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.
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Hoping to improve on his "D" in English and retain his eligibility for the football team, class clown Derrick trys to do what is necessary to bring his grade up to an acceptable level.
“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.
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.
Easy money lures eight desperate people into an alliance with a wise guy on the make, his flaky girlfriend and his vengeance-seeking uncle. Lurking into this scheme are: Avo Hawkins, a disabled forester with an axe to grind; Sophy Brophy, lonely, vulnerable and still seeking Miss Right; and Jax Ropes, poet, cafe owner with a family who gets hunger pains. Mix in Jax Uncle, Russell Borskee, ruined in the great sheet metal panic of 1996 and still in mourning; Rashad and Clytee Horninsh, snatch and grab artists with big score ambitions; Lyla Lawrence, former musical comedy star trying to put on a show; Hilda Westerberg, in love with live theater and Tony Schemetti, who has a love of his own; and Aiden Dwellinger, always in his dwelling, plotting the downfall of a former partner. Uncle, were going to scalp him one hair at a time, Tony promises, and then sets out to do it. Unfortunately for him, his crew have their own agendas which collide with his, creating a nifty mix of high-kicking comedy and drama that redefines the groups battlecry: Were not bathing. In the second story, attorney David Mims thinks he can cross a gangster and get away with it. How wrong he is makes for a compelling drama. By the time Mims Gets It Right, its too late. An actors odyssey from childhood through years of wandering before he reaches stardom is a unique story based on fact. Set against the backdrop of the Depression, World War Two and TVs early years, Eric Without Laughter begins with an encounter between protagonist, his abuse father and the fathers .38 caliber revolver, and ends in the Peruvian jungle. In Family Money a gambler encounters more than he bargained for in a gin rummy game that becomes a mission of mercy and betrayal. What the critics have said about Moskovitzs Welcome to Hellville: This short story collection captures the spirit and tempo of my town. Sid Sewell, Editor and Publisher, Duseberg Guide and Tribune. Short stories of this caliber deserve to be widely read, appreciated and enjoyed. David Blankenboat, reviewer 98 Point Wonderful-FM, Dusebergs leading FM station. Welcome to Hellville was published by Xlibris and is available at: www.x-libris.com or from Amazon.com, Borders or Barnes and Noble. Jack Moskovitz 4161 Wakeley St. Omaha, NE 68131
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.