Skip to content

Reading is FUNdamental…

August 9, 2008


Blew through “Saturday Night: A Brief History of Saturday Night Live” in two days.  Now, sometimes I find that I like bragging about how fast I read books… but I’m starting to realize that it says less about my reading ability and more about my spare time.  But, in this instance, at least, I had MANY hours of flying and lay-over on Saturday, getting to Washington.  So there.

This was, I have to say, a GREAT read.  Bill Simmons’ strong recommendation was dead on.  This was an addictive expose on the first 10 years of SNL… a cautionary tale about Fame (talking about you, Chevy)… and how hard it is to live out a creative vision in a money-driven industry.  

A couple of highlights… 

*My copy is from the library and (as the handwritten note on the cover page states), “Pages 107 through 116 aregone”.

*Someone got VERY passionate reading the book before me.  Here’s a direct quote from the book, and then (in italics) what someone hand-wrote after it…

(re: a sketch about a gooby family from the early seasons) 

The Nerds became so popular that the word nerd was added to some dictionaries.  WRONG!  ’Happy Days’ popularized the word nerd

Perhaps true… but maybe you, Prior Library Book Borrower, popularized the concept.

This same borrower angrily crossed through certain names (sorry, Brian Doyle-Murray and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss… guess s/he had a thing against hyphenates).  I guess that’s why library book records are closely monitored by the federal government.  Hope you enjoyed the book, Mr. Kaczynski!

*Here’s the author’s description of the steady decline of early (black) cast member Garrett Morris, as he succumbed to drug addiction.  Tell me if it doesn’t sound familiar: 

Garrett had apparently been hiding in the phone booth (in the halls of the SNL offices), afraid to come out.  He had developed acute symptoms of paranoia, complete with hallucinations.  He often claimed that an “invisible hypnotist robot” was controlling his actions.  Sometimes he seemed to think it was sitting on his shoulder.

Apparently, Tina Fey had either read this book, or heard these stories, first-hand, when she set about creatingTracey Jordan (Tracey Morgan) for “30 Rock.

Great read.  It’s out of print, but worth tracking down.

One Comment leave one →
  1. bobby permalink
    August 10, 2008 9:20 pm

    Speaking of poor Garrett. Was watching The Jeffersons the other day. (Yes.) Seems George and Willis had to fly to Los Angeles to straighten out some nonsense about Willis’s lost fortune, and Garrett Morris was the guy in the middle of the whole deal, driving the plot as it were. My point is this, in the heat of the episode, right there in the dialogue, Garrett mentions El Segundo, my current home! Man, I haven’t felt that connected to a 70s sitcom since two years ago, when Brad threw me a football that broke my nose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: