Hilarious and heartfelt observations on aging from one of America's favorite comedians as he turns 65, and a look back at a remarkable career in this New York Times bestseller.
Billy Crystal is turning 65, and he's not happy about it. With his trademark wit and heart, he outlines the absurdities and challenges that come with growing old, from insomnia to memory loss to leaving dinners with half your meal on your shirt. In humorous chapters like "Buying the Plot" and "Nodding Off," Crystal not only catalogues his physical gripes, but offers a road map to his 77 million fellow baby boomers who are arriving at this milestone age with him. He also looks back at the most powerful and memorable moments of his long and storied life, from entertaining his relatives as a kid in Long Beach, Long Island, his years doing stand-up in the Village, up through his legendary stint at Saturday Night Live, When Harry Met Sally, and his long run as host of the Academy Awards. Readers get a front-row seat to his one-day career with the New York Yankees (he was the first player to ever "test positive for Maalox"), his love affair with Sophia Loren, and his enduring friendships with several of his idols, including Mickey Mantle and Muhammad Ali. He lends a light touch to more serious topics like religion ("the aging friends I know have turned to the Holy Trinity: Advil, bourbon, and Prozac"), grandparenting, and, of course, dentistry. As wise and poignant as they are funny, Crystal's reflections are an unforgettable look at an extraordinary life well lived.
Avoiding the trappings excess schmaltz, laundry list of famous friends, boozy party log of so many celebrity memoirs, Crystal delivers a funny and genuinely moving chronicle of his life inside and outside Hollywood. The quips come as fast they do in the best Crystal films and Oscar hostings, making sure the reader knows that there isn't a ghost writer guiding this one. Now 65, Crystal, the youngest of three brothers, was a comic from the start, soaking up all he could from the TV comedians of the '50s during his childhood in the New York suburbs. In addition to loving comedy, Crystal grew up loving music (his father owned a popular record store in the city) and, of course, baseball. Both of these passions stayed with him throughout his life and, something most fans could only dream of, Crystal not only met but befriended idols like Mickey Mantle and boxer Muhammad Ali. His successes are balanced with opportunities that didn't pan out, or movies that fizzled at the box office: a last-minute cancellation of a semi-permanent gig with the then-fledgling Saturday Night Live is outshone by the opportunity to perform on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. In addition to providing the inside scoop on some of his most iconic roles, from Harry to Princess, Crystal manages the extremely difficult feat of making his prose as vibrant and funny as his stand-up. He'll always be a hard act to follow.
Funny, heartfelt, and insightful
I found myself laughing out loud at parts of this book. I've always liked Billy Crystal and after reading this I find him to be really relatable too. He's lived an amazing life and has shared it with friends and family throughout seven decades. I enjoyed the stories about the making of his movies and the bonds he shared with lost family members. Not too mention his wife, kids, and grandkids. Read this book if you're a fan or just looking for a touching memoir.
He had me fooled until he got to his diatribe about how "fat people annoy" him. He lost a fan. I wonder if he has any idea how many in his fan base he offended who might be dealing with obesity. Judgmental people annoy me.
LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY
I just purchased this book a couple of hours ago. I have been laughing so hard and out loud that my husband is getting annoyed. If you are in your 60s, 70s or older you are totally going to relate. If you are younger you are just going to be entertained. Thanks Billy Crystal, I really needed to laugh out loud. I have more to read and I am anxious to read it. By the time I finish I will not remember most of it so I can start over. Finally was able to finish the book. What a great book for anyone but for baby boomers it hits the spot. LOVED IT!