Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years

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9780395708958: Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years

The official book commemorating the first two decades of a television show that changed America's viewing habits and humor forever features numerous photographs and interviews as it recaptures the excitement that marked a television phenomenon. 200,000 first printing. $250,000 ad/promo.

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About the Author:

ROBERT W. HARRIS has been a freelance writer and designer since 1990. He has written twelve books, including DOS, WordPerfect & Lotus Office Companion and When Good People Write Bad Sentences. His books have been main selections in the Small Computer Book Club and the Book-of-the-Month Club.

From Booklist:

Weren't we just celebrating 15 years of Saturday Night Live? Maybe it just seems that way because the show kept promoting that anniversary well into 1991. Well, it's now been 20 years since the show debuted, and the publishers of this flashy, illustrated scrapbook are here to tell us that their book is the official publication of SNL's twentieth anniversary. Even with its bona fides established, the book has one major problem. It's not funny. Most of the text is made up of summaries of SNL sketches. Imagine trying to explain every one of the show's skits, especially to people who may never have seen them. You'd get something like this description of a "Coffee Talk" episode featuring Mike Meyers as Noo Yawker extraordinaire Linda Richmond: "[Linda] and her best friend, Sheila Arnstein (Kirstie Alley), discuss Barbra [Streisand]--her great body, her great hands, her forthcoming movie, The Prince of Tides. . . . They reminisce about The Way We Were and Redford's beautiful goyishe punim. They are joined by Sheila's husband, Saul (Phil Hartman), `a zhlub' who circles the block for hours to get a good parking spot." I'm falling over with laughter, aren't you? Even last year's miserable SNL season was funnier than this. The book's best element is its wanna-take-another-look layout, featuring terrific photos by Edie Baskin. Despite this book's flaws, it's certain to generate interest among the show's many fans. Libraries will need copies to fill requests, but the only way to really get the flavor of this 20-year television phenomenon is to watch the reruns. Ilene Cooper

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