James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales's definitive oral history of Saturday Night Live, hailed as "incredible" (Vulture) and "required reading" (People).
When first published to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, Live from New York was immediately proclaimed the best book ever produced on the landmark and legendary late-night show. In their own words, unfiltered and uncensored, a dazzling galaxy of trail-blazing talents recalled three turbulent decades of on-camera antics and off-camera escapades.
Now decades have passed, and bestselling authors James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales have returned to Studio 8H. Over more than 100 pages of new material, they raucously and revealingly take the SNL story up to the present, adding a constellation of iconic new stars, surprises, and controversies.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Since 1975, Saturday Night Live “has served as a trendsetter in American humor”, launching the careers of stars like Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, and dozens more. Expanded for SNL’s 40th anniversary, Live from New York is an insightful and amusing oral history. We’re jealous of authors James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales, who got to sit down and talk to hundreds of people involved with the show behind the scenes and in the spotlight. There’s great material here, including big laughs, choice gossip, and even moments of tenderness.
SNLfans, beware: this audiobook, while chock full of dishy dirt on everybody from Chevy Chase to Jimmy Fallon, requires a little playing along on the part of the listener. Shales and Miller went to great lengths to compile this work, but unfortunately, for this audio version, the oral history is read by stand-ins masquerading as Bill Murray, Lorne Michaels, Jimmy Fallon and others. So listeners have to imagine that it's really Chevy Chase speaking, not an audiobook reader who sounds nothing like him. A narrator introduces each chapter, helping listeners orient themselves, and then reads each person's name before that person speaks. Hearing the narrator pronounce, "Dan Aykroyd, actor:" and then hearing the voice of a complete stranger (there are no liner notes explaining who's reading which parts) tell of his memories of the show is somewhat disconcerting. The actors' deliveries range from the lackadaisical to the high-strung. Despite the obvious troubles of not having the book's contributors read their own parts, the book's content is terrific, with tons of behind-the-scenes gossip and juicy tales of backstage goings-on. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Forecasts, Sept. 9).
Interesting Read, Lacks cohesion
Pretty good history of the show. Often disjointed and not really following any particular path. The interviews seem to be just random quips that don’t necessarily flow into the next interview. I’m a huge SNL fan so it was must-read but left wishing it gave more.