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.
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.
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.