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Live from New York

Cover of Live from New York

Live from New York

An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, as Told By Its Stars, Writers and Guests

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 (as read by professional narrators) 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 Meyers, Chris Rock, Bill Murray, Tom Hanks, Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin, Jon Lovitz, Jane Kattan, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Garrett Morris, Molly Shannon, Damon Wayans, Chris Elliott, Julie 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.

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 (as read by professional narrators) 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 Meyers, Chris Rock, Bill Murray, Tom Hanks, Adam Sandler, Chevy Chase, Will Ferrell, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Martin, Jon Lovitz, Jane Kattan, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Garrett Morris, Molly Shannon, Damon Wayans, Chris Elliott, Julie 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.

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  • AudioFile Magazine John Belushi! Dan Akroyd! Steve Martin! Chris Farley! The Church Lady . . . Pat . . . Rosanne Rosannadanna . . . The Killer Bees. And dozens of other celebrities, sketches, and cast . . . do not appear on this program except in disembodied form as a platoon of experienced readers slog through this tell-all history of SNL. That's the main weakness of this set. Though we learn in detail the peccadilloes of the long history of the show, no original cast members and not one minute of show outtakes grace the hours and hours of talk. This would be a fantastic journey if only the publisher had shelled out the licensing fees and reimbursed the stars. You know when a potentially great listen gets so boring that your brain gets numb? Yeah, I hate it when that happens! D.J.B. (c) AudioFile 2003, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 9, 2002
    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.

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Live from New York
Live from New York
An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live, as Told By Its Stars, Writers and Guests
Tom Shales
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