Bestselling author, 60 Minutes II commentator, and world-champion raconteur Charles Grodin is back and better than ever in this revealing, opinionated, and delightful memoir about life, America, and cable TV.
In a thirty-five-year acting career that ranged from studying at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg to appearing in a box-office smash with a dog named Beethoven, Charles Grodin achieved the American dream. But at the peak of his career in the early 1990s, with a son entering first grade, he decided to give it all up so he could stay close to home. Years earlier, Johnny Carson had put him under exclusive contract as a guest on The Tonight Show. Now, he began a career in television with his own daily talk show on the cable channel CNBC. In I Like It Better When You’re Funny, we join him on a behind-the-scenes journey through the television industry. What he discovers there is more challenging, more startling, and funnier than he ever could have imagined.
In this wide-ranging memoir, Charles Grodin describes the life of a talk show host; his favorite and least favorite guests; the unspoken rules of working in television; and how this wild experience affected his views on America’s culture, government, and media. Along the way, he shares memorable stories and unfettered opinions about some of the industry’s renowned figures—Johnny Carson, Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Carol Burnett, Bill O’Reilly, and Don Imus, to name a few.
With candor and liberating humor, Charles Grodin proves once again that he is one of America’s most entertaining and insightful storytellers.
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Advance praise for
I Like It Better When You’re Funny
“Charles Grodin is fearless. Who else, without a grant of immunity,
would criticize Alan Dershowitz, Bill O’Reilly, shock jocks Howard Stern and Don Imus . . . and Rush Limbaugh? Wow! Take a deep breath,
sit down, and read this book.” —Phil Donahue
“Very entertaining.” —Jack Paar
“Charles Grodin tears the lid off his closely guarded personal life in
this book and welcomes you inside. It’s never happened before.
It may never happen again. Even his friends will be amazed. I’m one and
I still can’t believe what I’ve learned about him.”
Charles Grodin has had a unique career path, from Broadway to Hollywood to television commentary. Along the way he has written four acclaimed books, including It Would Be So Nice If You Weren’t Here, which was a national bestseller. Mr. Grodin won an Outer Critics Circle Award as best actor in Same Time, Next Year on Broadway. He won an Emmy Award as a writer for the Paul Simon special. For thirty years he starred in a number of outstanding films, including The Heartbreak Kid, Seems Like Old Times, Midnight Run, and the Beethoven movies. In 1995, Mr. Grodin began a successful career as a television talk show host; he received four Cable Ace Award nominations for The Charles Grodin Show, which appeared on CNBC and MSNBC. He is currently the commentator for the CBS newsmagazine program 60 Minutes II as well as a commentator for the CBS News Radio network. He has written for The New York Times, Esquire, and The Village Voice, among other publications. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.
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