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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Who Stole the Funny?: A Novel of Hollywood

by

Who Stole the Funny?: A Novel of Hollywood Cover

ISBN13: 9780061245008
ISBN10: 0061245003
Condition:
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A Hollywood insider draws from his four decades of experience to create a scathingly brilliant and caustically comedic bird's-eye view behind the scenes of comedy television.

A wickedly delicious roman-a-clef about the making of a sitcom called My Urban Buddies, this satirical romp of a novel portrays life on the other side of the television lens, hilariously sending up self-serious Hollywood stereotypes across the board.

Programmed-for-success director J. T. Baker has to bring an up-and-coming sitcom to fruition after its initial director shoots himself in the head with a nail gun. Comically annotated with helpful and enlightening Hollywood glossary terms ("Creative-type director: One who has no hope of working in this town again"; "Eccentric: Affecting a style of dress, coiffure, speech, mannerisms, etc., carefully calculated to give the impression of creative credibility"), Benson creates an exaggerated world of crazy writers; backstabbing executives, agents, and producers; foul-mouthed everyone-elses; and hardcore cynics — and the ridiculous inner monologues behind them.

Review:

"Drawing on his experience directing Friends, Benson offers in his debut a derivative parody of behind-the-scenes Los Angeles that fails to skewer any of its easy targets. Has-been sitcom director J.T. Baker, a 'passionate schmuck' in a self-imposed exile from Hollywood, is picked to helm the hit show I Love My Urban Buddies ('the biggest sitcom in eons') after his predecessor meets an unfortunate end via an unfaithful wife, a hot tub and a nail gun. Desperate for money and health insurance to cover his son's kidney dialysis treatment, J.T. accepts the assignment and flies to California. Upon his arrival, he clashes with Debbie, the 'voluptuous' sexpot network liaison; Lance, the underqualified studio exec; and the married terrors Stephanie and Marcus Pooley, the show's creators. J.T.'s only ally on the lot is his friend Asher Black, who helps J.T. survive Marcus's lecherous casting sessions, puerile assistant directors, an on-set pederast and a cast of babied egoists. Benson's flat, one-dimensional characters are hard to take seriously, and readers may have a hard time sympathizing with the long-winded J.T., especially after he anoints himself 'the Sergeant at Arms of the Moral Police.' Benson's background in the TV biz is apparent, but his roman clef doesn't pop. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Who Stole the Funny? benefits from Mr. Benson's deep knowledge of his subject matter....There are plenty of books on acting and directing, on semiotics, auteur theory and Stanislavsky's method. But not many are likely to present so many appalling, and reality-based, teachable moments." The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"[W]ith the exception of a few sparse moments, someone definitely 'stole the funny' from this featherweight roman-a-clef....Tinseltown characters with no glitter." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"A former director on Friends, Robby Benson knows from funny — but his super-insidery tone in Who Stole the Funny? never lets us in on the joke. (Grade: C)" Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis:

A Hollywood insider draws from his four decades of experience to create a scathingly brilliant and satirical bird's-eye view of life behind the scenes in comedy television.

Synopsis:

A wickedly delicious roman–a–clef about the making of a sitcom called My Urban Buddies (aka Friends), this satirical romp answers the question for those who ever wondered what went on behind the scenes in the production of their favorite sit–com. Robby Benson can tell you, and does, in the novel WHO STOLE THE FUNNY, in which programmed–for–success director J.T. Baker has to bring an up–and–coming sitcom to fruition after its initial director shoots himself in the head with a nail gun. Thoughtfully annotated with helpful and enlightening Hollywood glossary terms, ("Creative–type director: One who has no hope of working in this town again"; "Eccentric: Affecting a style of dress, coiffure, speech, mannerisms, etc. carefully calculated to give the impression of creative credibility") WHO STOLE THE FUNNY takes place in an exaggerated world of crazy writers, backstabbing directors, foul–mouthed everyone–elses and hardcore cynics.

With fast–paced scenes, hilarious dialogue and the ridiculous inner monologues behind them, WHO STOLE THE FUNNY will make you think twice about what's going on behind every innocuous group of urban roommates you've ever fallen for on TGIF.

About the Author

Robby Benson, actor, writer, composer, and award-winning star of stage, screen, and television has also spent years behind the camera as the director of more than one hundred episodes of such hit sitcoms as Friends and Ellen, in addition to being a highly esteemed professor of film studies at New York University. He lives in both the Blue Ridge Mountains and New York City with his wife, singer Karla DeVito, and their two children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Katy Koenen, September 17, 2008 (view all comments by Katy Koenen)
Who would have guessed that Robby Benson would be an utterly delightful novelist? Remembering him from his years as a very young actor, I picked this book up on a lark, and yet, by page 75, I was so delighted with the book I was compelled to write to tell him so. (I don't believe I've felt compelled to write an author since I was 10 or 12 and read Watership Down).

Who Stole the Funny is a wonderful key-hole view into the making of a sitcom; the craziness is palpable, and anyone with empathy will feel the frustration of the guest director of "I Love My Urban Buddies." At the same time, it's clear that the only sane response is to laugh or cry, and the laughs completely win-out. (It does, however, make me thankful I never pursued a career in Hollywood.)

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(13 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061245008
Author:
Benson, Robby
Publisher:
Harper Paperbacks
Author:
by Robby Benson
Subject:
General
Subject:
Television comedies
Subject:
Television producers and directors
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Humorous fiction
Subject:
Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
20070831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.00x5.38x.92 in. .72 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Who Stole the Funny?: A Novel of Hollywood Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$1.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Harper Paperbacks - English 9780061245008 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Drawing on his experience directing Friends, Benson offers in his debut a derivative parody of behind-the-scenes Los Angeles that fails to skewer any of its easy targets. Has-been sitcom director J.T. Baker, a 'passionate schmuck' in a self-imposed exile from Hollywood, is picked to helm the hit show I Love My Urban Buddies ('the biggest sitcom in eons') after his predecessor meets an unfortunate end via an unfaithful wife, a hot tub and a nail gun. Desperate for money and health insurance to cover his son's kidney dialysis treatment, J.T. accepts the assignment and flies to California. Upon his arrival, he clashes with Debbie, the 'voluptuous' sexpot network liaison; Lance, the underqualified studio exec; and the married terrors Stephanie and Marcus Pooley, the show's creators. J.T.'s only ally on the lot is his friend Asher Black, who helps J.T. survive Marcus's lecherous casting sessions, puerile assistant directors, an on-set pederast and a cast of babied egoists. Benson's flat, one-dimensional characters are hard to take seriously, and readers may have a hard time sympathizing with the long-winded J.T., especially after he anoints himself 'the Sergeant at Arms of the Moral Police.' Benson's background in the TV biz is apparent, but his roman clef doesn't pop. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Who Stole the Funny? benefits from Mr. Benson's deep knowledge of his subject matter....There are plenty of books on acting and directing, on semiotics, auteur theory and Stanislavsky's method. But not many are likely to present so many appalling, and reality-based, teachable moments."
"Review" by , "[W]ith the exception of a few sparse moments, someone definitely 'stole the funny' from this featherweight roman-a-clef....Tinseltown characters with no glitter."
"Review" by , "A former director on Friends, Robby Benson knows from funny — but his super-insidery tone in Who Stole the Funny? never lets us in on the joke. (Grade: C)"
"Synopsis" by , A Hollywood insider draws from his four decades of experience to create a scathingly brilliant and satirical bird's-eye view of life behind the scenes in comedy television.
"Synopsis" by , A wickedly delicious roman–a–clef about the making of a sitcom called My Urban Buddies (aka Friends), this satirical romp answers the question for those who ever wondered what went on behind the scenes in the production of their favorite sit–com. Robby Benson can tell you, and does, in the novel WHO STOLE THE FUNNY, in which programmed–for–success director J.T. Baker has to bring an up–and–coming sitcom to fruition after its initial director shoots himself in the head with a nail gun. Thoughtfully annotated with helpful and enlightening Hollywood glossary terms, ("Creative–type director: One who has no hope of working in this town again"; "Eccentric: Affecting a style of dress, coiffure, speech, mannerisms, etc. carefully calculated to give the impression of creative credibility") WHO STOLE THE FUNNY takes place in an exaggerated world of crazy writers, backstabbing directors, foul–mouthed everyone–elses and hardcore cynics.

With fast–paced scenes, hilarious dialogue and the ridiculous inner monologues behind them, WHO STOLE THE FUNNY will make you think twice about what's going on behind every innocuous group of urban roommates you've ever fallen for on TGIF.

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