Sunday, July 29, 2007

Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales and Andrew Miller

So, does this book win the title for having the longest title?

If you enjoy Saturday Night Live, reading about television shows from the 70's, or just insider perspectives of the entertainment world, this is a good book. Following the progression (or regression) of SNL from it's start in the 70's clear through the early 2000's, it's unlikely that such a comprehensive book has ever been written about the show.

The book is split up into major sections, mostly by decade, and, aside from some brief historical information provided by the authors, the entirety Live From New York is made up of snippets from interviews with the cast members, crew, and hosts over the past 30 years. It's pretty impressive in its scope. Virtually every SNL alum is represented, with the notable exception of Eddie Murphy who was evidently too busy filming Pluto Nash 2 to spend 10 minutes talking about the show that made him famous.

The book as a whole is pretty good guilty pleasure reading, and the best bits are when the cast talks about the best and worst hosts. Best include people like John Goodman, Steve Martin, and Alec Baldwin, and the worst include Ben Stiller (who refused to host if he couldn't host the first non-Guliani post-9/11 episode, and Steven Seagal, who spent most of his time sexually harassing the crew and thought a skit about a psychologist who drugs and rapes his patients would be hilarious.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Steven Seagal's humor is not our humor. I think that is clear.