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39 Years of Short-Term Memory Loss: The Early Days of SNL from Someone Who Was Thereby Tom Davis
Synopses & Reviews
39 Years of Short-Term Memory Loss is a seriously funny, offbeat and irreverent memoir that chronicles the early days of Saturday Night Live and features some of its greatest personalities — Al Franken, Lorne Michaels, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Michael O'Donoghue, and Chris Farley.
Written by Tom Davis, an original SNL writer and comedy partner of Al Franken, 39 Years of Short-Term Memory Loss is the story of coming of age in the '60s, and a spellbinding account of the birth and rise of one of television's most celebrated shows, Saturday Night Live. Tom Davis' memoir is filled with wry, candid anecdotes about his days at Saturday Night Live and friendship with its stars. But it also the story of Davis' own coming of age — escaping his conservative roots in suburban Minneapolis, traveling the world, and reveling in the hippie culture of 1960s San Francisco. The author finds the highs and lows of his own career to be an hilarious counterpoint to the meteoric rise of SNL and his friends' growing celebrity.
Hysterical, lucid and wise, 39 Years of Short-Term Memory Loss is a free spirited, unrepentant romp through an era of sex, drugs, and comedy.
"Writing for Saturday Night Live during the sketch show's legendary early seasons may be Davis's claim to fame, but this captivating memoir is about much more, including his suburban Minneapolis childhood, couch-surfing through his hometown, San Francisco, and New York City during the 1970s, and a life-long friendship with comedian-turned-political commentator-turned (probable) Senator Al Franken. Of course, that doesn't stop Davis from hooking readers at the outset with the true Coneheads origin story, involving Dan Aykroyd, LSD and a trip to Easter Island. Later, Davis recalls poignantly Aykroyd's eulogy at John Belushi's funeral, which began, 'I so did not want to have to do this.' Davis also speaks reverently of Lorne Michaels, despite their (often hilarious) professional differences. Davis's portrait of Franken, though, is most endearing. Fellow Minneapolisians, Franken and Davis were a comedy team throughout their young careers; Davis recreates their partnership in rich, funny details, bolstered by transcripts of their recent e-mail correspondence. Though it features some lurid and hysterical SNL stories, Davis's memoir is less a backstage expose than a winning coming-of-age story featuring a funny Midwestern kid following his unlikely dream to the top." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A seriously funny and irreverent memoir that gives an insider's view of the birth and rise of Saturday Night Live, this work features laugh-out-loud stories about some of its greatest personalities — Al Franken, John Belushi, Bill Murray, and Chris Farley.
About the Author
Tom Davis is a four-time Emmy winner from twelve seasons at Saturday Night Live, including the first five years. He was half the comedy team of Franken and Davis from high school in 1968 until he and Al broke up in 1990. The first-time author now lives alone in the woods in upstate New York.
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Arts and Entertainment » Film and Television » History and Criticism