a funny man
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“Alan Sues was the funniest person I’ve ever known. Not just as a performer, but as a person.” – Ruth Buzzi, castmate from Laugh-In. “When Alan dressed like me in curls, a boa, a dress and false eyelashes, he looked better than me.” – Jo Anne Worley, castmate from Laugh-In. “Alan was so deeply, so genuinely funny that to just think of him makes me laugh.” – Barbara Sharma, castmate from Laugh-In. “We all know how funny and bright Alan Sues was. What was more amazing to me was the sincere sweetness in his heart. He truly wanted to hand the whole world a big laugh.” – Joyce Van Patten, actress. “Alan was a true comedy original.” – Fred Willard, actor. “Alan was a very talented performer who everyone loved having around. He was hilarious. He was always funny, even when he wasn’t trying to be.” – Gary Owens, castmate from Laugh-In. “Alan was a delight, a real upper. He was a happy force field of energy who had an outrageous look at life. He could take a straight line and make it funny as hell.” – George Schlatter, Exec. Prod. of Laugh-In. About the Author Michael Gregg Michaud is the author of the critically acclaimed, Lambda Book Award nominated Sal Mineo, A Biography (Crown Archetype, 2010). Michaud is the co-author, with actress Diane McBain, of Famous Enough, A Hollywood Memoir (Bearmanor Media, 2014). He writes about Hollywood history, and has contributed to numerous books about show business. He is also an award winning poet, and photographer. Follow him on Facebook.
This dark comedy about celebrity is from the author who is “among the most perceptive and edgy chroniclers of an increasingly coarse American culture” (New York Journal of Books). The funny man is a middling comic in an unnamed city. By day he takes care of his infant son; by night he performs in small clubs. His wife waits tables to support the family. It doesn’t sound like much, but they’re happy, more or less. Until the day he comes up with it. His thing. His gimmick. And everything changes. He’s a headliner, and the venues get bigger fast. Pretty soon he has a starring role in a Hollywood blockbuster, all thanks to the gimmick. Which is: He performs with his fist in his mouth. Jokes, impressions, commercials—all with his fist in his mouth. The people want him—are crazy for him—but only with his fist in his mouth. And the funny man is tired of having his fist in his mouth. Thus, as the novel begins, his career is in tatters, his family has left him, and he’s on trial for shooting an unarmed man six times. His lawyer argues that he is not guilty by reason of celebrity. It remains to be seen whether he can be saved . . . A smart satire of our absurd culture, The Funny Man documents one individual’s slide from everyman to monster—even as it reveals the potential for grace and mercy in his life.
Dostoyevsky is intimately linked with his heroes. It is his blood that courses through their veins, and his heart that beats in all of them. Dostoyevsky brings forth his characters in anguish, with throbbing pulse and breath that is gasping and labored. He commits the crimes his heroes commit, lives their titanically turbulent lives, repents with them, and is with them in his thoughts, which shake heaven and earth. Because of his urge to go through more and more experience with them with such terrible concreteness, we are shaken by him as by no one else.
In this beautifully restored, premiere issue of the Funnyman we learn who this unlikely superhero is and follow him in these quirky tales of adventure... "The Teen-Age Terrors", "Funnyman, Comicman and Laffman", "The Truant Toy", "Jerks in the Works" and more! Funnyman is a quirky and humorous comic series started in 1948 by the creators of Superman. Mild-mannered Larry Davis was a standup comedian who thought it'd be a laugh to pose as a crime fighter. After stumbling onto a bank robbery and foiling a heist he realized he might be a better hero than jokester. Enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane with the best titles from the golden age of comics. Yojimbo Press has lovingly remastered these timeless classics with vivid color correction and image restoration.
Here is a kaleidoscopic analysis of Jewish humor as seen through Funnyman, a little-known super-heroic invention by the creators of Superman. Included are complete comic-book stories and daily and Sunday newspaper panels from Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s creative fiasco. Siegel and Shuster, two Jewish teenagers from Cleveland, sold the rights to their amazing and astonishingly lucrative comic book superhero to Detective Comics for $130 in 1938. Not only did they lose the ownership of the Superman character, they also agreed to write and illustrate it for ten years at ten dollars per page. Their contract with the DC publishers was soon heralded as the most foolish agreement in the history of American popular culture. After toiling on workman’s wages for a decade, Siegel and Shuster struggled to come up with a new superhero, one that would right their wrongs and prove that justice, fair-play, and zany craftsmanship was the true American way and would lead to ultimate victory. But when the naïve duo launched their new comic character Funnyman in 1947, it failed miserably. All the turmoil and personal disasters in Siegel and Shuster’s postwar life percolated into the comic strip. This book tells the back story of the unsuccessful strip and Siegel and Shuster’s ambition to have their funny Jewish superhero trump Superman. Mel Gordon is the author of Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin. Thomas Andrae is the author of Batman and Me.
For more than 20 years, fantasist Bruce Taylor has been entertaining readers all over the world with his masterful blend of surrealism and magic realism. This collection showcases an imagination at once intense and gentle, absurd and cutting.
“Her complexion was as though she had been immersed in a mixture of one part whisky and three parts white wine. (Would she have tasted like the cocktail as well? I don’t know, sir.) Her eyes, nose, lips and ears had all had their own pretty little stories to tell. Together, the sum total told a gargantuan story. Her hair was darker than the road under her feet and was oozing out of her cap like a cascade of crude oil. Her figure was like that of a balloon that was on a diet, if balloons dieted at all, and then tied in the middle with a string.” “Aren’t you a little too young to be acting funny with me?” What?? I saw that the silly girl had got it all wrong. The situation needed correction on an emergency basis. I immediately started nodding my head to convey to her that I indeed was younger than her but realised that the second part of the question about acting funny needed shaking of the head. So, I stopped the nodding halfway through and took up the shaking. This was a cross between nothing and nothing. I ended up making a complete fool of myself. The girl was getting impatient and had no time for my antics.” “To sit in the beautiful garden with a glass of chilled beer whenever a drizzle the size and sharpness of pine needles came down from the sky to ever-so-lightly caress us to the accompaniment of mournful songs from the HMV record player that was in the barracks was heaven on the Earth. Lord, did we savour the moments so very thoroughly! Nostalgia threatens to drown me as I relive those days sitting in my upright chair at home now”
A deeply textured and compelling biography of comedy giant Mel Brooks, covering his rags-to-riches life and triumphant career in television, films, and theater, from Patrick McGilligan, the acclaimed author of Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane and Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light. Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award–winner Mel Brooks was behind (and sometimes in front the camera too) of some of the most influential comedy hits of our time, including The 2,000 Year Old Man, Get Smart, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein. But before this actor, writer, director, comedian, and composer entertained the world, his first audience was his family. The fourth and last child of Max and Kitty Kaminsky, Mel Brooks was born on his family’s kitchen table in Brooklyn, New York, in 1926, and was not quite three-years-old when his father died of tuberculosis. Growing up in a household too poor to own a radio, Mel was short and homely, a mischievous child whose birth role was to make the family laugh. Beyond boyhood, after transforming himself into Mel Brooks, the laughs that came easily inside the Kaminsky family proved more elusive. His lifelong crusade to transform himself into a brand name of popular humor is at the center of master biographer Patrick McGilligan’s Funny Man. In this exhaustively researched and wonderfully novelistic look at Brooks’ personal and professional life, McGilligan lays bare the strengths and drawbacks that shaped Brooks’ psychology, his willpower, his persona, and his comedy. McGilligan insightfully navigates the epic ride that has been the famous funnyman’s life story, from Brooks’s childhood in Williamsburg tenements and breakthrough in early television—working alongside Sid Caesar and Carl Reiner—to Hollywood and Broadway peaks (and valleys). His book offers a meditation on the Jewish immigrant culture that influenced Brooks, snapshots of the golden age of comedy, behind the scenes revelations about the celebrated shows and films, and a telling look at the four-decade romantic partnership with actress Anne Bancroft that superseded Brooks’ troubled first marriage. Engrossing, nuanced and ultimately poignant, Funny Man delivers a great man’s unforgettable life story and an anatomy of the American dream of success. Funny Man includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert.