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Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funnyby Marlo Thomas
While The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is my favorite memoir, Growing Up Laughing by Marlo Thomas, daughter of comedian Danny Thomas, is my pick for best unconventional memoir because it is like a mini history of comedy, complete with interviews and stories of comedians of the past and modern day. I was laughing out loud through this wonderful book!
Synopses & Reviews
Growing Up Laughing is a compelling autobiographical journey--hilarious and heartfelt, intimate and inspiring. It is a book that only Marlo Thomas could write. For as long as Thomas can remember, she's lived with laughter. Born to comedy royalty--TV and nightclub star Danny Thomas--she grew up among legendary funny men, carved much of her career in comedy and, to this day, surrounds herself with people who love and live to make others laugh. Thomas takes us on a funny and heartwarming adventure, from her Beverly Hills childhood, to her groundbreaking creation of That Girl and Free to Be . . . You and Me, to her marriage to talk-show king Phil Donahue. Her youth was star-studded--Milton Berle performed magic tricks (badly) at her backyard birthday parties. George Burns, Bob Hope, Sid Caesar, Bob Newhart and other great comics passed countless hours gathered around her family's dinner table. And behind it all was the rich laughter nurtured by a close and loving family. Growing Up Laughing is not just the story of an iconic entertainer, but also the story of comedy. In a voice that is curious, generous and often gleeful, Thomas not only opens the doors on the funny in her own life, but in a series of insightful and hilarious interviews also explores the comic roots of today's most celebrated comedians.
"Some know her as the star of the 1960s TV show That Girl, or creator of Free to Be... You and Me, or perhaps major fund-raiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Thomas, author of five bestselling books, here focuses on a role she's had her entire life: daughter. Laughter was the soundtrack for Thomas's formative years in 1950s Beverly Hills. Her father, comedian Danny Thomas, regularly had funny friends--including Bob Hope, Sid Caesar, and George Burns--over to the family home. The author, actress, feminist, and philanthropist shares fond memories of enjoying and learning from these comedy luminaries, and of being a Hollywood kid long before game-changers like the Internet and cable TV. She chronicles her path from childhood to adulthood; particularly interesting tidbits include her meeting and marrying Phil Donahue, becoming friends with Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug, and, with her siblings, 'producing' her father's funeral. But this book is more than a well-written memoir. Thomas also includes interviews with comedy powerhouses galore, from Tina Fey to Alan Alda, Chris Rock to Ben and Jerry Stiller. On the whole, this book offers a delightful firsthand look at how comedy has become integral to American culture--and the way it's shaped one woman's colorful life. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
The award-winning actress and #1 "New York Times"-bestselling author shares her funny and heartwarming stories of a life filled with laughter. Woven throughout the book are her interviews with America's most beloved comedians about how they, too, found the funny in their lives.
About the Author
Marlo Thomas is the author of five bestselling books, including Free to Be You and Me and The Right Words at the Right Time. She has won numerous awards including four Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, the Grammy Award, the Peabody Award, and has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame for her work in television, including her starring role in the landmark series That Girl. She is the National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She lives in New York with her husband.
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