounded peek into one of the best sketch-comedy shows of all time.

The book was good. However, I should really stop reading books about comedians, or I'm going to wind up more depressed than I was before.

#21. Live From New York by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller