The well-known actor takes readers backstage for a revealing and hilarious look at what really happens on movie sets and talk shows, discusses critics, and discloses that he was banned from the Tonight Show more than once. First serial, Premiere.
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Actor, director, producer Grodin (How I Get Through Life, 1992) makes an appearance as a purveyor of theatrical anecdotes. Noel Coward he's not. Written between takes during the production of his recent film Heart and Souls, this disjointed effort to depict Grodin's career as Mister Showbiz is not uniformly dull, to be sure, but the proud exhibitions of putative wit are wan indeed. After a Nixonesque assertion that, unlike the characters he has played, he is ``not a jerk,'' Grodin recounts all the clever things he's done and said. Obviously, he is no jerk, but with banalities on the order of ``sometimes life feels so short and strange,'' he's not the deepest thinker, either. This backstager sometimes reads like a parody of personal hype. ``Forgive me for this self-aggrandizement,'' he apologizes parenthetically, ``I'm trying to make a point about stupidity.'' It's not all self-centered. For example, there are comments about others--like those who didn't dig his oblique wit or couldn't handle his success. Names drop like hailstones. ``Danny Thomas was a friend of mine whom I knew through his daughter, my friend Marlo.'' Otto Preminger and Diane Sawyer, Art Carney and Oliver Stone, Gilda, Johnny, and Dustin all serve as second bananas to our Chuck. Conversations are recalled, oddly, as scripted dialogue in this stream of self-consciousness. The text begins with spirit as Grodin denies close relationship with most of the ``100 Most Powerful People in Hollywood'' and gains strength again near the end with a diary of the making of Heart and Souls, which has since turned out to be a very modest box-office draw. But, on the whole, the occasional author and full-time light comedian upstages all, including himself. If not quite a bomb, Grodin's latest presentation isn't a hit, either. It's just a dud. (First serial to Premiere; author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Even casual viewers of Carson and Letterman have watched Grodin's facetiously hostile appearances and laughed nervously along with the flustered interviewers. As Grodin reveals-here living up to the "behind the scenes" promise in his subtitle-the hosts were in on the joke all the time. Along with his annotated list of the "100 most powerful" Hollywoodians, Grodin's straight poop on talk shows is the funniest material presented in this book-and, unfortunately, it comes first. Grodin is a modest but proud man, and though charmingly self-effacing he's not shy about touting his previous books (How I Get Through Life, LJ 3/15/92; It Would Be So Nice If You Weren't Here, LJ 8/89). He is best known for his role as the converted dog-hater of the Beethoven films, but he's a do-everything professional in theater (director), film (screenwriter), and television (producer of a 1969 Simon and Garfunkel special). Indeed, while this is a worthy addition to the entertainment collections of public libraries, academic libraries with strong media and theater programs may value it more for its diversity of good-humored insights on his profession.
Scott H. Silverman, Bryn Mawr Coll. Lib., Pa.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Book Condition: New. Brand new copy. Ships fast secure, expedited available!. Bookseller Inventory # 3UBC9S0001VK
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800254579591.0
Book Description Scribner, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0025457950
Book Description Lisa Drew Books, Middleton, Wisconsin, U.S.A., 1994. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. "That kid really knows how to tell a story," said Johnny Carson when asked why he wanted to put Charles Grodin under exclusive contract as a guest on the Tonight Show after two brief appearances. Johnny Carson was proved right as Charles Grodin went on to become one of the most coveted and "controversial" talk show guests the medium had ever seen. Acclaimed for his wit offscreen and on, he is as famous for his "wars" with Johnny Carson and David Letterman as he is for his many films, including The Heartbreak Kid, Heaven Can Wait, Midnight Run, and Beethoven. Here, for the first time, Mr. Grodin tells the behind-the-scenes story of the talk show confrontations - why he was banned by Carson and why he brought an "attorney" with him for a David Letterman appearance. There are also vivid portraits of Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, Oliver Stone, and Diane Sawyer, among countless others. Bookseller Inventory # 001845
Book Description Scribner 1994-10-01, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0025457950 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0025457950
Book Description Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, NY, U.S.A., 1994. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. 1st Ed., 1st Printing, numbered row beginning with 1, HB/DJ, brand new, 320 pp. Charles Grodin is easily one of the most widely accomplished people in show business. He is also one of the most controversial talk show guests, acclaimed for his wit offscreen and on. He was banned by Carson and brought an attorney with him to Letterman's show. There are also portraits of Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, Oliver Stone, Diane Sawyer, et al. Bookseller Inventory # 4841
Book Description Scribner, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0025457950
Book Description Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: Like New. Dust Jacket Condition: Like New. 1st Edition. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Label with Grodin's signature affixed to the front endpaper. This label is from the United Jewish Community Celebration '95, held on December 3, 1994, and has an illustration of a mezuzah on the label besides Grodin's signature. The book and dj are in pristine condition. Signed by Author). Bookseller Inventory # 5059
Book Description Scribner, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110025457950
Book Description Scribner, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. Bookseller Inventory # QX-000-05-0808000